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InformationWeek Analytics Presents: The Best of Interop 2011

Well, the votes are in and once again we're pleased to bring you the top new products that appeared at Interop 2011 Las Vegas. Every year, my fellow judges and I are delighted to be able to review and compare some of the hottest technology available, and this year was no exception. This year we had 135 qualified entries for Best of Interop, and in reviewing the nominees this year the trend seems to be a focus on a number of great products to allocate, secure, manage, and improve the performance
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VMware -- VMware vCenter Operations Standard 1.0

Judges: Charles Babcock & Jonathan Feldman

VMware's vCenter Operations is another one of those products where you can see an ambitious company testing the limits of what can be done from an existing position of strength. It is a bold effort to combine the data center disciplines of system configuration, performance management, and capacity management into one management tool and apply them to what in the future will be referred to as the private cloud.

Granted vCenter Operations is aimed at virtual machines, not hardware devices, and that is the departure point from its predecessors in the systems management field. But the virtual world has emerged with new needs. The established world of systems management is ill equipped to relate the configuration of a virtual machine to the capacity--or lack of it--on a set of host servers and then manage those VMs as they start dynamically moving around. New tools are needed and VCenter Operations shows that VMware is responding to the call with a vision, breadth, and grasp of what it's going to take to get there.

VMware already has tools to get a virtual machine provisioned, spun up and running, and move it around, such as vCenter and vSphere. VCenter Operations draws information out of them and feeds it into a powerful analytics engine, gained last year in the Integrion acquisition. VCenter Operations can compare current operations to baseline statistics, defining what is normal for its complex environment. Then, instead of issuing alerts and cryptic messages, it assigns a value in the form of a green, yellow, or red symbol for the server it is examining in three categories: Workload, Health, and Capacity.

With this tool, VMware moves up from object-based system monitoring, with its constant stream of alerts, to a problem-based environmental picture. VCenter Operations can detect when performance has fallen below a norm. It can look inside a host to see how each virtual machine is performing, or, if necessary, it can detect whether the host itself is overloaded. If we are moving toward a user self-provisioning environment, known as the private cloud, tools like vCenter Operations are going to be needed, not only to get there but to keep it running. -- Charles Babcock

Other Best of Interop finalists in Cloud Computing & Virtualization:
-- Quest Software
-- Vembu Technologies

For the latest news and commentary from the show, go to the Interop Special Report.

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