In addition to providing a centralized virtual machine management framework, Leostream VMC also introduces advanced features such as impressive virtual machine inventory capabilities. Leostream VMC keeps a global catalog of virtual machine images, creation and cloning; storage area network integration for redundancy and failover; granular access control; and load balancing capabilities; as well as centralized logging and reporting. The catalog function worked well in tests, allowing us to see and control all the virtual machines on different host systems on the network.We installed VMware GSX Server 2.5 on several Windows Server 2003 and Windows 2000 Server machines. Installation of Leostream VMC was surprisingly simple: Leostream VMC ran as a Red Hat Inc. Red Hat Linux virtual machine on the VMware host system. The Leostream VMC virtual machine taps resources from the host server and has minimum requirements of a 500MHz system powered by an Intel Corp. Pentium III or faster processor, 192MB of memory, and 8GB of disk space. We downloaded the zipped Leostream VMC image from Leostreams Web site, extracted the Leostream VMC virtual machine file into our GSX virtual machine directory and started the Leostream VMC virtual machine. Once Leostream VMC was up and running on the host VMware server, we could access the management interface using a standard Web browser such as Internet Explorer. In tests, we used Leostream VMCs Web interface to easily manage, clone and provision virtual machines on different host servers across separate domains. Leostream VMC provides added security in the form of granular access control capabilities for virtual machines. IT managers can create users in the Leostream VMC management console and assign privileges using policies and virtual machine tags. Tagging allows virtual machines to be classified by type, such as by installed applications or by the virtual machines location. The policies define which users can access a particular virtual machine and what they can do with it. Technical Analyst Francis Chu can be reached at francis_chu@ ziffdavis.com.
Leostream VMC 2.0 is unique in the breadth of capabilities it provides for VMware and Microsofts Virtual Server and in the range of its support. Version 2.0 supports VMwares latest virtual machine software, including VMware Workstation Version 3.2 and above, GSX Server Version 2.0 and 2.5, and ESX Server Version 1.5. VMC will also support Microsofts forthcoming Virtual Server (based on the companys acquisition of Connectix Corp.s virtual machine technology). Currently, Leostream VMC supports the preview version of Microsoft Virtual Server.