A virtual appliance is a software solution that combines an operating system and an application in one easy to install, virtual package. Unlike a hardware appliance, a virtual appliance doesn't require shipping, rack space, high cost, or lots of maintenance. Compared to traditionally delivered software, it eliminates installation, configuration, and maintenance costs.
A virtual appliance provides compatibility, isolation, and hardware independence, just like a virtual machine. The difference is that a virtual machine is simply a software container made up of CPU, RAM, storage and networking resources, while a virtual appliance also contains an optimized, pre-installed, and pre-configured operating system and application.
The virtual appliance is quickly becoming the top choice for installation and deployment, and the list of applications available to install is growing. Available applications include WordPress, MediaWiki, Drupal, Joomla, LAMP Stack, MySQL, Ruby on Rails, and PostgreSQL. Many of these applications are available as free downloads from sites such as VMware and Turnkey Linux.
The Advantages of Going Virtual
Save time and money with improvements in application development, distribution, deployment, management, and utilization efficiency. Virtual appliances are built on an optimized operating system, such as JeOS (Just enough Operating System). This allows for a much smaller package, speeding up delivery and decreasing the appliance�s footprint.
Development and distribution become easier for the vendor; development for multiple operating systems or physical packaging or shipping is not required. This decreases time to market and reduces costs, benefitting the end user. Deployment is simple with virtual appliances. Applications and operating systems are pre-installed and are ready to run. Companies can easily deploy new and updated applications to remote offices. Software can be installed immediately, anywhere in the world, and is instantly available. Increased security is another advantage of using virtual appliances. A low-profile operating system presents a reduced attack surface, enhancing security without effort.
With virtual appliances, there is no need for additional in-house expertise for deployment and maintenance. Patches and upgrades are provided directly by the appliance provider. This eliminates incompatibility issues and related requirements for testing. Administrators, when running production-ready VMware virtual appliances, can use VMware vMotion, High Availability, vCenter Server, Distributed Resource Scheduler, and Consolidated Backup to streamline deployment and maintenance tasks even further.
Your Software Solution
Virtual appliances are pre-built, pre-configured, ready-to-run application solutions that offer the exact software you need and nothing more. They are packaged with an optimized operating system, and distributed and deployed using a downloadable image. Virtual appliances help a company deploy, install, and maintain many different software environments. With virtual appliances, companies save money and stay productive.
Virtual Appliances, VMware and Infinitely Virtual
Learn more about how your company can use virtual appliances to run the software you need by calling Infinitely Virtual at (866) 257-8455 or by requesting more information at www.infinitelyvirtual.com.
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