On the second day of Demo 09, one of the products that caught my attention was AppZero. In my early days at
Cloud Avenue, I wrote a post arguing that it is important to prevent vendor
lock-in to ensure the success of Cloud Computing. In that post, Phil Clarke from
CohesiveFT pointed out that such lock-ins can be avoided by the use of virtual
appliances and how their elastic server service helps in avoiding such lock-ins.
AppZero goes one step further and makes it very easy to create, control and
maintain applications by virtualizing the application environment than the
server itself. When I say even your grandma can run Enterprise IT, I mean it.
Check out the following video of their launch in Demo ‘09 and you will
understand what I am talking about.
AppZero abstracts the complexity associated with the underlying OS and
hardware for any application and make the application completely portable.
Application portability is much better than the server portability using virtual
machines. When you install an application to a server, it installs dependencies
and other associated libraries coupling the application deeply with the
installed OS. This makes it very difficult to manage and, worse, move the
applications from one datacenter environment to another. AppZero takes a neat
approach by inserting a layer between the applications and OS. Instead of
installing the app on the OS, AppZero allows you to install the apps on Virtual
Application Appliances (VAA). VAA, now, contains the application, its
configuration and any libraries needed for the functioning of the app, thereby,
taking away the dependency issues associated with an OS or hardware environment.
This not only makes it easy for users to manage their applications, it also
makes it easy to move from one datacenter to another. If you watched their video
above, you would have noticed how their software makes such a move just drag and
drop with a few clicks. They do the heavy lifting in the background, leaving you
with few clicks on the front-end. This makes server migrations and consolidation
a child’s play.
The arrival of companies like CohesiveFT and AppZero is changing the way IT
is done, by offering higher ROI for the enterprises and, also, by helping
relatively smaller companies enjoy the enterprise level IT.