Why Virtual Appliances
VMware partners are making their products available in virtual appliances for many reasons, but in general, virtual appliances deliver on the classical promise of disruptive technologies: Faster, Better, Cheaper.
As software vendors explore strategies to leverage the rapid growth of server virtualization and customer interest in cloud computing, virtual appliances serve as an “on ramp” to new sales, distribution and licensing models. Whether an appliance is intended to be a platform for demonstrating software, a commercial product, or a demo that can easily be activated as a fully-featured product after purchasing an appropriate license, VMware partners are developing ready-to-run virtual machines that are easy for customers to download, commission and run.
The expanding VMware installed base provides a universally compatible platform for theses products. Further, the recent Gartner, Inc.'s X86 Virtualization Server Magic Quadrant positions VMware in the Leader’s Quadrant. VMware partners can be confident in making VMware their platform of choice in any move to the cloud.
What’s a VMware Ready Virtual Appliance?
Software appliances aren’t a new idea. Technology vendors have packaged specialized systems on dedicated commodity hardware to deliver high-value functionality such as storage, networking and security for many years. Standardizing the product and taking installation and basic configuration out of the hands of the end user increased reliability and reduced installation time and support costs. It also raised the cost of the product. This is acceptable for high-cost products, but software vendors seeking a lower price point can’t easily take advantage of the traditional appliance model.
Appliances built on virtual machines changed the game entirely. Any software product can easily be pre-packaged and delivered in a virtual machine, and can run anywhere that a compatible hypervisor is available. End users skip hardware and operating system preparation, and can usually ignore device compatibility. The software can be installed and in use in minutes, and can easily provide a complete demonstration configuration.
Anyone can build a VMware-compatible virtual appliance. There are no licenses required, and the tools that help with configuration are all free from VMware or available from other vendors. Many vendors choose to build and deliver appliances in partnership with VMware, taking advantage of the VMware Ready logo program and the VMware VMware Solution Exchange. By packaging a VMware Ready qualified product in a VMware qualified virtual appliance, partners take advantage of preferred exposure and the highest standard of VMware partnership.
A VMware Ready Virtual Appliance begins with qualifying a VMware Ready product. Members of VMware’s Technology Alliance Partner (TAP) program can download the VMware Ready Program Guide and begin testing their product for this qualification. After approval for the VMware Ready logo, the base software product is built as a Virtual Appliance to VMware Virtual Appliance requirements using VMware Studio or an equivalent product. Following successful evaluation of the appliance by VMware, the appliance will be listed on the VMware VMware Solution Exchange with the VMware Ready logo designation.
The VMware Ready logo qualification is not required to develop a virtual appliance, but it provides the highest level and endorsement and visibility from VMware. Listing a product in the VMware Ready program is strongly recommended as an incremental step to successfully marketing an appliance. You can find VMware Ready Virtual Appliances on the VMware Solution Exchange.
Who Delivers VMware Ready Virtual Appliances?
You can find compatible VMware applications and cloud infrastructure partner products and solutions on the VMware Solution Exchange.
The VMware Solution Exchange (VSX) allows customers to discover, evaluate and expedite the buying process. Customers can easily explore VMware partner solutions and developer-provided virtual appliances in a single location, download collateral, get free trials, and watch a demonstration.