With its decision to support Windows (Server 2003 R2 and above), rPath also pointed to Microsoft research that shows 47 percent of enterprise IT operating expenses are related to deployment management and incident management activities. The company also noted the increasing pressure to cut costs, while improving agility and responsiveness, as drivers for the adoption of automation solutions.
"Our success with Linux is driving demand for a solution that automates deployment and maintenance of Windows-based software systems," said Jake Sorofman, chief marketing officer for rPath, in a release. "Today, the absence of automation solutions for Windows and the complexity of .NET applications deployments make this one of the thorniest challenges in enterprise IT."
rPath will bring its automation technology to the Windows environment, complete with automated packaging and deployment of .NET and Windows apps, scalable updates, unified software automation and configuration, and release lifecycle management. This could come in pretty handy when taking these stacks to virtualized environments, be they HyperV, other hypervisors or in clouds like Amazon EC2.
In effect, the rPath automation approach helps bridge the often deep gap between design-time activities and run-time production management. The gap exists for both Linux and Windows environs, for sure. Any end-to-end automation is welcome, especially in virtualization settings.
What also intrigues me, and should interest Microsoft, is the ability to use the rPath solutions for migration and co-existence in dual production settings. A lot more enterprises are running both Windows and Linux, than are running only one or the other. I may want to be more smart, as a efficiency-minded CIO, in better picking and choosing what to run where apps-wise, and to automate more of the two platforms in some unison.
Can you say "common release automation?" Sure you can.
But that may be getting a bit ahead of the game. So let's look at each area of the new rPath offerings a little more closely.
With automated packaging and deployment, rPath customers who use Windows environments can automatically discover and resolve dependencies. What's more, policies will define how applications should be packages. This yields a self-contained, end-to-end system that's ready to deploy to any physical, virtual or cloud environment.
rPath also offers system modeling that IT admins can use to control the flow of change into deployed systems. The solution also allows IT admins to apply updates incrementally to only the components that need to be changed. This approach eliminates unnecessary changes that can lead to downtime. As rPath explains it, deep version control also offers a solid foundation to reproduce, rollback and troubleshoot apps.
For a white paper on "Automating .NET Application Deployment and Configuration" go to: http://www.rpath.com/corp/images/stories/white_papers/rPath_WP_Windows.pdf
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