Virtualization Technology News and Information
VMware Optimizes Software Delivery and Distribution With Virtual Appliance Solutions
Today at VMworld 2008, VMware, Inc. (NYSE:VMW), the global leader in virtualization solutions from the desktop to the datacenter, announced a robust set of offerings optimizing the development, deployment, and management of virtual appliances. These offerings, targeted at VMware customers, hardware appliance vendors, and software vendors, provide:
  • VMware Studio for virtual appliance authoring and packaging
  • VMware Ready Program for virtual appliance validation
  • VMware Infrastructure integration for virtual appliance updating and management

Virtual appliances are pre-built software solutions composed of one or more virtual machines that are packaged, maintained, updated, and managed as a unit. Using virtual appliances lowers development and distribution costs, accelerates time to market, and expands customer reach, providing an easy-to-use, more secure software delivery system all while leveraging the Virtual Datacenter Operating System (VDC-OS) from VMware, VMware Infrastructure.

VMware has created a set of virtual appliance offerings that will improve and simplify how IT professionals can manage their applications and IT infrastructure, said Brian Byun, vice president, global partners and solutions, VMware. This set of offerings provides tools for authoring, distributing, deploying, managing, and updating virtual appliances, while enhancing user experiences and guaranteeing service levels.

IBM and VMware have been working closely on developing VMware Ready virtual appliance solutions for Information On Demand, said Arvind Krishna, vice president, data management and worldwide information management development, IBM. IBM is making the Information On Demand Analytics solution, which includes Cognos 8 Business Intelligence Reporting and the InfoSphere Warehouse, available as a production virtual appliance. This allows our mutual customers to leverage virtualization to more efficiently unlock the business value from their information. VMware Ready virtual appliances are a building block for IBM solutions and services that target the small and medium business (SMB) market segment and emerging 'cloud' platforms."

Hardware appliance and software vendors that use virtual appliances can reduce development and testing time by selecting the optimal operating system (OS) for their software instead of developing software to be compatible with multiple OSes. They can also remove unneeded OS components for a thinner, more secure OS. Because virtual appliances are packaged as a single unit, customers can download the virtual appliance, and with one click, get a demonstration, evaluation, or fully-licensed application up and running without lengthy installations and configurations.

To read about vendor support of these new virtual appliance offerings, please visit:

Virtual appliances have the potential to revolutionize the way customers will consume applications by simplifying deployment and management, said Brett Waldman, research analyst, systems software at IDC. With the launch of the VMware Ready Program for virtual appliances, VMware Studio, an upgraded Virtual Appliance Marketplace, and integration with VMware Infrastructure, VMware has broadened the path for creating, distributing, deploying and managing appliances. VMware Ready virtual appliances represent a potentially attractive approach to enforcing consistency to appliances, and if successful, give IT organizations a way to gauge the readiness of virtual appliances."

Virtual Appliance Authoring with VMware Studio

To assist in the creation of VMware Ready Virtual Appliances, VMware is launching a new authoring and management tool called VMware Studio that is available online as a free download. VMware Studio enables hardware appliance and software vendors to build customized virtual appliances that can be shipped in industry standard Open Virtualization Format (OVF), a format developed by VMware and other leaders in the virtualization field to enable efficient, flexible, and secure distribution of enterprise software, facilitating the mobility of virtual machines. VMware Studio provides a web-based console with quick-start templates to streamline the authoring process of virtual appliances. A command-line interface enables the automation of management tasks, and empowers VMware Studio to act as an extension of appliance vendors existing build and source control systems. VMware Studio also enables virtual appliance vendors to periodically publish updates directly to the deployed appliances, reducing the cost of on-going maintenance and providing customers with higher quality software. For more information about VMware Studio, please visit

VMware Ready Virtual Appliances

The VMware Ready Program for virtual appliances enables partners to validate virtual appliances that follow best practices and are optimized for VMware Infrastructure. By purchasing a VMware Ready virtual appliance, customers know they are obtaining a solution that is reliable, secure and ready-to-run in production. The VMware Ready virtual appliance ecosystem includes Operating System Vendors (OSVs) and virtual appliance authoring toolkit vendors. For more information on the VMware Ready Program for virtual appliances, please visit

Virtual appliances simplify life for the end user by neatly packaging and integrating the application, middleware and operating system, said Roger Levy, senior vice president and general manager, Open Platform Solutions at Novell. When ISVs build an appliance through VMware Studio using SUSE Linux Enterprise, they can deliver the peace of mind that comes from a proven enterprise-class, fully supported operating system optimized for VMware virtualization. The VMware Ready program gives customers confidence that they are getting a reliable, secure and production-ready appliance. Customers who deploy VMware Ready virtual appliances powered by SUSE Linux Enterprise will realize the benefits of a simplified deployment, easier management and greater security while lowering their development costs.

As the industry's most widely deployed virtualization platform, today's launch of the VMware Ready Program will accelerate the adoption of virtual appliances across enterprise data centers, said Billy Marshall, chief executive officer, rPath. And in support of this initiative, rPath's rBuilder will allow application providers to develop and deploy VMware Ready virtual appliances.

VMware Infrastructure Integration

VMware Ready virtual appliances seamlessly integrate into the industrys most widely deployed virtualization platform, VMware Infrastructure. The first level of virtual appliance integration occurs through VMware Update Manager, which enables VMware Infrastructure to automatically update and manage virtual appliances individually or in groups, reducing administration time and complexity. Virtual appliances then leverage the advanced functionality of VMware Infrastructure, including simplified backup, high availability, disaster recovery, and VMware Distributed Resource Scheduler (DRS), which can provide load balancing for more efficient utilization of hardware resources.

With more than 900 virtual appliances, the Virtual Appliance Marketplace represents a continuously growing ecosystem of virtual appliances that spans the areas of security, content and collaboration, infrastructure, database management, and networking.

Published Monday, September 15, 2008 9:44 AM by David Marshall
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