VMware Launches Cloud Management Portfolio

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VMware’s new management tools give organisations greater insight into the workings of their virtual environments

VMware today announced the launch of a new cloud Management Portfolio, designed to simplify and automate IT management for companies looking to move to the cloud.

At the VMworld 2011 conference in Copenhagen, the company’s chief technology officer Steve Herrod described enhancements to VMware vCenter Operations, as well as the introduction of new VMware vFabric Application Management and VMware IT Business Management suites.

“It used to be a nice clean world, where I had an entire data centre that I owned, and I had one application to one server. But then virtualisation came along and severed the tie between the application and the infrastructure,” said Herrod.

“We’re now in a more dynamic world. With cloud computing we’re enabling people to self-serve, to really help themselves to these virtual machines as quickly as possible,” he said. “Most CIOs are not only looking at their own infrastructure now but are seeing that they could use the public cloud for some of their applications. On the other side, we’re actually seeing software-as-a-service as a great option for many companies.

“This choice is liberating but also a challenge,” he added. “How can a CIO know which one to opt for? So for all these reasons and several others we see it’s time for a new approach for management.”

Automation and standardisation

VMware claims that its new management solutions will help customers transform how they manage infrastructure, applications and business services in virtual and cloud environments.

The update to VMware vCenter Operations Management introduces new dashboards and smart alerts, which monitor data centre performance and capacity to identify emerging problems. It also helps users map the relationships between applications and the infrastructure components that support them, in order to optimise operations such as security management and disaster recovery.

VMware hopes that this, together with its recently announced vSphere 5 virtual infrastructure, will encourage more organisations to put their mission-critical applications in the cloud.

Meanwhile, the new vFabric Application Management Suite is designed to simplify how applications are provisioned and ultimately managed in a cloud infrastructure. The suite consists of two solutions – vFabric AppDirector, which standardises and automates the deployment of applications to the cloud, and vFabric Application Performance Manager, which helps users manage application performance

The suite is optimised for vFabric, but can be extended to other frameworks. “We fully understand that we have to play in this heterogeneous and hybrid world, and therefore, it’s not limited to, but optimised for our own platforms,” explained Ramin Sayar, vice president of products for VMware’s cloud and virtualisation management division.

Finally, VMware’s IT Business Management Suite – based on technology from Digital Fuel, which VMware bought in June – aggregates financial data from a wide range of sources and applies analytics and modeling to offer insight into cost, risk, performance and compliance.

“We are providing the CIO with the visibility and control he or she needs to better manage the cost, the risk and ultimately the quality of services, whether those services are provided centrally or from somewhere else; and therefore ultimately allowing the CIO to move from a builder to a broker of services,” said Sayar.

2012 virtualisation management

Ealier this week, analyst firm Ovum predicted 2012 will see the development of a new type of management layer that will allow companies to orchestrate supply and demand in the cloud better.

“We anticipate, in the next year, the capabilities of this management layer will be enhanced, and enabled for cross-technology management,” said Ovum principal analyst, and virtualisation expert, Roy Illsley.

VMworld continues in Copenhagen until Thursday.

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