Virtualization and Systems Management: Filling the Holes

Where are the holes? For providers of Windows-compatible management solutions, that’s a fair question to ask—especially when Microsoft is busily acquiring products in new areas. In the virtualization market, systems management provider matrix42 asked that question—and the result is a partnership with application virtualization provider Thinstall.

“We looked at the roadmap and we saw virtualization on the rise. Their technology fits nicely with our product,” Chris Tamblyn, CEO of matrix42, says.

matrix42’s Empirum suite of systems management software combined with Thinstall’s application virtualization solution offers a way to manage system upgrades and software deployments while keeping the desktop environment secure. “matrix42 products already do systems management. The Thinstall partnership provides more management options , especially in virtual management. Thinstall enhances application delivery and management for customers,” Tamblyn says.

“Thinstall makes it easier to deploy and manage virtualized applications, improves support for legacy apps, and improves IT service. It lets you take a client-server app and reduce it to a single executable and leaves no footprint behind,” adds Rich Ashe, matrix42 vice-president of marketing. “Empirum keeps endpoints stable. There are no images—it’s a hardware-independent install. It can mimic the native Windows and Linux install.”

A matrix42 customer might use Empirum software to manage hundreds of thousands of endpoints, including desktops, cash registers, and handhelds. The company’s target market is between smaller companies that use LANDesk and enterprise companies that use Altiris, they say. Or Microsoft Systems Management Server (SMS). The real challenge, they add, is that Microsoft is putting pressure on its customers to use SMS. Hence the question, “where are the holes?”

“The data center is becoming a utility model. Utility models create a high barrier, which works against what business users want, which is the latest and greatest,” Tamblyn says. “There’s a current swing to centralization. The next pendulum swing will come from the application side. Encryption of data is also important; our data encryption solution will be announced in 2008. Everyone wants to encrypt the endpoint but they're created a lot of doorstops—we think we can deliver security compliance.”

For more information about matrix42’s Empirum suite and Thinstall, which VMware plans to acquire, see

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