Getting Smarter about Virtualization Management

Michael Vizard

When it comes to virtual machine management, everybody seems to be looking for a better way. There is no shortage of virtual machine management software, but the problem is that someone has to master each of these tools.

So many IT organizations are looking a way to automate virtual machine management with as little human intervention as possible. That's the thinking behind a self-learning performance-management software from Netuitive, which this week at the VMworld 2010 conference was certified to run on EC2 cloud computing platforms from Amazon as part of an effort to automate the management of hybrid cloud computing deployments.

Netuitive CEO Nicola Sanna says the fundamental problem with virtualization is that by definition it's a chaotic environment where the only constant is change. IT organizations, he said, need management tools that track the behavior of virtual machine software and then automatically optimize the performance of those virtual machines based on that behavior.

Netuitive's namesake software is certified to run within vCenter from VMware and support vMotion software that allows virtual machine software to migrate across the network. The Netuitive software relearns all the virtual machine dependencies each time a virtual machine moves, said Sanna.

Some IT organizations may not be comfortable with this level of IT automation, given the complexities of virtual machine deployments these days. But Sanna says that Netuitive is designed to give IT organizations the ability to not only trigger events, but to also see what those events may mean in context of their entire enteprirse. And at any given time, the IT organization can opt to turn Netuitive off if it decides to handle a specific deployment manually.

The number of virtual machines being deployed is far outpacing the ability to IT organizations to keep up. In fact, Sanna says that disconnect is the No. 1 reason we're starting to see virtualization adoption slow in the enterprise.

In the meantime, it's not a question of if IT automation will soon play a much bigger role in the enterprise, but rather when.

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