Managing virtual machines (VMs) has always been difficult because the tools for managing the physical environment don't work well with them.
It's difficult to know what's going on in a VM or to track VM clones that have been created.
Version 2.0 of ManageIQ's Enterprise Virtualization Management (EVM) suite, released yesterday, makes these, and other management tasks easier.
Among other things, EVM 2.0 lets enterprises manage multiple VMs; track events happening in a VM even when it migrates to another physical server; discover detailed information about guest operating systems even if the VMs are offline; define security policies to prevent rogue VMs from powering on; conduct what-if analysis and enforce separation of duties.
"We can look at a storage area network (SAN), get out the VMs and appliances and find out what software, accounts, processes and settings are running on it without starting them up or installing any software," ManageIQ CEO Joe Fitzgerald told InternetNews.com.
"Then we get inside the infrastructure and look at the patch levels and the host, and bring this all together so you can see what's going on inside the virtual machines and workloads as well as outside the workloads."
Enterprises can use that information to take control of the environment, setting policies in VMs that, for example, prevent them running on a physical host once that host's pre-set limit has been reached.
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The EVM Suite also tracks genealogies of VMs and everything associated with them.
"There's a lot of affinities relating to virtual machines what software they should and shouldn't run with beside the parent, child, grandchild relationship," Fitzgerald said.
EVM Suite 2.0 comes with a policy authoring tool and out-of-the-box policy templates.
ManageIQ's product lets enterprises track compliance over both physical and virtual infrastructures, which can be very complex, especially "when some software licenses are based on your physical resources and others are based on virtualized resources," The Burton Group's senior analyst for virtualization, Chris Wolf, told InternetNews.com. "There often are a lot of licenses that cross boundaries,"
Competitors include ConfigureSoft and Embotics, but ManageIQ "stands out because they have this black box technology, almost like a flight recorder, so I have this nice, consistent log of changes and I can easily see any types of changes to a virtual machine across its life cycle; and inter-relationships across the structure, which is unique," Wolf said.
Also, ManageIQ is leveraging the Open Virtual Machine format, a standard the DMTF (Distributed Management Task Force)> will announce by the end of the month, and this "shows ManageIQ's keeping up with the industry," he added.
ManageIQ is in a "very competitive" field because HP, Fortisphere, Embotics, CA, BMC, IBM, Symantec and other firms are "competing or looking to add VM configuration management to their portfolio," IDC Director of Enterprise System Management Research Stephen Elliot told InternetNews.com.
"In this market, patent or patent-pending technology is what matters in terms of real innovation, and I think SmartState makes the cut," Elliot added. SmartState, ManageIQ's patent pending technology, provides the policy, state and model-based automation of virtualized environments.
However, technology alone is not enough, and ManageIQ must "up the ante on account access and awareness" and do it fast, because the window of opportunity for that is slowly closing, Elliot warned.
This article was originally published InternetNews.com.