AppZero Zapp Migrator - application virtualization to the rescue

Greg O'Conner, CEO of AppZero, introduced me to AppZero's new Zapp Migration Tool. The company is making very broad claims of "Any App. Any Server. Any Cloud." for this tool.

What is the Zapp Migration Tool?

AppZero has taken its application virtualization technology and developed a tool to easily encapsulate nearly any Windows application. AppZero calls encapsulated applications "Virtual Application Appliances" or VAAs. Once an application has been transformed into a VAA, it can be copied to any other Windows system and be run there without doing a traditional application installation.

Why is this important?

Organizations are finding that their applications need to be much more mobile than in times past. They want the ability to easily migrate applications from place to place to meet service level objectives or respond to outages.

Different approaches to application mobility that organizations have tried

Organizations have explored several different ways to address application mobility including:

Encapsulating an entire system, including the operating system, application frameworks, database engine and the application itself into a virtual machine. Suppliers such as Citrix, Microsoft, Red Hat and VMware would love it if you used their products for this purpose. Although this approach uses a large amount of system memory, storage and some additional processing power, applications can be easily migrated from system to system or from system to a cloud computing environment.

Using a P2V tool, such as products offered by AutoVirt, Leostream, Microsoft, Novell, Quest, Symantec, VMware, and a vew other suppliers, to convert workloads on the fly and move them into virtual server environments. This approach simplifies the process of system encapsulation, but still requires large amount of system memory, storage and some additional processing power.

Encapsulating only the application and using an application virtualization product, such as those offered by AppZero, Citrix, Microsoft or VMware to allow the application to be migrated from place to place as needed. Since only the application has been encapsulated, the host needs to provide the proper operating system environment. This approach uses only the memory and storage necessary for the application.

Snapshot analysis

Virtual machine technology is a very flexible and powerful tool. Unfortunately, many in the industry believe that it is the only virtualiztaion technology one needs to know anything about. This creates a number of problems.  There are many layers of virtualization technology that are useful (see Sorting out the different layers of virtualization for a more complete discussion of the Kusnetzky Group Model of virtualization.) Life is much easier if the proper tool is selected for the task at hand.

AppZero believes that application virtualization is a much better approach to application mobility than the use of virtual machine technology. If the source and target environments are using the same operating system, I agree.

AppZero believes that would be much easier to use a tool to encapsulate the application, install a small migration tool on the target system, and then let the application page itself across the network to the target system rather than having to encapsulate a whole system and copy it across the network to the target.

The demo is pretty persuasive and I would suggest you see the tool in action. Click here to be escorted to the demo.   

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