Another great day in Barcelona and the expo floor opened a short time ago for the day. I was trolling the expo floor again trying to get more of those rubber bouncing balls that flash colored lights when you bounce them. Anyone with small kids will know that you have to bring home enough for each kid. I caught up with Thorbjörn Sjövold , CTO of Special Operation Software and asked him a few questions about Virtual Deploy.
SeanDô – So Thorbjörn, you and I met for the first time last year at this event. Tell me what Specops has developed in that year for App-V.
TS – Specops Virtual Deploy gives the medium and small size organizations the ideal solution to benefit from Microsoft App-V without heavy investment in infrastructure and education. Specops Virtual Deploy extends Group Policy to natively, i.e. not through the Windows Installer wrapper, to deploy and un-deploy App-V packages, with full feedback on the exact error messages if anything fails. Specops Virtual Deploy also automatically installs the Microsoft App-V client, all needed prerequisites, and adds a full UI inside the Microsoft group policy management tools to configure all aspects of the Microsoft App-V client. Specops Virtual Deploy introduces the same Target mechanism as in Group Policy Preferences, adding a very fine granular approach to the way App-V packages are being deployed. By using Microsoft Advanced Group Policy Management (AGPM), also included in the Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack (MDOP) together with App-V, it is possible to add version control and workflow management to App-V Package Deployments with Specops Virtual Deploy.
SeanDô – That sounds really interesting. So, these organizations may not have SCCM deployed and could use Specops to fill that gap. Is that the only business value in Virtual Deploy?
TS– By leveraging the customer’s existing investment in infrastructure and training, the additional investment to gain the benefits of application virtualization with Microsoft App-V is drastically reduced. Using only Active Directory and Group Policy, sequenced applications can be deployed to any computer without even having to consider the prerequisites of the Microsoft App-V client, using tools and techniques that are already in place in the organization. Since Specops Virtual Deploy is a Group Policy extension, the investment in MDOP is also leveraged even further since AGPM will enable the management of the Specops Virtual Deploy enabled Group Policy Objects to be both version controlled and managed in a workflow fashion.
SeanDô – I love the added tie in to Advanced Group Policy Management as well, Thorbjörn. When is Virtual Deploy going to be available?
TS – Specops Virtual Deploy 1.0 is generally available from October 11th 2008 from www.specopssoft.com/products/specops-virtual-deploy and will be showcased at Microsoft TechEd:IT Professionals in Barcelona, Spain 3-7 2008 November. Contact email@example.com for more information.
Thanks for a great chat Thorbjörn and for the details on Virtual Deploy.Sean Donahue is a Sr. Program Manager in System Center Alliances. If you are an ISV who has an integration point with App-V or MDOP please contact Sean