Embotics Boosts Virtual Tool, V-Commander Management Capabilities - InformationWeek

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6/26/2008
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Embotics Boosts Virtual Tool, V-Commander Management Capabilities

Version 2.0 enhances current VMware virtualization software and will add support for managing Windows Server 2008 Hyper-V environments by the end of the year.

Embotics has launched the version 2.0 of its virtual machine life-cycle management software, V-Commander for managing VMware ESX Server environments. It will add support for managing Windows Server 2008 Hyper-V environments by the end of the year.

V-Commander 1.0 was noteworthy for its ability to discover both running and quiescent virtual machines stored on disk and cataloguing them according to their parentage. By knowing from what core virtual machine an image was cloned, an IT manager can roll back a malfunctioning virtual machine to one that is both secure and sure to work.

As it was launched last September, V-Commander 1.0 was represented as software that could watch over and prevent virtual machine "sprawl," where VMs are created faster than they can be tracked.

Version 2.0 has several added capabilities, said David Lynch, VP of marketing, in an interview. Its capacity to group virtual machines and apply policies to them has been expanded through its policy engine, which can assign policies at various stages of building and deploying a VM, or at additional stages of its life cycle.

Its reporting capabilities have been enhanced to allow IT administrators to create custom reports, such as a report on all VMs created for a particular line of business and the resources they're consuming. The number of VMs associated with a particular project that are running Windows can be isolated and reported on. The cost of the virtual software licensing, gigabytes of storage, CPU time, and technical support time can be constructed in such reports, giving administrators a means of establishing chargebacks, said Lynch.

It's gained the ability to connect to IBM Tivoli, BMC Software, and Novell PlateSpin's asset management applications. If a system management system, such as Tivoli or BMC Patrol, issues a work ticket that says "remove this virtual machine from the environment, V-Commander can react to that," said Lynch. V-Commander can accept a new virtual machine coming into the environment through the systems management administrator. V-Commander, however, doesn't currently connect to HP's Network Node Manager/Operations Manager (formerly OpenView) management suite or CA's UniCenter, although Lynch said a system management API is available that would allow a customer to do so on his own.

Embotics displayed V-Commander 2.0 in its booth at the Gartner IT Infrastructure, Operations & Management Summit 2008 in Orlando, Fla., earlier this week. It will become generally available July 11 at a price of $10,000, plus $3,000 per instance of VMware ESX running. Embotics is a private firm founded in 2006 in Ottawa, Canada, backed by the venture capital from Tera Capital.

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