In brief, Microsoft SoftGrid helps IT shops lower costs and enhance service by reducing the complexity and labor involved in deploying applications to desktops, portable computers, and terminal servers, as well as the complexity of keeping applications up-to-date. The fact that SoftGrid runs applications locally is a key difference from past attempts at virtualization, based on technologies such as Microsoft Windows Server® Terminal Server or Citrix. Because that approach required applications to be centrally hosted and centrally run, it led to mushrooming growth in servers, along with an increase in both hardware purchase costs and hardware maintenance costs. Furthermore, to prevent application conflicts in multi-tenancy situations, IT shops had to create separate instances of servers to host the various applications—a practice that further encouraged the growth of server silos and that resulted in increased management complexity and higher administrative costs.
In contrast, SoftGrid technology offers the ability to deliver and manage applications centrally while allowing client computers to run the applications locally. This approach reduces both hardware proliferation issues and multi-tenancy application conflicts. It also provides all the benefits of SaaS—such as ease of access, ease of
distribution, and ease of management—to earlier client-server applications.