Embotics updates VM management tool

While some IT shops have fought through the recession without slowing down their virtualization projects, others haven’t been so lucky. To address this climate, Ottawa-based Embotics Corp. has completely revamped the way it delivers its flagship V-Commander management platform to customers.

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Nearly two years after its initial launch at VMworld 2007, V-Commander 3.0 will now be offered via three different modules, each aimed at organizations in varying stages of virtualization adoption. The software — which can identify, trace, manage, and control virtual machines within VMware Inc.’s Virtual Center environment — previously sold as a single solution.

“What we’ve learned over the last little while is there are different needs from customers when they’re at different stages of virtualization adoption,” said David Lynch, vice-president of marketing at Embotics, adding that the tight capital budgets has helped widen the gap between new and mature virtualization shops.

With a tiered approach, customers will be able to grow and pay for additional functionality as they need it, he said.

The first module, called federated inventory management, gives newer virtualization shops a base platform for VM discovery and reporting. Lynch said that users who have just gotten their feet wet with server virtualization and are looking to expand will be interested in this level of the platform.

“The first module is aimed at off-loading and assisting the administrators, so instead of having to maintain spreadsheets and do complicated federations of information from multiple sources, we do that for you,” Lynch said, adding that early virtualization administrators no longer have to stress themselves out manually tracking their VMs.

The second module, called resource and cost management, allows more maturing customers the ability to add advanced costing, sprawl detection and reclamation automation features.
The final tier is the operational and risk management module, which includes additional sprawl prevention and monitoring features, plus rogue and VM mobility controls.

Gary Chen, research manager of enterprise virtualization software for IDC Corp., liked the idea of offering modules because it would give Embotics the ability to sell V-Commander to less advanced deployments.

“Their products were mainly for advanced enterprises that had achieved a certain level of virtualization scale and complexity which compounds the (virtual sprawl) problems,” he said. “Now they can hit the shops that are just beginning or have more basic deployments with a smaller starting price and let them add on as they grow. And hopefully prevent some of these problems in the first place.”

Chen added that despite Embotics’ historical focus on large shops, VM management is important for any enterprise utilizing virtualization.

In addition to the module-based offering, the latest incarnation of V-Commander 3.0 also brings some improvements to the software. From the moment the software is installed, Lynch said, V-Commander will begin examining Virtual Center and create an historical database that gives administrators tremendous insight into their VMs.

“They’ll get the full lineage,” he said. “They’ll know exactly where it came from, how it was created, how it’s grown and so on.”

Along with the improved and automated reporting capabilities, V-Commander 3.0 will also offer expanded policy actions that gives users the ability to suspend VMs, assign policy attributes and extensions at any level in the virtual environment. Active Directory integrated role-based access control and support for mixed VMware environments is also supported.

V-Commander 3.0 is now available from Embotics channel partners.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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