Guest Post: Containerize Windows Desktop Apps with Glassware 2.0

The following is a guest post by John Morelli, Co-Founder of Sphere 3D, which delivers virtualization technology and data management products that enable workload-optimized solutions.

This is an exciting time for cloud. Our Glassware 2.0 containers on Microsoft Azure make it easy to deploy Windows desktop written applications from the public cloud. With Microsoft's Azure Stack, now available in Technical Preview, we are seeing the delivery of on-premises applications with cloud controls and features that are similar to the public cloud version of Azure beginning to take shape. We are excited about how Azure and Azure Stack work together to deliver a consistent set of tools to enable hybrid cloud capabilities. With this, we see many new use cases for this hybrid approach and for Glassware 2.0.

I discussed this in a live-streamed video: "The Fastest Way to Containerize Your Applications" on Feb. 8 on Microsoft's Mid-Day Café. If you missed it, please check out the archived video.

Microsoft has been making great progress in two areas we are very interested in touching on today. At Sphere 3D we are focused on providing tools that eliminate the need for multiple codebases for applications so developers can write one program and run Any App, Any Device, Anytime and of course, Anywhere. We're also focused on making hardware "fungible," so hardware components can be turned on and off, moved to and fro, as needed, wherever they are, like powerful, yet agile, building blocks.  Microsoft's Azure Stack is a major milestone in providing a fabric that can help achieve these goals.  Azure Stack's simple story is it allows developers to treat Azure and Azure Stack with Windows Server both on-premises and in the cloud seamlessly with almost no distinctions. It will allow you to choose which app delivery model works best with your business needs. 

As a company, Sphere 3D has been very fortunate to work with the Azure team over the past year to integrate Glassware 2.0 containers for Windows Desktop Applications into Azure (the "public cloud").  We also plan to leverage the Azure Stack for on-premises or "private cloud." Certainly this is a great technical feat, and one we are proud to share. 

Why is this integration so important? There are benefits distinct to both public and private cloud deployments, but a hybrid cloud allows you to have your proverbial cake and eat it, too. We believe that without integration between the two for apps, there is no way to prevent the disruption of your existing workflow and gain true application mobility. Today customers are almost forced to choose between the two ... but not for long.

Glassware 2.0 and its integration between public and private cloud via Azure and Azure Stack allows you to have all the benefits of hardware proximity, hardware innovation and security and marry it with scalability and consumption-based pricing. So now use your app in the cloud model that makes the most sense for you. It is no longer the technology that dictates your business, but your business that drives your technology decision. 

We have created one unified control pane in Glassware 2.0 for managing your applications and made the apps themselves contextually aware. In other words, when you click on an app, Glassware 2.0 knows where to send you to get the best performance. That is not something an IT admin will have to hardcode into their workflow going forward, or something a developer will need to build into his or her applications. In fact, this means most existing Windows Desktop apps can run on Glassware 2.0 and be integrated with either Azure or Azure Stack based on business needs, not technical limitations. 

We plan to release APIs that tie together Glassware 2.0 on Azure, Glassware 2.0 on Azure Stack, SnapServer (our on-premises storage) and SnapCLOUD (the only enterprise-class cloud NAS in the world also available on Azure).

Currently Glassware 2.0 is available in Azure and from the Azure Marketplace. So if you are ready to move your line of business Windows applications to a hybrid cloud model, you have the tools to do so now.

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