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rPath Targets Windows Systems for Application Installation
- By Dian Schaffhauser
A company that provides services for automating the installation of applications onto Linux servers has launched a version of its product for Windows servers. rPath has released rBuilder 5.8, which provides automated deployment of applications onto Windows Server 2003 and 2008, whether on a physical, virtual, or cloud-based server. As part of its entrée into the Windows market, the company said it has also joined Microsoft's System Center Alliance, a collection of vendors offering applications that are intended to help data center administrators manage their computer environments.
"Windows shops will see rPath's solution for automating deployment of Windows applications as a satisfying answer to a longstanding problem," said Bernd Harzog, principal analyst at The Virtualization Practice. "Maintaining code consistency is critical to the operational integrity of business critical applications in agile, dynamic, IT-as-a-service environments that are increasingly scaled out and distributed across private and public clouds. This is a particularly difficult problem with Windows applications as they are notoriously difficult to deploy, configure, and maintain because of complex dependencies that are typically discovered, resolved and tracked manually. The rPath Windows automation solution is a first-of-its-kind answer to these sorts of challenges."
According to the company, rBuilder automation capabilities include:
- Dependency resolution to resolve conflicts that can lead to deployment failures;
- Generation of standard MSI packages that are ready to deploy from a program "manifest" or inventory of required software components;
- Version and release lifecycle controls to eliminate "drift," the variations among program elements that may surface during the stages of development, testing, and production;
- Image generation or regeneration specifically targeted for physical, virtual, and cloud environments;
- MSI creation for rapid provision and updates of existing systems; and
- Cross-platform deployment of applications on multiple operating systems.
"Application deployment tasks are a vortex for time and expense in modern enterprise IT organizations," said Dan Olds, principal analyst for research and consulting firm Gabriel Consulting Group. "As IT is forced to become lean and responsive, automation is the clear answer. With Windows constituting the majority of data center applications--and arguably the majority of the deployment complexity--automation tools in this area are badly needed. We expect the rPath solution to be a relief to pent-up demand."
Dian Schaffhauser is a senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal and Campus Technology. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @schaffhauser.