VMware Extends Virtual Data Center Reach to the Cloud

    VMware has been amassing an arsenal of IT management wares over the last several years that it is now using to extend its reach well beyond its core virtual machine platform.

    At the VMworld Europe 2012 conference, VMware today announced additions to the VMware vCloud Suite that now includes VMware vCloud Automation suite 5.1, which is based on the DynamicOps IT automation software that VMware acquired earlier this year.

    According to Mahesh Kumar, director of product marketing for VMware, the end goal is to allow IT organizations to be able to truly manage IT as a service not only across VMware environments, but across cloud computing environments based on other virtual machines. For example, VMware vCloud Automation adds support for cloud environments based on both VMware and Amazon Web Services.

    In what Kumar describes as a “T Formation” strategy, VMware will provide deep support for VMware while still providing tools that can manage other virtual machines, including Microsoft Hyper-V and Citrix XenServer, in addition to physical servers. VMware today also announced that vCloud Application Director can now be used to manage Amazon EC2 environments alongside cloud computing deployments based on VMware.

    In addition, VMware announced that vCenter Operations Management Suite has been updated to include enhanced performance management tools, while VMware vCloud Connector has been updated to make it easier to transfer workloads between clouds.

    VMware also announced that VMware IT Business Management Suite 7.5, a benchmarking tool, has been extended to include more than 3,500 metrics across 18 domains, allowing IT organizations to compare their performance against their peers.

    Kumar says VMware is trying to create a blueprint for managing application workloads across multiple instances of cloud computing that extend beyond organizational boundaries. That architecture will include everything from managing physical infrastructure to the compliance posture of the overall organization, says Kumar.

    VMware is trying to lay the foundation for what will become a programmable data center. VMware, however, is not the only provider of IT management tools with those ambitions, which is setting the stage for a Battle Royale over which vendor will dominate the management of next-generation data centers in the era of the cloud. Chances are customers will try to stitch together multiple systems management frameworks from different vendors to manage those clouds. But it’s also just as likely that after a wave of mergers and acquisitions, fewer vendors might ultimately be around to deliver those frameworks.

    Mike Vizard
    Mike Vizard
    Michael Vizard is a seasoned IT journalist, with nearly 30 years of experience writing and editing about enterprise IT issues. He is a contributor to publications including Programmableweb, IT Business Edge, CIOinsight and UBM Tech. He formerly was editorial director for Ziff-Davis Enterprise, where he launched the company’s custom content division, and has also served as editor in chief for CRN and InfoWorld. He also has held editorial positions at PC Week, Computerworld and Digital Review.

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