VMware vCenter Operations Extends IT Management Tools

VMware's new vCenter Operations collects data from servers, storage and network hardware to provide a real-time management dashboard.


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Virtualization leader VMware is building out its IT management portfolio with today's release of vCenter Operations. VMware said the new management system extends beyond virtualized machines (VMs) to collect data from traditional IT infrastructure including servers, storage and networking components.

Tightly integrated with VMware's vSphere virtualization management software, vCenter Operations "understands" other management tools in the enterprise and can analyze the millions of data points these systems produce in real-time.

"You want to be able to look across your physical and virtual assets like you're in a cockpit with a simple intuitive view of what's going on and be able to respond effectively," Ramin Sayar, vice president of product strategy for enterprise management at VMware, told InternetNews.com. He said vCenter Operations constantly analyzes data in real-time, provides alerts when performance is outside the pre-defined "health model" and provides performance analytics.

"We believe this new release provides unique, actionable intelligence and comprehensive visibility for administrators and operations teams so they are not just reacting but staying ahead of the game," said Sayar.

IDC analyst Mary Johnston Turner said the release is an important extension of the vCenter family because it's the first time VMware has offered the sophisticated performance and availability features enterprises need.

"They had CapIQ [vCenter CapacityIQ] and smaller products that were not well integrated and that's benefited a lot of smaller players who were able to fill that niche with performance capacity and analytics tools," Johnson Turner told InternetNews.com.

"What VMware is saying is that virtualization is so entrenched in the data center that it needs the same level of performance and capacity management that other mission critical IT assets already have," added Johnston Turner. "The way they are getting there is interesting by taking assets from Integrien and integrating their impressive library of monitoring agents that can take information back and forth between consoles from heterogeneous systems. They're still emphasizing performance, but now they're also able to give you much more information that can be shared with other enterprise consoles across heterogeneous equipment."

VMware announced the acquisition of IT analytics firm Integrien last August.

Johnston Turner said VMware's moves are part of a broader strategy to be a central control point in the data center.

"What does the CIO care about? It's that business users are getting the services at the level he promised them and stay ahead of demand. The tools VMware's offered to help with provisioning and back up are interesting, but if you can optimize performance that's even better," she said. "And ultimately if you can tie it all to applications and services they'll have a more powerful story. They haven't announced anything, but I think that's where they're headed."

VMware said vCenter will be available later this month in three editions, vCenter Operations Standard, Advanced and Enterprise.

vCenter Operations Standard offers performance management with capacity and change awareness for VMware vSphere-virtualized and cloud environments; Advanced adds more advanced capacity analytics and planning. The vCenter Operations Enterprise edition offers performance, capacity and configuration management capabilities for both virtual and physical environments and includes customizable dashboards, smart alerting and application awareness. Pricing starts at $50 per VM.

David Needle is the West Coast bureau chief at InternetNews.com, the news service of Internet.com, the network for technology professionals.

Tags: data storage, virtualization, data center, VMware, vcloud

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