VMware is set to release in the beginning of April a technology preview of a new feature that will let vCenter Mobile Access VMware users manage their infrastructure from mobile phones, it said on a company blog on Friday.

Using vCenter Mobile Access (vCMA) IT administrators will, for example, be able to search for virtual machines in the data center or migrate virtual machines from one host to another using

VMware’s vMotion feature. The company paints a scenario where IT administrators will be able to restart a virtual machine when sitting in a meeting or get an alarm when attending a kid’s soccer game.

In order for the tool to work, users will first have to install a vCMA server, which comes in the shape of a virtual appliance. The vCMA server must be connected to VMware vCenter or any of the ESX servers that is going to be managed.

A demo, using a BlackBerry emulator, shows a user logging onto the server using the vCenter IP address, user name and password. The next screen shows a number of icons, including search, migrate, site recovery, scheduled tasks and alarms that the administrator can select.

VCMA is designed to be used from mobile phone browsers, so it should work on a wide variety of devices, writes VMware’s Ben Kolin on a forum dedicated to the new tool. VMware has done some testing with Symbian (Nokia E71), iPhone, BlackBerry, Android, and Windows Mobile, according to Kolin.

The announcement also underscores a current trend to allow IT departments to do more using mobile phones, giving administrators greater flexibility. This is what VMware wants to achieve with vCMA, according to Fredrik Sj

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