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7/2/2008
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VMware Completes Acquisition Of B-hive Networks

B-hive Conductor will allow VMware to add proactive management of applications running in virtual machines.

VMware has completed its acquisition of B-hive Networks, a privately held application performance management software maker in San Mateo, Calif., with research facilities in Israel. The terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The move will let VMware expand the capabilities of its virtual environment governor, Virtual Infrastructure 3. VMware hasn't announced whether it will offer what's now known as B-hive Conductor as a separate product or incorporate it into its more general-purpose virtual machine life-cycle management tools.

With B-hive, VMware will have an opportunity to add proactive management of applications running in virtual machines. B-hive Conductor measures the response times of applications in answering calls for application services, and can provide a picture of what end users are experiencing as they use virtual machines. The software acts without placing an agent on the application, as required by some monitoring systems, a move that introduces overhead to operations as the agent reports on application activity.

In announcing the acquisition May 28, VMware emphasized that Conductor sits as a virtual appliance on the network, and can monitor virtual machines either on servers or on desktops. With the ability to measure the performance of desktop VMs, VMware might gain a step on Citrix Systems and Microsoft System Center in establishing and maintaining desktop VM performance.

At the announcement of the acquisition, VMware's senior director, Bogomil Balkansky, said B-hive's capabilities will be tied to the Distributed Resource Scheduler in Virtual Infrastructure 3, which will be able to react to information that an application is yielding increasingly slow response times. The scheduler would have several options, such as allocating more physical resources to the struggling VM, moving it to an underutilized server, or cloning additional VMs of the same ilk to spread the load.

Such a capability could lead to new ways of operating data centers, Balkansky predicted in May. Virtual environments could be correctly sized to meet their workloads, depending on the time of day and traffic. Capacity planning could be mapped out on a more detailed basis. Service-level agreements could be implemented that reduce costs by making a closer match between physical resources and the services that need to be available.

B-hive monitoring can also be applied to MySQL database operations in connection with VMs, letting IT administrators know how long end-user queries are taking to be answered.

Balkansky said VMware wanted B-hive for its engineering team, software, and connection to additional R&D resources in Israel.

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