Virtual Appliance (VA) is defined as a pre-configured image – combining operating system, application and configuration into a single image – designed and optimized to run on a specific hypervisor (KVM, XEN, or VMware). You can further optimize the operating system to only include the packages you need to create a secure and efficient image. By excluding the unnecessary components you effectively reduced your security risk.
Virtual Appliance simplifies the application deployment process; it is particularly a useful tool for software vendors as it will shorten the sales cycle, extends the application deployment to the cloud and reduces the support load significantly as it eliminates the pre-configuration and installation challenges.
A virtual appliance is also a very useful solution for enterprise system administrators as it simplifies application packaging and deployment; it eliminates the pre-installation process (choosing hardware, operating system version, patches, and applications). It also increases the efficiency during post-installation process, since they do not have to fine tune, update and optimize every single virtual machine.
Updates are made easy and automatic, when you deploy your virtual appliance out on the field all the machines are running the same image, therefore you can create a single patch/application update and push those to your entire virtual appliances at the same time, as a result, you will save time and money.
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