Application Virtualization

We are all familiar with the benefits of server virtualization - efficient utilization of resources, reduced power, cooling and floor space costs - to name a few. When I begin to discuss application virtualization with a customer, more often that not, I am interrupted and told, "we already have VMWare."

From Wikipedia, "Application virtualization is an umbrella term that describes software technologies that improve portability, manageability and compatibility of applications by encapsulating them from the underlying operating systems on which they are executed."

Virtualized applications are deployed to the desktop, or even a USB drive and operate independently of the operating system. The self-contained virtualized app will have its own registry settings, DLL's and other initializaton files. What are the good use-cases for application virtualizaton?

* Run older versions of software on today's operating system, Vista for example.
* Run incompatible versions of software side-by-side.
* Protect the underlying operating system from a buggy application.
* Improve security by isolating the application from the operating system.

One of my customers has a large desktop support team with a set of applications they regularly use to perform their work. We were able to create virtualized applications on a USB drive that the team can carry. They can plug the USB drive into a machine, peform their work without installing or leaving any code on the machine.

Today's tools make application virtualization incredibly easy and relatively inexpensive. Some analysts estimate that application virtualization can reduce the cost of testing, packaging and supporting an application by as much as 60%.

More information application virtualization is available here:


How To-Best Practice
Comment List
  • Did you get anywhere with CS4?

    We are looking at Application Virtulisation & CS4 is a key target..

  • Is there any information on the use of ODBC in relation to virtualized applications? I am presently attempting to virtualize a SQL based database client that requires ODBC. So far after numerous attempts, same error;

    Xencode Virtual Appliance Runtime

    There has been an error starting this virtual appliance, Error code: 0x00Z2

    Can anyone help?
  • Send an e-mail to with your contact information and we will see if we can help with your questions regarding virtualization of Adobe products.

    Your comments about the knowledgebase and support forums lacking material on ZAV is much appreciated. We have brought this to the attention of product management, your note helps to support our request - thank you.
  • I too really like this product. But I've hit a hurdle with deploying Adobe CS4 as a Virtual App. My issue really is where to turn for support? The issue seems to be ZAV's inability to deal with the Adobe suite. We don't have 'support incidents' to burn (we are a college) and the support forums and kb seem very light on answers, heavy with questions.
    I really hope Novell don't let this great app suffer the all-too-common 'death by lack of support'.
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