RealTime IT News

Virtualization Management, Cassatt-Style

Server virtualization startup Cassatt today trotted out a new piece of software that manages the virtual workloads of VMware, Xen and Microsoft.

Cassatt Collage Cross-Virtualization Manager -- the company calls it XVM -- manages physical and virtual machines to combat the burden of computer systems running several operating systems at once. XVM is a complement to Cassatt's Web Automation Module (WAM) Java virtualization product.

Virtualization is a red-hot technology used to allow multiple operating systems or applications to run on one machine.

Such technology, offered by Cassatt, VMware, SWSoft, Virtual Iron, Microsoft and a few others, is on many CIOs' shopping lists because it reduces the number of servers they need to buy.

"Virtualization decouples hardware from software in such a way that systems and environments can be more flexible," said Rich Green, executive vice president of products at Cassatt.

"Historically, applications and operating systems are almost welded to a system, and virtualization allows a wedge to be put in there so you can move things around."

Green, who left Sun Microsystems for Cassatt two years ago, said the new XVM software automates the operation, migration and performance of virtual machines and hardware.

Virtualization vendors make software to manage their own brand of virtualization, but XVM will work for VMware ESX, VMware Server, Xen and Microsoft Virtual Server by the end of the year.

Customers will also be able to manage their physical servers from a range of vendors including IBM, HP, Dell and Sun, Green said.

Moreover, the same software image can be run either on a virtual server or directly on a bare-metal server.

Other features include automatic responses to failures of both physical and virtual servers, and the ability for the software to trigger extra virtual servers on physical machines that have available CPU and memory capacity.

The Cassatt Collage Cross-Virtualization Manager (XVM), with support for VMware ESX and VMware Server is available now. Support for Xen will be available in June, with support for Microsoft Virtual Server coming later in 2006.

Donna Scott, distinguished analyst at Gartner, said that Cassatt's XVM comes at a time when companies are putting more emphasis on managing virtual machines.

Scott said Platform Computing and Scalent make management products similar to XVM, while Univa is planning to support all of the popular virtual machine products.

"These products are coming to market in anticipation of the need to rationalize and manage virtual server sprawl," Scott said.

"What makes Cassatt interesting is its ability to dynamically respond to failing nodes and other service-level objective event thresholds with increased capacity, thus offering a real-time infrastructure solution," Scott said.