In discussions with enterprise customers about virtual appliances, an interesting conflict seems to exist. There is strong agreement that virtual appliances are great for getting up and running with a new application very quickly, but the folks we’ve spoken with indicated that appliances are really more trouble than they’re worth for production deployment.
Well, it seems that enterprises typically have a little thing known as “configuration standards” that they must adhere to when they deploy any production infrastructure. And most virtual appliances probably won’t adhere to those internal configuration standards.
Therefore, they say that virtual appliances will rock for evaluations and dev/test use, but when it comes to production implementation they would rather stand up one of their own approved, compliant OS builds in a VM – then deploy the vendor’s application on top of that standardized build.
And here is another idea: use Tripwire Enterprise to define a policy that tests for compliance with your internal configuration policies, then assess your virtual appliance to see if it passes muster before deploying it.
What about you? Is this (or will this be) an issue for your organization? How are you planning to deal with it?