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Srinivas Krishnamurti gives us the Virtual Appliances – 2007 Year in Review. Here are his highlights, but click through and check out his perspective on the beginnings and the future challenges and directions in the virtual appliance space.

  1. Virtual appliances outside the security space became a
    reality with many tier 1 ISVs building virtual appliances. BEA launched
    their LiquidVM initiative. Business Objects, IBM, McAfee and others
    have all joined in with virtual appliance editions of their software
    stacks.

  2. Customers
    were starting to buy production-ready virtual appliances. I’ve met numerous customers who bought
    virtual appliances and swear by the simplicity and ease of management they
    offer. Our marketing team will be
    posting quite a few success stories shortly.

  3. Several leading analysts initiated coverage on virtual appliances. Gartner, IDC, Forrester, Yankee Group
    and others are actively tracking virtual appliances.

  4. JeOS (Just
    Enough OS, pronounced “juice”) started to get traction within the OS
    community. Ubuntu JeOS is already
    available – kudos to the Canonical team for being the first OS vendor to take
    on Virtual Appliances. RedHat
    announced their intention to offer their version. Even though Microsoft hasn’t really
    participated in the virtual appliance space, their latest OS offers users the
    ability as part of Server Cores to install only those components that are
    required for each server installation and if they can get their licensing and
    pricing right, they could be a huge player in this space as well. I’m sure Novell and other OS vendors will
    eventually get on the bandwagon as well.

  5. Leading vendors including Dell, HP, IBM, Microsoft, VMware and XenSource
    collaborated on Open
    Virtual Machine Format
    (OVF), which was submitted to DMTF as a
    standard for packaging and distributing virtual appliances.

  6. The ecosystem
    around virtual appliances started growing with many startups either getting
    in or getting traction. rPath,
    virtualappliances.net, JumpBox, cohesiveFT stick out in this category.

  7. Several
    vendors mimicked VMware’s Virtual Appliance Marketplace with their
    own. Parallels introduced their VA
    Directory. RedHat rolled out RHX.

  8. Microsoft
    joined the party with the VHD
    Test Drive program (launched in November
    2006) to allow ISVs to redistribute Windows in a virtual machine for
    30-day evaluations.

Srinivas conceptualized and evangelized this concept from the beginning, and shepherded the VAM through its wild growth. I helped build the original site and it’s been fun watching both the traffic grow as well as the concept spread through the industry. Throughout last year and this, I’ve seen many blog posts where people are just getting the concept — maybe obvious to some, but to others (like me) it was a full-fledged lightbulb going off over my head. And now when you do a search you see ISVs and open source projects touting their latest virtual appliance releases. All this from a small seed in 2005 — pretty compelling!