Ottawa company goes after VMware

Change is given in the IT world, especially for software-based products. They disappear or morph into a new product or platform with startling regularity – startling for IT managers, particularly.

So when VMware announced two years ago it would end support for its vCenter Lab Manager application that automates the creation of virtual machines for developers in 2013, some administrators didn’t take it well.

An Ottawa maker of cloud management solutions decided Tuesday to do something about it.

Embotics Corp. said Lab Manager users can now get free licences to its V-Commander cloud management platform, which includes automated provisioning for test and development environments. All they have to pay is an annual maintenance fee.

VMware has offered Lab Manager subscribers an upgrade to its newer vCloud Director suite, which includes the ability to create virtual machines for development.

But Embotics CEO Jay Litkey said his company wants to meet the demand of Lab Manager users “scrambling” for an on-premise alternative.

“We have heard resoundingly from customers that it (vCloud Director) is in no way a replacement for Lab Manager,” he said, “hence the opportunity we saw.”

He described the offer as a “pretty aggressive promotion” that runs to March 31.

It includes two days of free services to help customers install V-Commander.

Embotics is making ex-Lab Manager customers pay a V-Commander maintenance fee equal to the support fee they pay to VMware, Litkey said. If they can’t break out that cost from their contracts the fee will be US$299 a socket a year.

Lab Manager support ends in May.

Normally a V-Commander licence costs about US$800 a socket plus a 20 per cent annual maintenance fee for the on-premise version, or it can be rented by subscription for $399 a socket for a year.

Embotics is a seven-year old company. Litkey says V-Commander can be deployed in less than an hour that is much less complex than vCloud Director.

V-Commander includes a self-service catalogue and capacity management, and is capable of automatically provisioning virtual machines and doing IT costing and charge-back.

It also works with multiple hypervisors, Litkey added.

V-Commander is available through system integrators in Canada through Zycom Technology in Toronto, Ottawa, Kingston, Ont. and Point Claire, Que.; and Empowered Networks in Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal, Waterloo and Calgary.

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Howard Solomon
Howard Solomon
Currently a freelance writer, I'm the former editor of and Computing Canada. An IT journalist since 1997, I've written for several of ITWC's sister publications including and Computer Dealer News. Before that I was a staff reporter at the Calgary Herald and the Brampton (Ont.) Daily Times. I can be reached at hsolomon [@]

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