Application virtualization has been a term that has been bandied about primarily as a method for streaming applications to the desktop from a virtual server. But the folks at a startup company called DH2i today unveiled an offering that takes a different approach to application virtualization by creating actual virtual instances of various applications.
The first iteration of the DH2i software comes in the form of DxConsole for SQL Server. According to DH2i CEO Don Boxley, the company's software is designed to create virtual instances of Microsoft SQL Server databases that can now be more easily consolidated on the same server. Boxley says DH2i chose SQL Server to focus on first because Microsoft's interfaces are comparatively open and SQL Server sprawl is a fairly common IT problem. Next up, Boxley says DH2i will come up with a version of its software for Microsoft SharePoint environments.
What's interesting about the DH2i approach is that it can be used to not only consolidate instances of SQL Server on the same physical server, but also on any VMware, Xen or Hyper-V virtual machine. This is accomplished, says Boxley, with minimal impact on SQL Server performance, while at the same time creating an opportunity to save thousands of dollars on servers.
The reason that most IT organizations have not been able to tackle database consolidation as aggressively as they would like is because databases such as Microsoft SQL Server have a lot of dependencies on hardware. The DH2i software adds a layer of software that eliminates those hardware dependencies, says Boxley.
As a technology, virtualization has been all the rage. But in terms of application software, the whole virtualization conversation has been confined to hardware. As software continues to evolve, it looks like the virtualization conversation is finally starting to move to the application layer.