Virtual Appliances

One of my early predictions (well to myself!) is coming to fruition. Virtual appliances are starting rule the roost. I am in the midst of test driving an excellent CMS called cyn.in (pronounced Sign In), available as a virtual machine. The community edition is available only as a VMWare appliance, I would have preferred it in VirtualBox in though.

I ran it at home and found it to be quite a stunner. Though I couldn't fully test it, I plan to do it next week at office.

For the unintiated, virtual appliance is a software solution which contains its on operating system, tweaked for optimal performance. Usually, its designed in such a fashion that the user just needs to run it using a virtual machine application. Database, web server , application server and the like would be configured by the application vendor minimising the need of user intervention.

Virtualisation provides an opportunity for drastic cost reduction. Typical software systems requires a rather lengthy implementation time which involves working at the client site setting up the system. By introducing virtual machines, this phase could well be eliminated or minimised exponentially. Go live period of software projects would become lesser.I foresee a paradigm shift towards virtual appliances in the forseeable future. Not all organisations are comfortable with an SaaS system. But they would still need a cost effective and out of the box solution.

With increase in system power may be even a complicated billing system could be virtualised. Billing system implementation typically takes up a lot of time and cost of support personnel could become prohibitive. By taking the virtual appliance route, the system provider and the client could make significant monetary gains.

Several virtual machine applications are available like VMWare, VirtualBox, VirtualIron. I have used VMWare and VirtualBox, and found VirtualBox to be easier owing to the fact that it is easier to install in Ubuntu. VMWare is little more tricky to install in Ubuntu, sometimes you wish they just provided a deb. Usability wise, both are pretty good and easy to use. For more information check the hyperlinks. If you are interested in virtual appliances, be sure to check out JumpBox, they provide a large number of virtual appliances for applications ranging from CRM to CMS.

3 comments:

I would also recommend having a look at virtualappliances.net. We offer raw images which can be easily imported into VirtualBox.

Our current offering is LAMP, LAPP, Cacti, Tomcat, and ntop for all popular virtualization platforms.

July 26, 2008 at 11:47 PM  

nice blog,,

July 28, 2008 at 8:44 AM  

Narayan

We've recently released a new version of cyn.in - v2.1. The new version is very significant as it aims to ease collaboration and increase adoption in the enterprise. We've added new features like microblogging and a desktop client built in Adobe AIR.

Do download it and let me know what you think of the new version. I'd love to hear your feedback.

http://cyn.in

Regards
Romasha

December 9, 2008 at 1:36 PM  

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