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Microsoft Rolls Out Server App-V for Azure with SCVMM 2012 Beta

The beta of Microsoft's System Center Virtual Machine Manager (SCVMM) 2012, which Microsoft released earlier this week as part of the unveiling of the System Center 2012 line, includes the company's Server Application Virtualization tool for Windows Azure.

The tool, also known as Server App-V, lets developers and IT deploy existing applications to an Azure worker role without undergoing development and installation processes, Microsoft said at last year's Professional Developers Conference. Server App-V builds on the technology used in Microsoft's client Application Virtualization software, available via the Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack (MDOP), Microsoft Application Virtualization for Terminal Services and MSDN.

Server App-V is available via the SCVMM 2012 beta download here.

According to a December blog post by Kenon Owens, technical product manager for datacenter and virtualization management at Microsoft, Server App-V facilitates the separation of the application and state from the operating system, allowing for the packaging of existing Windows apps not designed for Azure to be deployed on the Azure worker role.

"This process allows existing, on-premises applications to be deployed directly onto Windows Azure, providing yet more flexibility in how organizations can take advantage of Microsoft's cloud capabilities," Owens wrote.

That will allow applications mobility, simplified management and lower operational costs, Owens explained. The apps are converted into "Xcopyable" images without requiring code changes to the apps, "allowing you to host a variety of Windows [Server] 2008 apps on the Windows Azure worker role."

Microsoft released the first community technology preview (CTP) of Server App-V in December and plans a final release by the end of the year. The Server App-V documentation is available for download here.

About the Author

Jeffrey Schwartz is editor of Redmond magazine and also covers cloud computing for Virtualization Review's Cloud Report. In addition, he writes the Channeling the Cloud column for Redmond Channel Partner. Follow him on Twitter @JeffreySchwartz.