The Realm of the Verbal Processor

Jarvis's Ramblings

Microsoft Enterprise Desktop Virtualization

Today I went to a Microsoft virtualization event called getVirtualnow. It was an okay event. I got to play with Hyper-V in a few hands on labs. One of the highlights was when the Delivery Director from Virteva (the company I work for) introduced me to a couple of the Microsoft guys that he used to work with. One of them was named Geoff Choi (I think I spelled that correctly). He was one of the presenters for the third session. He was doing a demo of App-V 4.5 as well as Microsoft Enterprise Desktop Virtualization (MED-V).

Now…I know you are asking…what in the world is MED-V? Do you remember earlier this year when Microsoft announced that they had bought a company called Kidaro? MED-V is what Microsoft has done with Kidaro.

For those who don’t know what this is, I will try to explain it in layman’s terms. App-V is application virtualization. You package an application and can easily stream it to workstations. It makes packaging and deploying apps really easy. And upgrades? Even easier. One limitation of App-V is that you can’t use it to remediate application compatibility issues. The application must be able to install in order to be packaged and deployed in App-V. What this means is that if a program will not run under Windows Vista…you cannot use App-V to get it to magically work on Vista. However…

MED-V doesn’t just virtualize the applications…it also virtualizes the underlying OS. So…when you package the application, you also package the parts of a back level OS that is necessary for the application to run properly. To the user, it is seamless. It just looks like a normal program. But behind the scenes, it has loaded what is necessary to run. Pretty cool. And honestly…game changing.

One of the things you can do with MED-V is that you could package the apps you need up and put them on a USB memory stick…and run them from the memory stick. You can set the memory stick to expire after a length of time. Imagine having a contractor come into your company that you need to give access to your company’s systems. Instead of needing to obtain and provision a computer for the contractor…let him use his own laptop and give him a USB key that securely connects to your company’s system.

One of the key bits of info…was the release date of MED-V. The last I had heard was the it was going to be released 1st Half of 2009…which I (and most sane people) would interpret as most likely late June. Well…according to the guy I talked to at Microsoft, the bits are complete. It will go RTM soon, with general availability of January 1, 2009. Very cool.

October 21, 2008 - Posted by | Microsoft


  1. […] it: Published Wednesday, October 22, 2008 7:54 AM by rodtrent Filed under: Virtualization, App-V, […]

    Pingback by Jarvis back from Virtual Road show – tells why Med-V will beat out App-V - Rod Trent at | October 22, 2008

  2. So…how does that fit in the MS product catalog with Softgrid?

    Comment by Matt Turkington | October 22, 2008

  3. Hey Turk,
    Softgrid has been renamed to App-V. Microsoft bought Softgrid a while back and rolled it into MDOP. It got to version 4.2 before they dropped the Softgrid name. App-V 4.5 is the first version without the Softgrid name.

    Comment by Jarvis | October 22, 2008

  4. Love the blog Jarvis, but I think a couple of things should be clarified – App-v can deal with app to app compatibility issues and will continue to have value there. It has these benefits in addition to the streaming/updating benefits you described. And while I don’t know specifically how big a Med-V delivered app will be relative to an App-V delivered app, I think it would be safe to say it will be much larger. As a result, I think Med-V will have value, but as storage is not unlimited, we won’t see wholesale deliver of every app via Med-V in the future.

    Comment by Fitz | October 23, 2008

  5. Good clarificatioin Fitz. App-V definitely has much more applications than just what I wrote in the post. Definitely some unknowns with Med-V…and I don’t think it is at all intended to be a replacement to App-V…more of a complimentary solution to bridge what App-V isn’t capable of doing.

    First time I saw App-V in action was at MMS 2006 I think (memory is a bit fuzzy). This is before Microsoft bought Softgrid. The Softgrid booth had a computer that was simultaneously running Access 97, 2000, and 2003. That was really impressive.

    Comment by Jarvis | October 23, 2008

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