VM6 updates Hyper-V management suite

Montreal-based VM6 Software Inc. has updated its flagship VMex suite to help enterprises with remote offices better manage their Microsoft Hyper-V servers and desktops.


With VMex 2.1, IT administrators will have a single piece of software to manage and monitor virtual storage, virtual servers and desktops, and advanced clustering for high availability.


In this updated release, VM6 Software said it has vastly improved the event monitoring and management dashboard, which includes the ability for users to easily e-mail alerts in case of an emergency.


“It’s like setting up Outlook rules,” said VM6 Software COO Eric Courville, who served as an executive with notable Canadian start-ups such as Toronto-based Platespin and Ottawa-based Embotics.


In addition to alerts related to virtual server failures, administrators will also be able to keep tabs on VDI usage through a new virtual desktop session manager, he said.


“You can drill down and get info on how users have been using their bandwidth,” Courville said. For example, VMex can track how long users have been logged in to their machines and the amount of files they’ve downloaded.


Other new features include a dashboard that gives administrators a view into their storage usage, and a “multi-array hub-witness” which aims to eliminate the need for manual intervention after a power or server failure by checking with a running server elsewhere in the environment.


The goal for VM6 Software is to bring Hyper-V customers the same type of functionality that high-end and complex VMware shops are used to. The company said the VMex suite eliminates the need for IT shops to centralize their infrastructure, train new staff and integrate a variety of solutions for server, desktop and storage virtualization.


The product allows users to use their existing internal storage and networking equipment and eliminates the need to purchase or integrate additional VDI brokering, storage, or management tools.


In addition to being geared toward remote and branch offices, the management software will also be applicable to SMBs running Microsoft Corp.’s virtualization software, the company said.


VM6 Software’s release arrives just a few weeks a Microsoft executive downplayed the benefits of VDI, saying the approach is still more expensive and less responsive than standard desktop PC deployments.


“Overall, when compared in a well-managed office worker environment, VDI is generally nine to 11 per cent more expensive than the corresponding PC environment,” wrote Gavriella Schuster, senior director of the Windows commercial product management group, in a blog entry.


She also noted that VDI users complain of a “diminished … experience,” due to the fact that “application performance is directly dependent on network connectivity.”


The post was an attempt to help customers determine when they should use VDI, client virtualization or application virtualization, Schuster said.


“Our enterprise customers have complex environments, and they have many different kinds of users. So there are times when VDI makes sense,” she said. “Every customer will have a VDI, and we’re trying to help them understand what it is good for, and what it is not good for.”


– With files from Joab Jackson, IDG News Service (New York Bureau)

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