I had an impromtu lesson in virtualisation last week thanks to Bob Kelly.
I am familiar with the concept of creating several virtual servers and sticking them on the same bit of tin, or a person using an application on the desktop that is actually being streamed from a remote server, but I’m new to the concept of virtualisation of applications on the desktop itself.
The ‘Kontainer’ is effectively isolating an application and placing it within it’s own self-contained box on the desktop. It means an application like Office could be working within it’s own self contained unit on the desktop without touching the Registry or operating system. This means it does not need to be installed or removed in the traditional sense and multiple versions of the same application can be run alongside each other. The applications can be created and managed without an expert (a relief for anyone with experience of fiddling about with MSI packages and installers) and the applications can be managed and restricted appropriately.
From an IT Asset Management perspective, I like the way that the ‘Kontainers’ can be metered once deployed, setting a cap on usage. Many organisations have saved space and hardware with virtualisation only to be left with an unwieldy licensing mess to deal with. Although the restrictions on usage won’t work for all license programs, its a step in the right direction from a virtualisation vendor.
Speaking to Bob, it is clear they are passionate about fast, clean implementations for customers. This is a breath of fresh air in the systems management marketplace, which is littered with companies who bought into a concept via PowerPoint and now sit and admire their application as it gathers dust on the shelf. The KBOX is a systems management appliance, which places it ahead of the pack when it comes to implementation, but I also like their innovative approach to helping clients get up to speed with the technology (Quick, Low cost and Digestable skills transfer, Transferable and Referecable at a later date).
I think it’s worth a look for SME’s looking at simplyfing desktop management, which is quite a few folks according to recent research by Forrester;
“74% of SMBs hope that they can lower PC costs with alternative technologies such as desktop virtualization.”
Along with SaaS based web applications, this is reducing the reliance on the operating system and should make management and migration of IT Assets alot easier, in theory at least. E.g. It doesn’t matter if my portfolio of applications works on Vista or Windows 7, as long as the ‘Kontainer’ does.
I look forward to reviewing the KACE appliance in more depth when it is released in April. Further info here.