Linux Containers Authors: Liz McMillan, James Carlini, Elizabeth White, Vaibhaw Pandey, Pat Romanski

Related Topics: Linux Containers, Containers Expo Blog, @CloudExpo

Linux Containers: Article

VA and VAA: What a Difference an “A” Makes

Comparing VMware’s virtual appliance (VA) approach with AppZero’s virtual application appliance (VAA)

Virtual Application Appliances on Ulitzer

Cloud Computing Expo - So are we talking tomayto/tomahto or apple/orange here?  Actually, when we compare VMware's virtual appliance (VA) approach with AppZero's virtual application appliance (VAA) it's really a lot more like apple/orangutan.  Not better and worse, winner and loser, but different in type and kind and purpose and optimal use.  A tectonic shift.

Before I proceed to explain, I'd like to point out that I'm on record as being a VMware fan.  (See earlier blogs, "VMware's Genius," "The birth of virtualization" and "The Next Big Cloud Thing: VMWare's Virtual Platform Stack".)  VMware's VA approach has enjoyed real market acceptance for practical reasons, which the company relates as: reduced development and distribution costs; accelerated time to market expanding customer reach; and increased security and control - for both hardware appliance vendors (pre-fabricated product) and software developers (pre-configured package).

In this approach a virtual machine (VM) and an application, complete with all necessary parts of the OS, are packaged into one self-contained virtual appliance (VA).  All of these parts are encapsulated in a little, self-contained world of its own free to travel through space like Horton's Who's all in Whoville.

VMware promotes VAs on its appliance page with the number growing daily.  Today, as I write, it is 1,308; yesterday it was 1,282.  Who knows what it will be when you look.

All Linux.

Yes, all Linux.  Microsoft licensing does not allow for redistribution of the Windows OS.  So this whole VA idea is only good if your application is based on Linux.  But if your organization is one of the zillions who have bought into the Redmond way of life, you can't use VAs without rewriting what you have.  Not likely.

But here's a dirty little question - and I mean no disrespect - Linux or not, why would you want to ship the OS with your hardware product, software package, or data center application?  System admins hate this practice.  They like to maintain clear lines between who owns what, where, and who does what, when.  VAs totally redraw those lines.  I can tell you that the folks running a data center don't want a packaged application vendor patching, up grading, and otherwise maintaining the OS, networking, and management tools.  And, by the way, packaged application vendors aren't wild about owning all OS variants either.

Now, granted, VMware owns a lot of real estate in the data center, but VAs don't travel across hypervisor environments.  So if a company throws Hyper-V, Xen, or KVM into the mix they will need a different VA for each - and they will have no mobility between those environments.  If you're a software provider, you'll need to package your app as different VAs for each VM provider.

And speaking of mobility .... What if you want to move an application to the cloud?  Most cloud providers don't use VMware's VMs, so you'd need a different VA.  In fact, you'd need a different VA for each cloud - Amazon, GoGrid, Rackspace etc.  Who is responsible for this refactoring?  There is no seamless way to move your (Linux-only) apps between clouds in anyone's VA.

The culprit in this story is not VMware, it's the necessary inclusion of the OS - in however small a measure - in the VA.  It's the nature of the VA beast.

AppZero's VAA, by contrast, encapsulates a server application with all of its dependencies - but with zero OS component.  Zero.  Complete mobility across servers - physical or virtual (any VM) - to and from datacenter and clouds at will with no rewriting or packaging required.  And because there is no OS component, we do Windows.

So, if you have a spare 10 minutes on your hands, wander down to wherever your sys admins live and ask them how much they like VAs.  My bet is that they really don't like black boxes in their province.  And your application folks don't like it either.  Maybe they don't know there is a strong alternative ... yes, VAAs.  If not, you have good news for them.

What a difference an "A" makes.

(More on what VAAs can do in a blog to follow.  )

Follow Greg O'Connor on Twitter @gregoryjoconnor

More Stories By Greg O'Connor

Greg O'Connor is President & CEO of AppZero. Pioneering the Virtual Application Appliance approach to simplifying application-lifecycle management, he is responsible for translating Appzero's vision into strategic business objectives and financial results.

O'Connor has over 25 years of management and technical experience in the computer industry. He was founder and president of Sonic Software, acquired in 2005 by Progress Software (PRGS). There he grew the company from concept to over $40 million in revenue.

At Sonic, he evangelized and created the Enterprise Service Bus (ESB) product category, which is generally accepted today as the foundation for Service Oriented Architecture (SOA). Follow him on Twitter @gregoryjoconnor.

@ThingsExpo Stories
DX World EXPO, LLC, a Lighthouse Point, Florida-based startup trade show producer and the creator of "DXWorldEXPO® - Digital Transformation Conference & Expo" has announced its executive management team. The team is headed by Levent Selamoglu, who has been named CEO. "Now is the time for a truly global DX event, to bring together the leading minds from the technology world in a conversation about Digital Transformation," he said in making the announcement.
"Space Monkey by Vivent Smart Home is a product that is a distributed cloud-based edge storage network. Vivent Smart Home, our parent company, is a smart home provider that places a lot of hard drives across homes in North America," explained JT Olds, Director of Engineering, and Brandon Crowfeather, Product Manager, at Vivint Smart Home, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Conference Guru has been named “Media Sponsor” of the 22nd International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. A valuable conference experience generates new contacts, sales leads, potential strategic partners and potential investors; helps gather competitive intelligence and even provides inspiration for new products and services. Conference Guru works with conference organizers to pass great deals to gre...
The Internet of Things will challenge the status quo of how IT and development organizations operate. Or will it? Certainly the fog layer of IoT requires special insights about data ontology, security and transactional integrity. But the developmental challenges are the same: People, Process and Platform. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Craig Sproule, CEO of Metavine, demonstrated how to move beyond today's coding paradigm and shared the must-have mindsets for removing complexity from the develop...
In his Opening Keynote at 21st Cloud Expo, John Considine, General Manager of IBM Cloud Infrastructure, led attendees through the exciting evolution of the cloud. He looked at this major disruption from the perspective of technology, business models, and what this means for enterprises of all sizes. John Considine is General Manager of Cloud Infrastructure Services at IBM. In that role he is responsible for leading IBM’s public cloud infrastructure including strategy, development, and offering m...
"Evatronix provides design services to companies that need to integrate the IoT technology in their products but they don't necessarily have the expertise, knowledge and design team to do so," explained Adam Morawiec, VP of Business Development at Evatronix, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
To get the most out of their data, successful companies are not focusing on queries and data lakes, they are actively integrating analytics into their operations with a data-first application development approach. Real-time adjustments to improve revenues, reduce costs, or mitigate risk rely on applications that minimize latency on a variety of data sources. In his session at @BigDataExpo, Jack Norris, Senior Vice President, Data and Applications at MapR Technologies, reviewed best practices to ...
Widespread fragmentation is stalling the growth of the IIoT and making it difficult for partners to work together. The number of software platforms, apps, hardware and connectivity standards is creating paralysis among businesses that are afraid of being locked into a solution. EdgeX Foundry is unifying the community around a common IoT edge framework and an ecosystem of interoperable components.
Large industrial manufacturing organizations are adopting the agile principles of cloud software companies. The industrial manufacturing development process has not scaled over time. Now that design CAD teams are geographically distributed, centralizing their work is key. With large multi-gigabyte projects, outdated tools have stifled industrial team agility, time-to-market milestones, and impacted P&L stakeholders.
"Akvelon is a software development company and we also provide consultancy services to folks who are looking to scale or accelerate their engineering roadmaps," explained Jeremiah Mothersell, Marketing Manager at Akvelon, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
"IBM is really all in on blockchain. We take a look at sort of the history of blockchain ledger technologies. It started out with bitcoin, Ethereum, and IBM evaluated these particular blockchain technologies and found they were anonymous and permissionless and that many companies were looking for permissioned blockchain," stated René Bostic, Technical VP of the IBM Cloud Unit in North America, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Conventi...
In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Carl J. Levine, Senior Technical Evangelist for NS1, will objectively discuss how DNS is used to solve Digital Transformation challenges in large SaaS applications, CDNs, AdTech platforms, and other demanding use cases. Carl J. Levine is the Senior Technical Evangelist for NS1. A veteran of the Internet Infrastructure space, he has over a decade of experience with startups, networking protocols and Internet infrastructure, combined with the unique ability to it...
22nd International Cloud Expo, taking place June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and co-located with the 1st DXWorld Expo will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud ...
"Cloud Academy is an enterprise training platform for the cloud, specifically public clouds. We offer guided learning experiences on AWS, Azure, Google Cloud and all the surrounding methodologies and technologies that you need to know and your teams need to know in order to leverage the full benefits of the cloud," explained Alex Brower, VP of Marketing at Cloud Academy, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clar...
Gemini is Yahoo’s native and search advertising platform. To ensure the quality of a complex distributed system that spans multiple products and components and across various desktop websites and mobile app and web experiences – both Yahoo owned and operated and third-party syndication (supply), with complex interaction with more than a billion users and numerous advertisers globally (demand) – it becomes imperative to automate a set of end-to-end tests 24x7 to detect bugs and regression. In th...
"MobiDev is a software development company and we do complex, custom software development for everybody from entrepreneurs to large enterprises," explained Alan Winters, U.S. Head of Business Development at MobiDev, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Coca-Cola’s Google powered digital signage system lays the groundwork for a more valuable connection between Coke and its customers. Digital signs pair software with high-resolution displays so that a message can be changed instantly based on what the operator wants to communicate or sell. In their Day 3 Keynote at 21st Cloud Expo, Greg Chambers, Global Group Director, Digital Innovation, Coca-Cola, and Vidya Nagarajan, a Senior Product Manager at Google, discussed how from store operations and ...
"There's plenty of bandwidth out there but it's never in the right place. So what Cedexis does is uses data to work out the best pathways to get data from the origin to the person who wants to get it," explained Simon Jones, Evangelist and Head of Marketing at Cedexis, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
SYS-CON Events announced today that CrowdReviews.com has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 22nd International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 5–7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. CrowdReviews.com is a transparent online platform for determining which products and services are the best based on the opinion of the crowd. The crowd consists of Internet users that have experienced products and services first-hand and have an interest in letting other potential buye...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Telecom Reseller has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 22nd International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. Telecom Reseller reports on Unified Communications, UCaaS, BPaaS for enterprise and SMBs. They report extensively on both customer premises based solutions such as IP-PBX as well as cloud based and hosted platforms.