CA Expands Virtual Infrastructure Management Suite

Virtual Privilege Manager protects the service console used to access a virtual machine hypervisor.

Charles Babcock, Editor at Large, Cloud

July 19, 2010

2 Min Read

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CA's new virtual machine management product line became available Monday and it rounded out its suite with a fifth product, CA Virtual Privilege Manager.

The other four products are CA Virtual Assurance, CA Virtual Automation, CA Virtual Configuration, and CA Virtual Assurance for Infrastructure Managers. They were first announced May 17 during CA World in Las Vegas.

Virtual Privilege Manager is a watchdog over the service console used to start up and manage a virtual machine hypervisor. With VMware's ESX Server, a modified form of Linux constitutes the service console.

CA's Virtual Privilege Manager controls access to the service console; once an operations manager or systems administrator has access to the console, he can tinker with and modify the virtual machines running on the hypervisor, along with their network and security settings. CA's Privilege Manager provides fine-grained access controls over the console, user activity monitoring in the running virtual machines, and console user password management.

"We've hardened the hypervisor's service console. Each administrator has only the access necessary to do his job," said Birendra Gosai, product marketing manager for the virtualization management suite, in an interview.

Gosai said Privilege Manager watches the server on which the hypervisor is running and issues an alert over any unused ports that have been left open as a potential avenue of ungoverned access and security lapse. It checks for any extra processes running on the service console, indicating possible activity that shouldn't be there. And it adheres to the system hardening guide that accompanies each hypervisor, regardless of whether the local administrator has implemented it.

Virtual Privilege Manager is available at a price of $699 per server CPU, Gosai said.

CA Virtual Assurance, also available Monday, diagnoses any problems materializing in the virtual environment and offers guidance on how to solve them. It can perform root-cause analysis and cite the recommended best practices for given problem cases, Gosaid said.

Also available in the suite are: CA Virtual Automation, which includes an automated discovery process that identifies what virtual machines are running and gives administrators the power to create and deploy new VMs; CA Virtual Configuration, which includes a discovery process used to form a picture of settings and resource makeup of each virtual machine and allows an administrator to manage those settings; and CA Virtual Assurance for Infrastructure Managers, for managing a set of consolidated servers and optimizing their operations.

About the Author(s)

Charles Babcock

Editor at Large, Cloud

Charles Babcock is an editor-at-large for InformationWeek and author of Management Strategies for the Cloud Revolution, a McGraw-Hill book. He is the former editor-in-chief of Digital News, former software editor of Computerworld and former technology editor of Interactive Week. He is a graduate of Syracuse University where he obtained a bachelor's degree in journalism. He joined the publication in 2003.

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