The Battle for Virtual Data Center Supremacy

Michael Vizard

In the wake of the VMworld 2012 conference this week, it may feel like the whole IT world is going virtual. But in reality, virtual and physical IT resources live side by side inside almost every data center. The real problem is that two distinct management frameworks for managing virtual and physical resources have evolved over the years. That not only adds overhead in terms of cost, it sets the stage for conflict as the management of virtual and physical IT resources starts to converge.

This week VMware made it plain that it intends to provide the software needed to manage the virtual data center in the form of version 5.1 of VMware vCloud Suite. But vendors such as Hewlett-Packard this week were quick to remind folks that most existing IT management frameworks can manage virtual and physical IT resources just fine.

HP this week at VMworld announced that its HP Converged Cloud portfolio of management software now supports VMware vCloud Suite 5.1. According to Paul Miller, vice president of converged application systems in the HP Enterprise Group, IT organizations are going to need an open approach to IT management that, for example, spans virtual machines from multiple vendors, not the least of which will come from Microsoft. In fact, HP is already building out its own approach to creating a virtual data center.

None of this is lost on any of the major players in the IT systems management space, all of which are now jockeying to either maintain or gain supremacy over management in the data center. Of course, most of them will happily tell you how they are working hand and glove with each other. But the fact remains that most IT organizations are not going to want to license two different frameworks for managing the data center that pretty much do the same thing.

Naturally, it’ll be years before all this gets sorted out. Some organizations have their collective IT management act together more than others. Whatever happens, the ultimate outcome is likely to be dictated more by who wins control over the data center.



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