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VMware Ups the Management Ante with vCenter Operations

VMware knows that it has to stay in front of the very rapidly evolving management market if it is to keep its cutting-edge customers happy and maintain its leadership position in the private and public cloud space. Toward that end, it took the wraps off three product suites that use two magical management words: "simplify" and "automate."

The meat of this announcement is an enhanced version of VMware vCenter Operations, along with the unveiling of new VMware vFabric Application Management and VMware IT Business Management suites. The company says the two suites further separate VMware from outdated distributed physical systems and inefficient, silo-based management solutions, while enabling IT to broker services to its businesses.

Citing "constant change at the infrastructure and application levels," VMware director of product marketing for management, Rob Smoot says IT has to remain competitive with the outside world because "Executives ask IT how expensive it is to provide storage because they have rate cards from third parties."

The VMware vCenter Operations Management Suite has been around since March of this year. The updated version is tasked with continuing its efforts to converge management disciplines with deeper integration of vCenter Capacity IQ and vCenter Configuration Manager. It will do that with the aid of new dashboards and smart alerts that "correlate performance and capacity information to identify emerging problems, help customers right-size their infrastructures and identify and remediate performance issues caused by configuration changes."

In this environment, customers will benefit by optimizing their infrastructure operations such as security management and disaster recovery based on application needs. Smoot says over 500 VMware business partners are currently selling vCenter Operations.

The vFabric Application Management Suite offers two solutions that integrate application disciplines and support an "active application management" approach created to help IT match business demand for app changes, while more efficiently maintaining app performance and availability in dynamic environments.

vFabric AppDirector "standardizes and automates the release/deployment of apps to any cloud through easy-to-create blueprints with standardized templates, component libraries, and deployment workflows." The vFabric Application Management Suite is optimized for vFabric, but is extensible to other frameworks. Obviously sensitive to claims that VMware is too virtualization-focused, Smoot says the vFabric Application Management Suite "expands beyond virtualization, but at the same time puts a laser focus on virtualization in the cloud."

The VMware IT Business Management Suite is something of a new approach for VMware, in that it makes it easier for CIOs to get the most value from the IT investments and communicate IT's value in language that is readily understood by business. The suite is composed of three modules that "aggregate data from a wide range of financial sources and apply analytics and modeling to offer a single pane of glass into IT capital, operating and service expenses with meaningful metrics and reports."

Now, CIOs will be able to make informed sourcing decisions based on cost, risk, performance and compliance in order to operate as a broker of IT services in full alignment with business needs. It sounds like a good idea that somebody should have thought up well before this whole virtualization and cloud thing developed such a head of steam.

The updated vCenter Operations Management Suite will be offered in four editions to meet the IT operations needs of small and midsized businesses and enterprises, and is expected to be available in early 2012 with prices starting at $50 per VM. The updates will also be available as a free upgrade for current vCenter Operations customers.

vFabric Application Performance Manager is expected to be available in Q4 2011 with prices starting at $360 per VM. vFabric AppDirector is expected to be available in early 2011.

The IT Business Management Suite is expected to be available in Q4, 2011 and will be licensed per user.

Posted by Bruce Hoard on 10/18/2011 at 12:48 PM


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