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Altiris Software Virtualization Solution (SVS)

Written by Walid on Monday, April 06, 2009

Greetings techy geeks,

I recently discovered this new beast and I thought of sharing it with all of you here!

Altiris Software Virtualization Solution (SVS) from Symantec is one of the best concepts I've come through in IT. SVS is a software virtualization application which allows you to instantly install, uninstall, activate, deactivate, or reset applications and to completely avoid conflicts between applications, DLL conflicts, registry changes...etc.

Altiris SVS works by capturing all changes made during installation of a particular application into managed units called Virtual Software Packages (VSP), which acts as a layer on top of the operating system. Each layer which different application can be loaded independently and with protected access to OS, making any defective or poorly written programs unable to damage the system. In fact, any problematic or troubled software application installed under SVS supervision can just be uninstalled or deactivated easily by turning off, disabling or deleting the layer.

How does it work?

Let's say I want to install iTunes, which would take a lot of resources and kind of mess my registry and add a lot of DLL. To do so, I first start Altiris SVS and create a new Application layer which I name: iTunes. I will then hit next and point SVS to the EXE of this application. SVS will automatically run the executable and catch ALL changes made to my PC: new files, new folders, registry change, DLL... These changes will be placed in the layer I have created.

This layer is now active, in bold. I can now right click on that layer and deactivate it, this will simply "undo" and "delete" everything about iTunes (you will notice the shortcut disappears on the Desktop). I can later activate it and whooops, here it is again! I can make this layer starts automatically when the PC starts, hence making iTunes start automatically, or I can leave it deactivated and activate it once I need it.

The added advantage of Altiris Software Virtualization Solution is users can install and use two similar, conflicting or can’t co-exists software of different version into two separate VSP layers, and loads anyone of them alternately as and when needed. SVS can also wipe out a problem program, reset a program to its just-installed state. For example, the user can keep an essential production program in place while also testing a beta of the next version. Even more, the user can transfer an installed program to another SVS-equipped computer simply by transferring the layer. So I can install Firefox 3.1 beta on top of my Firefox 3.0.7, because I have it in a layer that I can deactivate and activate the .1 layer instead!

Try it by yourself! Start with simple programs like Winzip and see the difference!

This version is the same as the regular commercial product shipped by Altiris, minus the server-side components for centralized management. It is Free for personal use, you will need to get the license from the link below.

Download Here
License: SVS Personal Use EULA - Altiris, Inc.

The World's Greatest SVS Demo | Symantec Connect
How to Create an Application Layer using SVS | Symantec Connect
SVS Application Capturing Tutorial (in English & Italian) | Symantec Connect
Altiris Demo Player


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