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

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

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.

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