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VM Management Tool Makers Target VMware Environments

The company is not intimidated by the number of third-party ecosystem products that can manage its ESX Server installations.

The virtual machines of dominant supplier VMware are invading data centers at many companies, but a growing body of third-party management tools is being generated to contain the sprawl.

Although VMware offers its own management framework, VMware Infrastructure 3, it's also encouraging the third-party ecosystem to produce additional tools that manage its ESX Server hypervisor or groups of ESX Servers gathered under a management console, a VMware Virtual Center.

"It's important that our customers have the tools they need to optimize VMware deployments," said Parag Patel, VP of VMware alliances.

One is Veeam Software, with its Reporter/Monitor/Configurator management suite. Reporter discovers virtual machines, the networks and storage they rely on, and any activity by VMotion, VMware's virtual machine migration tool. Reports on these resources can be issued in Visio, Excel, Word, or PDF formats.

Veeam Monitor can watch VMware ESX Server hypervisors in a VMware Virtual Center or multiple Virtual Centers and sum up their activity on a single screen. Configurator lets administrators manage the settings on ESX Servers without writing scripts or editing config files. All three are priced at $270 per server socket by the Cleveland firm.

Another software maker, VKernel in Portsmouth, N.H., has applied for a patent on its Capacity Bottleneck Analyzer. It identifies impending virtual machine problems, such as a shortage of memory, which may impede ESX Server's operations.

Capacity Bottleneck Analyzer will be available as a virtual appliance -- an application and operating system bundled together as a virtual machine -- on March 31. It's still in beta software available for free trial download, with no general availability pricing set.

Double-Take Software in Southborough, Mass., launched Double-Take for VMware Infrastructure 3 recently for instant failover of virtual machine workloads with the click of a mouse. Administrators spotting a developing problem with a virtual machine can revert to an earlier version, in some cases, a snapshot taken by Double-Take minutes before the failover decision is made. The goal is to keep the workload processing smoothly, even in the face of a problems or disaster that causes the virtual machine to fail.

Double-Take for VMware Infrastructure 3 is priced at $2,495 for up to five protected virtual machines.

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