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VMware Unveils Lifecycle Manager

VMware's Lifecycle Manager is officially available. It's basically a lifecycle and chargeback product, allowing admins to trace a virtual machine's (VM's) creator, owner and death date (i.e. when it's scheduled to be decomissioned. Aren't you glad humans don't come with similar information?)

Having chargeback ability is nice; with VMs so easy to create, it's equally easy to lose track of which department is using what, making chargeback a real business challenge. Since I'm not a big fan of rewriting press releases, I'll quote at length VMware's release about some of Lifecycle Manager's core functions:

    • "Create a catalog of standard IT services. Users can select from a pre-defined menu of virtual machines with different properties such as processor and memory. This standardization allows infrastructure administrators to maintain control over the IT environment and minimize risk.
    • Streamline requests and approvals. VMware Lifecycle Manager establishes a consistent and scalable mechanism to route and approve all requests for virtual machines, ensuring compliance with internal policies.
    • Track and control virtual machines. VMware Lifecycle Manager provides an easy to use Web interface for tracking virtual machine deployments so IT administrators can know exactly when requests were made, approved or denied; when and where virtual machines are deployed; and how long they have been in operation.
    • Eliminate manual, repetitive, and error-prone tasks. As virtual environments grow, automation is critical in helping IT do more with less. VMware Lifecycle Manager automates each step in the virtual machine lifecycle based on predefined policies.
    • Assign Chargeback Metrics. VMware Lifecycle Manager enables IT to associate chargeback metrics to specific virtual machine deployments and resource pools. These chargeback metrics can be assigned to specific business groups, and tied in to existing financial systems.
    • Integrate with existing management tools. VMware Lifecycle Manager provides APIs for integration with other IT operational tools such as trouble ticketing, change management, and asset management."

There are many tools available from third-party virtualization vendors that do the same thing; one attractive part of VMware's offering is that it bundles everything into one package.

Is this something you've used in beta, or does it intrigue you? Let me know what you think of Lifecycle Manager.

Posted by Keith Ward on 04/01/2008 at 12:48 PM


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