Buzz as Hive goes virtual

Australian company uses VMware

Virtualisation has risen to prominence as a method for improving hardware utilisation, but one Australian software company is using the technology to reduce the integration effort required of its applications.

Perth-based digital asset management vendor HarvestRoad is releasing its applications in the form of a “virtual appliance” that should reduce operating system integration work.

HarvestRoad’s chief technology officer, John Rowling, says the company has used VMWare’s virtualisation platform internally for some time and, with many customers also using it, there was an opportunity to simplify delivery of its “Hive” application.

“VMWare allows us to make best use of the computing hardware we have [and] we can develop software on a range of different platforms,” Rowling says. “The application we ship is complex and requires integration with other systems. Our objective is to use the VMWare virtual appliance to allow us to deploy Hive [virtually].”

HarvestRoad will shortly begin shipping a fully developed “system on a disk” including the operating system, database, web server, Hive and a delivery system.

“Customers can run the app and [not] have to worry about integrating it into a learning management system,” Rowling says. “This makes life a lot easier as customers can see the app in a way they want to use.”

Hive is classed as a “federated digital repository” for most types of content, with some aspects of a document management system. Any digital asset can be stored in the repository and the content can then be presented in a learning management system. The virtual appliance will ship as a DVD and can be installed into any existing VMWare environment. “No special development was required as we already use VMWare inhouse,” Rowling says.

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