Virtualization 2.0 In Spotlight At Demo 09


Startup AppZero Monday will formally launch software that for the first time allows enterprise applications to be virtualized and moved to the cloud in a matter of minutes.

The company plans to show off its new software at the DEMO 09 conference, being held this week in Palm Springs, Calif.

The software toolset allows applications and middleware from the likes of IBM, Microsoft and Oracle to be virtualized and moved into the cloud. That sets the stage for potentially saving customers hundreds of thousands and even millions of dollars in software licensing and hardware costs, said Greg O'Connor, CEO of AppZero, Boston. That ability for customers to sidestep hefty software licensing fees may be the biggest bang from virtualization 2.0 products like the one from AppZero.

"This is all about huge cost savings," O'Connor said. "We are the first technology company to allow enterprises to take their mission-critical apps and move them into the cloud. It gives those enterprises an economic footprint like"

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AppZero, formerly Trigence, ultimately opens the door for businesses to move to a pay-as-you-go model for their complex lines of business applications rather than making huge capital IT expenditures, O'Connor said. "That's why there is so much hype around cloud computing," O'Connor said. "It's the difference between buying a car vs. leasing a car, particularly with how messy the IT world is right now. It's much more efficient to lease and pay as you go. It's the flexibility to get the type of car and cost of the car that best fits your business."

The software toolset, which carries the AppZero name, is available immediately at and is priced from $500 per server application.

AppZero is one of a wave of companies at DEMO 09 focusing on providing technologies aimed at providing IT cost savings. Among the companies that DEMO has classified under smarter systems that "save time and more efficiently manage the systems on which we depend" are Jadoos, Xandros and DeskNet SA.

AppZero, for its part, is positioning its tool set as a dramatic step up from the current state of the art in virtualization, which is primarily focused on server consolidation.

The software also takes virtualization 2.0 to another level by providing functionality to allow critical business applications to easily be moved from cloud to cloud or even back to the data center, O'Connor said.

Marijan Lesko, president of MontrealNetQuest, a Montreal-based managed services provider, said the AppZero toolset is allowing clients to save as much as 50 percent on an application migration. For example, he said a $50,000 project would come in at about $25,000, saving the customer thousands of dollars in professional services fees and software licensing fees.

Lesko said that he is currently working on an AppZero proof-of-concept project for a real estate property management company that will allow the customer to upgrade its accounting and property management application without moving to Windows Server 2008 and avoid compatibility issues and new software licensing fees.

"This is going to save the customer licensing and training costs associated with a move to Windows Server 2008," Lesko said. "It would mean licensing fees not only for the OS but for the application. And it would mean a learning curve for people to be retrained on the new application."

"The biggest selling point is staying on the same operating system with the same version of the application," he said. "It's about not being forced to migrate to a new version of the application and buy licenses." At the same time, the customer can move to a new hardware platform, namely an HP Proliant server, to make the application significantly faster and more reliable, Lesko said.

"There are so many great opportunities here with this software, to be honest, we haven't even scratched the surface yet," Lesko said. "There are savings on high-end applications expertise too. You no longer need these highly paid guys to know how to handle every potential [application] problem. You don't have to rely anymore on very expensive labor. It is very sexy from our point of view because we can pass the savings on to our customers."