There are three versions of SharePoint 2010 that will be available in late September: Foundation, Standard and Enterprise. Each of these three versions are rich with features and functionality. It is the perfect tool to help drive collaboration, communication and improved workflow. It will be available as a Virtual Appliance, a Virtual Machine, or on a Dedicated Server. SharePoint 2010 has many exciting new features to offer customers, and many previously enterprise level features are available on the Foundation ($0.00 per user) edition. Microsoft has vastly improved the search functionality, and has been able to integrate much of Office into their SharePoint 2010 offering. For example, calendars sync with Outlook, Word, Excel and Access can all be opened within SharePoint 2010, and even Microsoft Visual Studio. SharePoint 2010 also has features from social networking sites such as being able to create profiles for each user identifying areas of expertise, giving status updates and integrating audio and video.
Hosting.com will be one of the first hosting companies to offer SharePoint 2010 as a Virtual Appliance. The basic idea behind a Virtual Appliance is to be able to deliver software packages faster, better and cheaper. It is important to differentiate that a Virtual Appliance is not just a Virtual Machine, but rather, it is a software image with software stacked inside of a Virtual Machine. Similar to a physical machine, a Virtual Machine is just the platform for running an Operating System. It will launch out of our portal as an OVF deployment from Hosting.com’s Virtual Appliance Repository, and it also has RAM and CPU pre-configured.
By using the virtual appliance we have standardized the product and taken installation and basic configuration out of the hands of the user. This will increase reliability, reduce installation time and decrease the need for support. The customer essentially skips hardware and Operating System preparation, and hardware compatibility is usually not an issue. Within a few clicks and less than ten minutes, the Virtual Appliance can be used by the customer. Virtual Appliances represent the future groundwork for software deployment methods.
Please view this short video to get additional insight into the virtual appliance deployment and a look at SharePoint 2010.