Last week I touched on the subject of integrating virtual and cloud environments. It turns out I wasn't the only one thinking along those lines.
CA Inc. announced this week an integrated management suite that the company says both leverages and enhances virtual environments in such a way as to improve operational efficiency and flexibility for physical, virtual and cloud-based resources.
The Enterprise IT Management (EITM) solutions stack offers a slew of tools designed to provide about as complete control of distributed and mainframe computing, storage, network and desktop infrastructures as you can get. The package includes modules for virtual and physical provisioning, change management, workload automation, performance monitoring, disaster recovery and a host of other tasks.
The key component, however, is the Data Center Automation Manager, aimed at streamlining the delivery and management of both internal and external cloud resources. The system takes care of many of the thornier issues surrounding cloud computing, including real-time resource control, network availability and ensuring service level agreements (SLAs). An automated provisioning feature not only speeds up the deployment of cloud infrastructures, but allows for dynamic reallocation of resources to respond to periods of high data demand.
VMware users will probably benefit a great deal from the system, as CA is an active member of VMware's Ready Program aimed at fostering product interoperability. CA also supports VMware's vCloud initiative, which should go a long way toward managing complete VMware environments.
One can forgive CA CEO John Swainson for his enthusiasm at CA World this week, when he said management is emerging as the killer app for virtualization. CA is, after all, a management software firm. But he is right about one thing. Virtualization and clouds are the two hot trends sweeping the data center these days. These two technologies will have to get along somehow, and an integrated management stack is probably the best place to start.