Chapter 20. Ten Cool Virtual Appliances

Virtual appliances are a really cool idea. If you drink coffee, think about your coffee machine for a moment. It is a single device that is preconfigured to perform the glorious function of making coffee. It's a coffee appliance.

Virtual appliances are very similar. They are preconfigured virtual machines that perform a certain function. I haven't tried many appliances on this list, but they did catch my interest and appliances can get certified by VMware. Many appliances are free and some are available for purchase. Here are some virtual appliances that I found interesting. Bear in mind that most appliances are Linux-based to skirt vendor licensing costs.

There are two things that make virtual appliances beneficial:

  • The are free or low-cost systems.

  • They are already designed and built so you do not have to spend time doing that yourself.

    Warning

    Just because you don't have to design the application and server itself does not mean you are off the hook. You still need to carefully design the integration of virtual appliances into your existing environment.

PostPath Server

www.vmware.com/appliances/directory/1089

PostPath (see Figure 20-1) is a Linux-based, e-mail and collaboration platform. It natively supports Active Directory, Exchange, and Outlook. It can also be used with Active Sync and BlackBerry devices. This appliance is described as a drop-in replacement for Exchange that uses native Exchange protocols for complete integration at roughly 1/5 ...

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