VMware in the Midst of a Virtualization Technology Management Makeover

by Paul Rubens

VMware is seeking to stand out from the competition by re-styling itself, complete with a whole new suite of management products to tempt customers.

These days anyone who is anyone has a server virtualization product of some sort — certainly that's the way it seems.

And this must be a little annoying Virtually Speaking for VMWare, the company that forged its identity as a – or perhaps the – server virtualization company.

That's why the company is now making huge efforts to stand out from the other players by styling itself as a virtualization technology management company, with a whole suite of management products to tempt its customers.

"Management is a very key move for VMware," explains Sajai Krishnan, VP of marketing for VMware's cloud management business unit. "The management team is the largest in VMware. As we go into the mobile cloud era, management is quite different — and that's why we are investing in that area," he adds.

Rebranding Brings New vRealize Management Products

This kind of initiative involves a certain amount of rebranding, and rebranding is always confusing. So just to be clear: it's time to say goodbye to vCenter Operations Manager, vCloud Automation Center and IT Business Management. And in their places, it's time to say hello to vRealize Operations, vRealize Automation and vRealize Business.

Yes, I know, it's a horrible name, but vRealize is here to stay, and it's the name that VMware has chosen for its management products. And since management capabilities are key for the current iteration of the VMware identity, vRealize is a name we are just going to have to get used to.

At VMworld Europe, held in Spain on October 14-16, VMware showed that it means business with vRealize by announcing a number of updates to the virtualization technologies management suite.

Perhaps the most significant was the announcement of vRealize Operations 6.0 (the product formerly known as vCloud Operations Manager, remember), which is due to ship before the end of the year.

VMware vRealize Operations 6.0 is a major product release, featuring a new scale-out, resilient architecture that will be eight times more scalable than the previous release. It provides visibility across applications, network and storage devices in a single console, according to the company.

The new release will introduce advanced analytics, smart alerts and problem detection capabilities to identify complex issues from multiple systems ahead of time, and suggest a resolution to the problem, according to VMware. Suggested resolutions include an embedded link to initiate policy-guided remediation, enabling IT teams to address issues from a single console.

The product will also include new capacity planning and project management capabilities that extend beyond VMware vSphere to include physical and application-level metrics to better manage demand, available resources and service level agreements (SLAs).

VMware is also introducing a new product called vRealize Code Stream 1.0 to help customers develop code faster. The product works with developer tools such as Bamboo, Git Hudson and Subversion, automating the entire software release process and enforcing governance across release stages. "Customers will be able to deploy application environments using VMware vRealize Automation starting, for example, with a public cloud development environment and deploying in a secure, highly available production pod in a private cloud," the company says.

vRealize Air Compliance Joins vRealize Air Automation

One final thing that's worth mentioning is the announcement of VMware's vRealize Air Compliance beta. This follows the release of vRealize Air Automation in beta back in August. It's significant because it is the second Air release, which is part of VMware's strategy of releasing all its management products as both on-premises solutions and software-as-a-service (SaaS) solutions.

Air Compliance allows companies to report on configuration compliance of mission-critical vSphere infrastructure. "With VMware vRealize Air Compliance, customers can be up and running within minutes assessing their VMware vSphere environment against a variety of security and regulatory requirements, including the vSphere Hardening Guide and HIPPA/HITECH guidelines for the Healthcare industry," the company says.

"With continuous compliance scans, customers can quickly address their configuration compliance challenges with automated compliance scorecards that provide real-time information and alerts on non-compliant changes all the way up to the user level," it adds.

In terms of pricing and availability:

VMware will update all the components of the VMware vRealize Suite, which is available in two editions: Advanced ($6750 per CPU) and Enterprise ($9950 per CPU).

The new VMware vRealize Code Stream will be available as a standalone product, with pricing to be announced shortly.

VMware vRealize Air Compliance is now available in beta. Pricing will be announced at general availability.

Paul Rubens is a technology journalist and contributor to ServerWatch, EnterpriseNetworkingPlanet and EnterpriseMobileToday. He has also covered technology for international newspapers and magazines including The Economist and The Financial Times since 1991.

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This article was originally published on Tuesday Nov 11th 2014
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