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BMC Software Sees Hybrid Clouds On Horizon

Seeking to manage virtual machines in the cloud from the same management console as on-premises VMs, BMC is enabling internal data centers to work with external resources.

"The BladeLogic Operations Manager puts a small agent on the server in EC2 as if it were a server on premises. Then it can see, back up, [and] snapshot the virtual machine as if it were a machine on premises," Van Hook said.

Local IT managers can set templates on what types of virtual servers they wish to authorize, track how many are being created and who is using them. It is BMC's goal to create a product set that manages virtual machines in the cloud from the same pane of glass as virtual machines are being managed on premises. Right now, it only seeks to manage VMs created by VMware's ESX Server hypervisor on premises, and Amazon Machine Images, created under Amazon's variation of the open source Xen hypervisor, in the EC2 cloud but does so from the same console.

The product set manages the creation of Amazon virtual machines, as if they were local resource, but it does not tap into other Amazon Web Services, such as S3 permanent storage or temporary Elastic Block Storage for running virtual machines.

"We can see extending capabilities to S3 and ESB," Van Hook said, but offered no timeframe when BMC would do so.

Van Hook said BMC will watch for greater use of Microsoft's Hyper-V and Citrix Systems XenServer and consider supporting them as well but has set no timetable to do so. Likewise, it's willing to support operations in other clouds but right now, "Amazon is the mindshare leader."

Van Hook said BMC realizes it is early to be adding hybrid cloud-handling capabilities to its product line. "Enterprise IT is treading carefully on public cloud capabilities…" Hybrid cloud users will be found "only on the leading edge," he said.

The Atrium Configuration Management Database is priced at $100,000 per instance. Atrium Orchestration starts at $100,000. BladeLogic Operations Manager is sold usually in a bundle with other products that are typically priced from $250,000-$500,000. BMC Service Request Management begins at $25,000.

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