Virtual appliances offer real benefits

Virtual appliances offer real benefits

Yankee Group expects 'tremendous benefits' from virtual appliances

Enterprises are poised to reap "tremendous benefits" from emerging virtual appliances, according to a new report.

Analyst firm Yankee Group said that IT infrastructure and its relationship with applications has changed dramatically with the rise of "anywhere computing" enabled by server virtualisation.

Independent software vendors now have a new way of delivering software through virtual appliances, a virtual machine that consists of an application and an integrated operating system.

A customer-created virtual machine would normally consist of Windows or Linux on top of an installed application.

But virtual appliances also escalate the war between Windows and Linux. Open source (primarily Linux) beats proprietary (Windows) in a virtual environment, Yankee stated.

"Virtual appliances bring dramatic changes to an entrenched ecosystem of OS vendors, ISVs and IT departments, but changing the culture and businesses of these parties will not be easy," said Gary Chen, Yankee Group Enterprise Research senior analyst.

"From an ISV and customer perspective, it is hard to argue with the benefits that virtual appliances bring.

"However, this major shift in the software stack will mean that operating systems will have to transform to be relevant in this new anywhere computing environment."

Chen added that, as virtualisation progresses and gains acceptance, virtual appliances may become the predominant and only platform for ISVs.