Home Simple Software Deployment Using Virtualization

Simple Software Deployment Using Virtualization

Deploying complex software applications can be a real headache. Getting systems running can take many days of skilled effort to install all the underlying components required. Software houses and development shops will perform many installations during a system’s life cycle, for testing, demonstration, trade shows and so on.

Each time an install is performed, somebody must run through a long list of instructions. But it does not have to be like this. Instead of shipping a DVD and a 20-page installation guide, software companies can ship their software installed and configured on a Virtual Machine. The machine can contain all the prerequisites such as database, Web server and the language runtime libraries. Installation just requires the virtualization software and some space on the computer to run it.

For a software house, shipping your software pre-installed in this way can have some serious benefits. If you equip your sales team with the latest version on their laptops, they will be able to overcome those tricky situations where customers have no Internet connection, or due to corporate IT they only have Internet Explorer 6 available.

Support and maintenance can be simplified too. If you support many tailored versions of your product, you can keep each variation as a separate virtual machine in an archive. When a bug fix or an upgrade needs to be applied, it can be tested easily on the virtual machine for the previous version, which minimizes developer downtime.

Trial Systems

If you want to offer users a trial of your software, deploying a VM is an attractive way to minimise resistance as all the difficult setup steps have gone away. It could even be hosted in the cloud if hardware is not available to host the trial. Amazon EC2 has a large library of applications already pre-configured as machine images. Many of the Linux distributions also offer virtual machine images for download as well as the very popular live CDs.

Watch Out for Software Licensing

Before conquering the world with an army of virtual machines there is one problem to be aware of. If some of the software dependencies are commercial products like Oracle, Windows or SQL Server, then there are licensing implications everytime you run up another instance of the virtual machines. This is where some of the platform decisions made early on can come back to haunt you. If your software is built on the LAMP stack you are home safe; Java too. The most likely problems would be around choices of database server, application server and operating system.

Each time the virtual machine gets used it saves all that setup time. How can you afford to not be using virtualization?

Image source: uzbeckistan

About ReadWrite’s Editorial Process

The ReadWrite Editorial policy involves closely monitoring the tech industry for major developments, new product launches, AI breakthroughs, video game releases and other newsworthy events. Editors assign relevant stories to staff writers or freelance contributors with expertise in each particular topic area. Before publication, articles go through a rigorous round of editing for accuracy, clarity, and to ensure adherence to ReadWrite's style guidelines.

Get the biggest tech headlines of the day delivered to your inbox

    By signing up, you agree to our Terms and Privacy Policy. Unsubscribe anytime.

    Tech News

    Explore the latest in tech with our Tech News. We cut through the noise for concise, relevant updates, keeping you informed about the rapidly evolving tech landscape with curated content that separates signal from noise.

    In-Depth Tech Stories

    Explore tech impact in In-Depth Stories. Narrative data journalism offers comprehensive analyses, revealing stories behind data. Understand industry trends for a deeper perspective on tech's intricate relationships with society.

    Expert Reviews

    Empower decisions with Expert Reviews, merging industry expertise and insightful analysis. Delve into tech intricacies, get the best deals, and stay ahead with our trustworthy guide to navigating the ever-changing tech market.