Thomas Pedersen, CEO of Roozz, and Jesper Thomsen, VP of Sales and Marketing, and I struggled to finish a briefing on the company and its product. The Gods of Skype weren't in favor of the conversation and the the connection was lost many times. If I was able to understand the company's product and focus, the goal is packaging up Windows applications so that they might be quickly delivered to Windows desktops from a Website.
Roozz is a new competitor in the world of application virtualization.
What is application virtualization?Application virtualization is defined in the following way in Virtualization: A Manager's Guide, my O'Reilly Media book.
Client-side application virtualizationThe client-side form of application virtualization creates a protected environment that makes it possible for applications to be isolated from one another and from the base operating system. This means that applications that could not successfully reside on the same client system could be used together. This prevents the “library version mismatch” problem with Windows applications.
It also means that an application designed for an earlier version of the operating system may continue to function on a newer version of that operating system, even though it would be incompatible without being placed in a virtual environment.
This is very useful when an organization is in the process of upgrading from one operating system version to another and can’t upgrade the application.
Another use is delivering applications or application components to a target client system as needed. Application virtualization also makes it possible for those applications or application components to either remain on the client system for later use or be automatically removed after they have been used.
Server-side application virtualizationPlacing server-side applications in a virtual environment offers many of the same benefits as client-side application virtualization. Applications that are normally incompatible with one another can be made to work together. Applications that might be incompatible with new versions of an operating system can continue to be used. Server-side application virtualization offers a few other valuable functions as well. Multiple instances of an application can be automatically started on other machines when the workload is no longer meeting service-level guidelines. This could mean faster performance or being able to handle workload requests from a larger number of people.
Another important benefit is that applications can be restarted upon failure. While this is not the same thing as a high availability cluster, it can be very valuable.
Snapshot analysisMany suppliers are offering products to virtualize applications and deliver them to client systems. Roozz is entering a highly competitive market containing a number of established suppliers. What Roozz had to say reminded me of capabilities offered by AppZero, Citrix XenApp, Endeavors Technology, Microsoft App-V, Spoon and VMware ThinApp. I'm sure if I thought about it a bit more, I could come up with several more players in this market.
The differentiator that Roozz mention if asked how it is going to compete is that it has developed a Browser plug-in that facilitates the delivery of the encapsulated application. It is not clear to me what Web Browsers Roozz supports nor is it clear when and if the company will deliver applications to non-Windows client systems. I can't help but wonder if Roozz is entering the market just as others are moving on to more difficult challenges, such as delivering applications to Smartphones, Tablets and other non-Windows client systems.
One of Citrix's favorite demonstrations is to start an application on a Windows-based system, say at the worker's own desk, move to a Mac and contine using the application, say at a co-worker's desk, and then switch to a Smartphone or a Tablet, say while the staff member is in a taxi on the way to the airport. Roozz isn't in a position today to show a similar demonstration.