Microsoft Server Application Virtualization builds on the technology used in client Application Virtualization, allowing for the separation of application configuration and state from the underlying operating system. This separation and packaging enables existing Windows applications, not specifically designed for Windows Azure, to be deployed on a Windows Azure worker role. We can do this in a way where the application state is maintained across reboots or movement of the worker role. This process allows existing, on-premises applications to be deployed directly onto Windows Azure, providing yet more flexibility in how organizations can take advantage of Microsoft’s cloud capabilities. Server Application Virtualization delivers:
- Application mobility: Server Application Virtualization enables organizations to move their applications from on-premises datacenters to Windows Azure to take advantage of Windows Azure’s scalability and availability. This application mobility provides a unique level of flexibility to organizations as their needs evolve, enabling movement from one environment to another as their business needs dictate without the need to re-compile or rewrite the application.
- Simplified deployment: With Server Application Virtualization, organizations are able to virtualize applications once and then deploy these packages as needed. This process creates a method to manage applications, simply and efficiently across their Windows Server® platform or to Windows Azure.
- Lower operational costs: By using Server Application Virtualization organizations can gain the lower management benefits of the Windows Azure platform for their existing applications. This is delivered through the virtualized application being deployed on the Windows Azure platform, meaning organizations get the benefit of Windows without the need to manage a Windows Server operating instance or image for that application. With Server Application Virtualization, organizations are able to virtualize applications once and then deploy the packages this process creates, simply and efficiently across their Windows Server® platform or to Windows Azure.
Microsoft Server Application Virtualization converts traditional server applications into state separated "XCopyable" images without requiring code changes to the applications themselves, allowing you to host a variety of Windows 2008 applications on the Windows Azure worker role. The conversion process is accomplished using the Server App-V Sequencer. When the server application is sequenced, the configuration settings, services, and resources that the application uses are detected and stored. The sequenced application can then be deployed via the Server Application Virtualization Packaging Tool to the worker role in Windows Azure as a file.