ZDNet has a interesting write-up on a company called Embotics, which has developed a lifecycle management system for virtual machines. As VMs become more ubiquitous throughout the enterprise, it pays to make sure someone is overseeing the creation and dismantling process to ensure that system resources are not being tied up by idle partitions.
Embotics' approach is the V-Commander, a centralized, policy-based control system that provides things like a repository for standard VM configurations, and ID system to track specific VMs and their related policies and a central policy engine for management and Snapshot analysis.
Embotics isn't the only firm looking into VM management. Scalent, PlateSpin and others are approaching the challenge in different ways. It probably pays to take a look at these solutions while virtualization is still in its infancy. In the mad rush to realize the efficiency and cost savings that virtualization brings, it would be a shame to overlook the new management issues that will undoubtedly arise.