VRM is a cross-vendor management tool, handling provisioning and decommissioning tasks on virtual machines created through the use of Citrix Systems XenServer, Microsoft Hyper-V, Sun Microsystems' Solaris 10 Containers, and VMware ESX Server. Credit Suisse created VRM as an overlay to the several types of virtual machines that it found itself using.
VRM lets an IT administrator establish self-service steps for business groups to decide what type of virtual machine they need and then, in minutes, provision it for the members of the group, said Leslie Muller, the architect behind VRM when it was implemented at Credit Suisse. He's now CTO of DynamicOps in Burlington, Mass.
"The unique self-service capability allows business lines to instantly provide new IT environments, and at the same time, allows central IT to maintain proper controls," he said in a statement announcing the availability of VRM in July.
The goal of VRM is to bring more automated processes to virtual machine management. It also applies policies to the VMs being created or tracked through their lifecycle. It will be priced at $99 per virtual machine being managed.
While giving business groups the ability to commission virtual machines, VRM also enforces compliance with specifications for each type of virtual machine that can be built. VRM tracks the resource usage of virtual machines, allowing IT to implement charge-backs for use of servers, disks, and other resources. VRM also discovers rogue or abandoned virtual machines so they may be eliminated. VRM can run on either Linux or Windows.
"Forming DynamicOps provides Credit Suisse with the opportunity to realize a return on its software investment," said Credit Suisse CIO Karl Landert in announcing the move. Credit Suisse's in-house venture capital group, Next II, is backing the venture with an undisclosed investment.
"We've made it easier to deploy virtual machines, which lowers costs. We went after both servers and desktops... It was a vendor agnostic, holistic approach," said Steve Yatko, managing director of Credit Suisse's global research and development group, which initially developed VRM.