Getting Some Outside Virtualization Help

Michael Vizard

One of the biggest challenges with virtualization is simply the process of managing all the requests to provision and de-provision virtual machines.

As most IT organizations never really had a structured process for provisioning physical servers, the lack of a defined workflow process has come back to haunt them now that everybody in the company thinks they can launch a virtual machine whenever they want.

Obviously, IT organizations can add a virtualization management system. But by the time they set that up, months could go by. Service-now is betting on a service approach to virtualization management.

Service-now is adding support for runbook automation of VMware environments as part of its IT service management (ITSM) platform. According to Craig McDonogh, senior product marketing and management director for Service-now, the latest version of the company's software-as-a-service (SaaS) offering helps IT organizations eliminate the need to manually provision virtual machines.

While adoption of virtualization management software has been slow, McDonogh argues that a big reason for that slowness has been the complexity of setting these systems up. Service-now eliminates the need to set up dedicated infrastructure to manage virtual machines and cuts the amount of time it takes to put a solution in place. The latest Service-now update furthers that automation by integrating with VMware vCenter software.

Whether IT organizations are ready to embrace IT management tools delivered as a service is still relatively unknown. But because of specifications such as the IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL), IT organizations are clearly under more pressure than ever to demonstrate some form of structured workflow when it comes to systems management. And one way to quickly do that is to use a existing service versus trying to create one from scratch.

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