Microsoft Unveils Desktop Virtualization Tool
MED-V one of six applications in Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack, requires Software Assurance license
- By Jim Barthold
The first version of Microsoft's desktop virtualization tool was announced last week.
The tool, called Microsoft Enterprise Desktop Virtualization (MED-V) 1.0, is not a standalone product, but one of six applications in the Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack (MDOP). In order to get MED-V 1.0 (along with the whole MDOP 2009 suite), a Software Assurance license is required.
Organizations typically can use MED-V to run older applications on a newer Windows operating system. The "legacy" apps and OS become a virtualized desktop.
"MED-V bridges the application compatibility gap between current versions of Windows and legacy Windows-based applications by allowing enterprises to move desktops completely to newer versions of Windows," explained Steve Thomas, senior support escalation engineer at Microsoft, in a team blog.
Desktop virtualization isn't the same as application virtualization. Desktop virtualization addresses the incompatibility between an application and the operating system.
Application virtualization, on the other hand, deals with the incompatibility between two applications. It lets the two apps run on the same operating system while in virtualized runtime environments. Microsoft's App-V, part of MDOP, enables application virtualization.
MED-V essentially helps IT pros upgrade the Windows OS without interrupting the flow of business. The benefits of MED-V 1.0, according to Microsoft, include:
- Central creation, deployment and updating of PC images throughout the enterprise;
- Provisioning virtual images and user policies by business affiliation and requirements;
- Accelerating OS upgrades; and
- Simplifying IT integration by allowing two IT environments to run concurrently.
Subscribers to TechNet or MSDN (Microsoft Developer Network) can evaluate MED-V 1.0, along with Software Assurance licensees. Microsoft volume licensees can get it here.
Jim Barthold is a freelance writer based in Delanco, N.J. covering a variety of technology subjects.