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vCenter Operations Tightens the Management Ship

With this week's introduction of vCenter Operations, VMware is making available a new set of algorithms and health models optimized for the VMware environment. These capabilities provide the market leader with previously missing monitoring, analysis, and correlation capabilities that leverage metrics and data collected by vCenter and vSphere.

Couching the new product in cloud terms, as VMware typically does, the company says vCenter Operations is able to match the velocity of emerging intelligent virtual environments via enhanced management tools and processes specifically designed to handle the unique, dynamic properties of cloud computing. For example, this means replacing the very slow provisioning that has traditionally bogged down management, with self-service provisioning based on real time decisions.

According to VMware, its management strategy is to "further simplify IT by integrating performance, capacity and configuration management, and applying analytics to help customers achieve the degree of automation required to operate a cloud environment."

In the view of IDC Research VP Mary Johnston Turner, vCenter Operations represents a "major expansion" in both the scope and sophistication of VMware's management portfolio. "Until this announcement, the vCenter and vCloud Director product families have delivered most of their value in the areas of VM configuration, self-service and automation," Johnston Turner notes, adding "vCenter Operations adds tight integration across performance, capacity and configuration management disciplines, starting with existing performance and capacity planning products and including the advanced analytics and dashboards provided by a significantly enhanced implementation of the Alive product, which was recently acquired via the Integrien acquisition."

Rob Smoot, VMware Director of Product Marketing for Management, says the company's strategy calls for a new console that is tightly integrated with vSphere, and understands all of the underlying systems supported by that flagship platform, including servers, storage, networks and other aspects of the underlying infrastructure. He also cites the Integrien acquisition, which allows VMware to offer advanced analytics that aggregate data into a view of the performance, capacity and health of the environment. Once the data is aggregated, the system then provides smart alerts that "cut through the noise" in IT operations centers where customers are frequently inundated with alerts that are tied to specific infrastructure components.

In summing up the high-level capabilities of vCenter Operations, VMware says it provides infrastructure and operations teams with the intelligence they need to proactively ensure service levels in dynamic cloud environments, get to the root cause of performance problems faster, optimize deployments in real-time to enable self-service provisioning, and maintain compliance in highly changeable environments.

vCenter Operations will be available in three editions for managing both virtualized and physical environments. vCenter Operations Standard offers performance management with capacity and change awareness for vSphere-virtualized and cloud environments; vCenter Operations Advanced adds more advanced capacity analytics and planning to vCenter Operations Standard's performance management for VMware vSphere-virtualized and cloud environments; and vCenter Operations Enterprise offers performance, capacity and configuration management capabilities for both virtual and physical environments and includes customizable dashboards, smart alerting and application awareness.

Initial versions of the three editions are expected to be available by the end of March, with prices beginning at $50 per virtual machine. vCenter Operations will be available via VMware sales and through the company's 25,000 channel partners.

Posted by Bruce Hoard on 03/08/2011 at 12:48 PM


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