Credit Suisse Spins Off VM Control

By Chris Preimesberger  |  Posted 2008-07-08 Print this article Print

DynamicOps' new virtual machine management is based on two years of large data center production deployment.

It's not uncommon that an IT department of an enterprise sees a problem brewing, devises some home-grown software to bridge it, then goes right back to business.

What doesn't happen every day is when an enterprise IT department sees a problem, builds its own software package, uses it for two years in production, then finds so much success with it that it spins off into a new company.

It's storybook-like, but that's exactly how DynamicOps, a new controller of virtual-machine sprawl, was born.

DynamicOps, a venture-funded spinout of Credit Suisse which launched in early June, was formed because the parent company's IT staff saw virtual machine sprawl coming back in 2005 but couldn't find any software on the market at the time that could control it effectively. So they rolled their own.

Now DynamicOps has introduced its pride and joy to the world, Virtual Resource Manager, released on June 24. The software package simplifies and automates the deployment and management of virtual machines in a data center or other IT system--from the time they're created until they're retired.

VRM has been used in production for more than two years in four complex data centers at Credit Suisse, managing thousands of virtual machines. It was initially developed by Credit Suisse's Global Research and Development Group, headed by managing director Steve Yatko.

"The unique self-service capability [of VRM] allows business lines to instantly provide new IT environments, and at the same time, allows central IT to maintain proper controls and policies," said Leslie Muller, the head of IT product development at Credit Suisse and now CTO at DynamicOps.

"VRM provisions servers, desktops, applications and tools as a single package for our clients, providing faster access to custom environments and resources at a fraction of the cost. It also helps IT employees develop applications and products faster."

Virtual Resource Manager lets companies determine how to use physical and virtual compute assets, where to allocate resources and what access to give to business units and individuals, all within a company's corporate governance and compliance requirements, Rich Krueger, the new company's CEO, told me.

The software also enables compliance enforcement by eliminating inconsistent and undocumented processes and rapid multiplication of nonstandard, poorly configured virtual systems, Krueger said.

"As you know, there is a trend in large end-user enterprise companies towards adopting a variety of virtualization platforms for different needs, depending on specific [applications], available budget and other factors. The release of Hyper-V [on July 8] will accelerate this trend," Jeff Byrne, senior storage analyst at Taneja Group, told me.

"It [VRM] was developed in an operational environment and has been used in production applications at Credit Suisse for nearly two years, which gives it a level of reliability and maturity that a new offering like this generally wouldn't have."

VRM's open architecture is engineered to work smoothly with virtualization tools from Citrix, Microsoft, Sun and VMWare and is compatible with Windows and Linux operating systems and a host of other data center products already in use by many large companies. The software is easily customized for specific environments, Krueger said.

Specifically, VRM uses Credit Suisse's operational experience to improve service delivery by combining automated self-service provisioning with process automation; enforce compliance with build specifications and processes; track resource usage and chargeback; identify rogue and abandoned virtual machines; deliver support for multi-vendor virtualization technologies; and provide proven scalability to manage thousands of virtual machines.

"I can't think of another emerging technology company with such a well-tested product out of the gate, which it then offers to the broader marketplace," Byrne told me.

DynamicOps is privately held and based in Burlington, Mass.

Chris Preimesberger Chris Preimesberger was named Editor-in-Chief of Features & Analysis at eWEEK in November 2011. Previously he served eWEEK as Senior Writer, covering a range of IT sectors that include data center systems, cloud computing, storage, virtualization, green IT, e-discovery and IT governance. His blog, Storage Station, is considered a go-to information source. Chris won a national Folio Award for magazine writing in November 2011 for a cover story on and CEO-founder Marc Benioff, and he has served as a judge for the SIIA Codie Awards since 2005. In previous IT journalism, Chris was a founding editor of both IT Manager's Journal and and was managing editor of Software Development magazine. His diverse resume also includes: sportswriter for the Los Angeles Daily News, covering NCAA and NBA basketball, television critic for the Palo Alto Times Tribune, and Sports Information Director at Stanford University. He has served as a correspondent for The Associated Press, covering Stanford and NCAA tournament basketball, since 1983. He has covered a number of major events, including the 1984 Democratic National Convention, a Presidential press conference at the White House in 1993, the Emmy Awards (three times), two Rose Bowls, the Fiesta Bowl, several NCAA men's and women's basketball tournaments, a Formula One Grand Prix auto race, a heavyweight boxing championship bout (Ali vs. Spinks, 1978), and the 1985 Super Bowl. A 1975 graduate of Pepperdine University in Malibu, Calif., Chris has won more than a dozen regional and national awards for his work. He and his wife, Rebecca, have four children and reside in Redwood City, Calif.Follow on Twitter: editingwhiz

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