Softricity speeds app virtualisation

By virtualising the application, SoftGrid aims to break the 'tyranny' of the link between operating system and application

On Monday, Softricity launched SoftGrid 4.0, a major upgrade to its software virtualisation system that allows companies to deploy applications virtually to users in a flexible way.

Companies can use SoftGrid 4.0 to virtualise all the components of an application, turning them into portable run-time "application images" that can be run on any computer the instant a user needs them.

Softricity claims that the upgraded software now makes virtualisation "a completely automated process that has been optimised for speed". Microsoft's Office suite now "takes less than 10 minutes to virtualise," the company said.

By virtualising the application, SoftGrid breaks the "tyranny of the link between operating system and application," said David Greschler, Softricity's co-founder. "If the operating system is changed, so often that breaks the application. Change the OS and you have an application that has worked find and now doesn't. Using our software you can make everything run as it should," said Greschler.

The capability to allow companies to more easily upgrade applications and OSs without worrying about breaking things — or having to deal with the burden of fixing reams of user problems when things go wrong — is one reason why Softricity is rapidly growing in popularity with a range of companies, including Microsoft.

SoftGrid 4.0 has also been optimised for speed, the company said. It combines virtualisation and on-demand streaming and allows administrators to "pre-cache" applications [stream 100 percent of the program on demand] and work in a disconnected mode. Cached applications are now locked in memory and streaming has been accelerated "by an average of 40 percent faster than previous versions", the company claimed.

SoftGrid 4.0 has also been designed to integrate directly into Microsoft's Systems Management Server (SMS). SoftGrid for SMS allows users to virtualise applications and stream them from within SMS. It has also been certified to work with virtual machines by Microsoft and VMware.

Softricity's cost is based on per-user licensing. A full license is $200 (£111) per user. Organisations using it to replace Citrix can get it for $125 per user, and those using it to add to Microsoft's Virtual Extensions for SMS can license it for $100 per user.