RealTime IT News

Voil�: VMware Screens New Management Tools at Cannes

VMware today unveiled a quartet of new virtualization management software applications that it says will help companies easily orchestrate the increasingly complex movement of corporate data between physical and virtual servers in the datacenter.

VMware, the leading vendor of virtualization software for x86 servers, announced the products' debut ahead of Tuesday's inaugural VMworld Europe 2008 conference in Cannes, France where more than 4,000 attendees will be chitchatting about hypervisors and one-click provisioning in between trips to the beach and some of the city's finer dining and cocktail establishments.

In September, more than 10,000 people crammed into the Moscone Center in San Francisco for VMworld 2007 where virtualization experts mingled with neophytes yearning to hear more about a technology that's revolutionizing the way companies manage, host and run multiple operating systems and applications on virtual machines.

[cob:Related_Articles]Now that CIOs are onboard and have happily embraced virtualization in the datacenter, vendors such as VMware, Microsoft, Virtual Iron, Citrix Systems' XenSource and Sun, are rolling out more automation and management tools to help companies manage this complex blend of physical and virtual machines from a single dashboard.

"We're taking virtualization to the next level," Parag Patel, vice president of alliances at VMware, told InternetNews.com. "With these new products, we’re trying to automate all the processes around virtual machines to provide a whole new level of flexibility and agility in the enterprise."

To this end, VMware on Monday rolled out Lifecycle Manager, Lab Manager, Stage Manager and Site Recovery Manager—four new and fairly self-explanatory software products designed to keep all these virtual machines and the data they hold safe, secure and manageable.

Lifecycle Manager lets users implement a consistent and automated process for requesting, approving, deploying, updating and retiring virtual machines, essentially the software equivalent of a conductor making sure all the trains continue to run on time.

Lab Manager, which is now generally available for download unlike the other three new products announced, gives the quality assurance staff an application that provides fast self-provisioning of virtual-machine-based environments while enabling IT control over policies.

Stage Manager is the prep application, providing administrators with a tool to streamline and accelerate the transition of applications through integration, testing, staging and user acceptance testing before moving into live production mode.

Site Recovery Manager offers centralized management of recovery plans, automates the recovery process and eliminates the time-consuming manual processes and testing phases required to get business-critical applications up and running after the datacenter goes dark for whatever reason.

"When there's a disaster, there's a whole set of procedures a customer has to go through to restart their applications at a secondary site," Patel said. "A lot of companies want to restart their main applications as virtual machines and this automates all those manual processes."

When VMware announced its fourth-quarter earnings in January, CFO Mark Peek said the company expects service revenues and sales from management and automation products to account for a larger portion of the company's total sales in 2008.

Of the $1.33 billion in sales VMware recorded in 2007, only about 38 percent of total sales came from its platform products—such as Virtual Infrastructure 3—while management and automation products including VMotion represented 62 percent of its total revenue.

"If you look at what we've done over the years, first we came out with the virtualization platform with the ESX Server," Patel said. "Then we added Virtual Infrastructure. Now, we're putting a third layer around it all to automate all the processes associated with virtualization."

Patel said Lifecycle Manager, Stage Manager and Site Recovery Manager will be available to customers "later this year." VMware will also provide pricing details in the months ahead.