One of my favorites is the VKernel SearchMyVM appliance, which is the quickest way to do query-based searches on VMware VI3 installations. I use a smattering of others, and play with a bunch more. But getting into the appliance space got me thinking a bit about the management side of appliances.
The free products are interesting and worth investigating. There are also plenty of evaluation appliances available, so donâ€™t get too attached if you donâ€™t have the funds to use it legitimately or become dependent on a product you canâ€™t procure.
Where I get concerned about appliances -- especially the free ones -- is the practical issues associated with using them. A virtual appliance contains some operating system configured by the publisher of the appliance. Usually they're Linux-based for licensing reasons, and most provide a root password. Should these passwords be changed? Do you know exactly what these devices do on the network or to systems they connect to? Simply because they are quick and easy to download doesn't mean you can skip your infrastructure management and policy homework.
I donâ€™t want to bash virtual appliances; I am a big fan of them. But I do want to issue a few warnings for virtual appliances.
Maybe a rant; maybe Iâ€™m on to something. What is your opinion on virtual appliances? Do they fall out of policy in your environment? Share your comments below.
Posted by Rick Vanover on 05/12/2009 at 12:47 PM
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