When it comes to virtualization, IT departments have a tough choice: Standardize on one hypervisor for efficiencies in training, or use multiple hypervisors for different workloads and suffer management and infrastructure complexity.
If you have a VMware vCenter management console, HotLink Corp. says you can have the best of both worlds through its SuperVISOR virtual appliance, which lets vCenter see Microsoft Hyper-V, Red Hat KVM, Citrix XenServer as if they were VMware ESX hypervisors.
This week the company improved the software by releasing version 2.0, which integrates deeper into vCenter so users don’t have to deploy multiple consoles.
In addition, support has been added for most vCenter-compatible automation tools such as vCloud Director and the PowerCLI scripting tool
“We are now that single pane of glass and the integration hub” that IT managers have wanted, said Jerry McLeod, HotLink’s vice-president of sales and business development.
“Now I (as an IT manager) have only one place to integrate into for all of my management for all of my hypervisors for both on and off premise — which is a big to people who have thousands of scripts they run for tests and devs and turning (virtual) machines off and bringing machines up.”
SuperVisor does this by putting an agent on every hypervisor. Its sister application, Hybrid Express, works on virtual loads on Amazon EC2 or cloud service providers that use CloudStack for management.
Both can be combined, so an IT department can offer internal tiered services to business units – for example, saving an expensive hypervisor for important workloads on redundant servers, less important workloads on a different hypervisor on standard servers and non-essential workloads on a cloud service.
SuperVISOR allows administrators to seamlessly shift workloads from one hypervisor to another, McLeod said.
John Burke, principal research analyst at Nemertes Reseach who specializes in virtualization, said that from seeing a demonstration SuperVISOR is “a very effective approach to empowering IT to manage a multi-hypervisor data centre.”
A large portion of IT departments will use more than one hypervisor for many years, he said, so some method of bringing their management together is necessary.
Other solutions – including software from IBM, CA, OpenStack, CloudStack, Nimbula -- sit on top of the hypervisors instead of folding management into them, he said.
SuperVISOR lists at US$26,700 for an on premise licence, plus $50,000 to manage up to 25 hypervisors. Hybrid Express costs $50,000 for managing up to 250 hypervisors.
For those who want to take a test drive, SuperVISOR is now available in a free version that is limited to three same-name hypervisors and up to 15 virtual machines. But you can use it for up to a year. HotLink sells direct, although it is also looking for system integrator partners in Canada.