Another change unveiled Wednesday that may intrigue IT departments is what VMware calls linked clones, or the ability to create clones of a VM. In a company with many virtualized desktops, the administrator can create a VM with the right apps and the OS, then clone just the apps potion for all of the users' VMs. Those clones would simply point to the OS portion of the original.
VMware's ThinApp technology wraps the applications in a bubble that's separate from the OS, so the OS stays very clean. Patches only need to be applied once to the original.
"On the application storage side, this leads to enormous savings," Balkansky says, because the OS doesn't have to be stored over and over.
While IT departments continue to move more slowly on desktop virtualization than server virtualization, the ability to move a VM from the office to the laptop and back again is a crucial step forward for VMware.
In other news at VMworld Wednesday, Herrod announced that vCenter Server, the upcoming replacement to VMware's Virtual Center suite of management tools, will be offered as a virtual appliance running on Linux. Today, Virtual Center runs only on Windows. This announcement drew the most applause of the morning from the audience.
The move should simplify configuration and installation for customers, as well as please those who have standardized on Linux and don't want to run a Windows server just to run vCenter, Balkansky says.
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