Application virtualization creates a layer between an app and the operating system, tricking the app into thinking it is directly interacting with the OS. This technique allows the app to function properly without actually accessing the OS’s capabilities. The virtualization layer acts as a mediator between the app and the OS.
FAQ: What is Application Virtualization?
In the world of software development, application virtualization is a technique that allows applications to run on a specific operating system without interfering with other applications or the operating system itself. Essentially, it lets applications run in their own little sandbox, separate from the operating system and any other applications that might be running.
How does Application Virtualization work?
A standard app is tricked by application virtualization into thinking it interacts directly with an operating system’s capabilities when, in reality, it does not. A virtualization layer that is inserted between the app and the OS is necessary for this trick. When the app tries to access a particular file or system function, the virtualization layer intercepts the request and redirects it to a virtual equivalent instead – something that simulates that file or function so that the app thinks it’s interacting with the real thing.
For example, if an application tries to write a file to a specific location on the hard drive, the virtualization layer intercepts the request and writes the file instead to a virtual location that the app cannot see. Similarly, if an application tries to access a particular registry key or DLL, the virtualization layer simulates a similar-looking key or DLL so that the app thinks it’s interacting with the real thing.
What are the benefits of Application Virtualization?
There are several benefits to using application virtualization:
- Compatibility: Applications can be run on different operating systems or versions of an operating system without incompatibility issues. This is because the virtualization layer simulates the operating system features and hardware the app needs.
- Portability: Because applications are encapsulated and separated from the operating system and other applications, they can be easily moved between systems without causing conflicts.
- Isolation: Applications run in their own little sandbox, which means that if an application crashes or has a security issue, it won’t affect the rest of the system or other applications.
What are some common use cases for Application Virtualization?
Here are some examples of when application virtualization might be used:
- Legacy applications: Organizations might need to run an old application that is no longer compatible with newer systems or software. Application virtualization allows the application to be run in a virtual environment without interfering with the newer system or software.
- Testing and development: Developers might use application virtualization to test their apps in different operating system environments without needing to set up multiple systems or installing different versions of operating systems.
- BYOD: Application virtualization can be used in a bring-your-own-device (BYOD) environment, allowing employees to run company applications on their own devices without needing to install the application natively.
Application virtualization is a useful technique for running applications on specific operating systems without interfering with other applications or the operating system itself. By simulating the operating system features and hardware the application needs, application virtualization allows for greater compatibility, portability, and isolation. It is a useful tool for running legacy applications, testing and development, and supporting a BYOD environment.