If you have ever been involved in configuring, installing and maintaining enterprise software, I don't have to tell you that it's time-consuming and complex. The cumbersome process of installing and tuning the operating system (OS), middleware, and database, then integrating and configuring the software is manual and error-prone. Even if you get it all correct, the process alone can delay time-to-value for the end user and introduce challenges for independent software vendors (ISVs) looking to shorten sales cycles. The whole process is daunting and expensive, discouraging customers and inhibiting sales. In order to maximize their financial return and eliminate installation and maintenance challenges, many ISVs are building appliances - versions of their product, packaged with a "just enough operating system" required to perform the desired tasks. Pre-configured for specific use cases, these compact, self-contained appliances can be deployed in a matter of minutes, requiring only last mile setup.
Posted January 11, 2010