April 24, 2006, 2:29 PM — Softricity launched SoftGrid 4.0 on Monday, an upgrade to its software virtualization system that allows companies to deploy virtual applications flexibly. It allows enterprises can virtualize any Windows application and make it available to computers worldwide within minutes, while supporting end-users with new remote help features that further reduce application management costs.
SoftGrid 4.0 turns locally installed Windows applications into virtual network services that are centrally managed and deployed on-demand-without any recoding-to any desktop, server, laptop or virtual machine. They run in a protected "sandbox" environment without installation or alteration to the host operating system, and without conflicting with any other applications.
The latest version makes applications easier to deploy because, said the company's David Gretschler: "We've built more comprehensive virtual engine. It has more features, including the ability to install programs you're logged in or not. It can turn the virtual service on or off when the program needs it -- it's virtualized. Essentially, it's about removing dependencies between the application and the OS."
What that means, said Gretschler, is that applications become entirely portable. "It's not just about the application but what the user has done with it -- personalization. We've virtualized that whole layer. Previously, such changes are stored in the registry -- they were part of the virtual registry in previous versions which means you were tied to that virtual instance of that application. We have now separated them out even more so users' preferences follow them.
"Additionally, when an application needs to be passed from the central server to an end user, we don't pass the whole application down, just the changes, which is especially important for those on slow remote links." This speeds up streaming by about 40 percent, he said. According to the company's official statement, installed software now becomes an on-demand, available-anywhere service that solve many of the challenges inherent in application deployment, testing, security, help-desk support and business continuity.
It improves the patching process too, according to Gretschler. "Previously, the application of patches used to mean that all sessions stopped and users were re-routed to the new file. Now you can put new file on the server, and when users restart the application they are reconnected to the new version of the application. You can still remotely disconnect people from a session for licensing reasons."
The new product's benefits include: