Anybody who's ever taken an algebra class or can identify a cliche knows what "lowest common denominator" means. IT management software provider Convirture has taken that overused phrase and turned it on its head.
The San Mateo, Calif.-based cloud-system middleware maker came out Jan. 14 with a new version of its ConVirt Enterprise platform that includes Microsoft's Hyper-V as a supported virtualization platform in its ever-widening scope of included components.
Convirture, now in its seventh year in business, has several dozen big-time commercial customers and more than 90,000 users of its freemium platform and services. The company sees its entire purpose as being a simplifier of IT management--specifically management of virtualized assets--for enterprises.
Managing All Virtualization From One Location
Think about it: How cool would it be to manage all your virtual machines and hypervisors--no matter what make or license--across multiple cloud platforms from a single UI? That's exactly what ConVirt Enterprise provides.
"We bring a 'highest-common-denominator,' high-value unified management stack that allows you to bring together all your data center platforms," Convirture CEO and founder Arsalan Farooq told eWEEK. "We started by doing open source (KVM and Xen), adding automation and management to those platforms. VMware we've been supporting for a while; Hyper-V has been the one outlier.
"There's a reason for that--we had to go with the market leaders first. It's (Hyper-V) now mature enough, is realistically relevant and getting more market share all the time. It completes our set."
In addition to managing KVM, Xen, VMware and Hyper-V, ConVirt Enterprise also can pool those disparate resources to create private clouds that provide self-service infrastructure without making disruptive changes to existing systems, Farooq said.
Single Point of Control
By combining ConVirt Enterprise Cloud, any type of virtual machine and cloud management, enterprises can have a single point of control to manage other cloud computing platforms--such as OpenStack, Amazon EC2 or Eucalyptus.
"There are a lot of businesses that are looking for a more sophisticated tool than Hyper-V Manager to manage multiple Hyper-V hosts, without the expense and complexity of stepping up to System Center, and that's where ConVirt fits in," Farooq said.
However, ConVirt Enterprise does not replace the functionality of a Microsoft System Center; it merely becomes a bridge--with its own value-added functions--from Hyper-V Manager to the much more sophisticated System Center.
"We're the 'Goldilocks' solution: cost-effective, easy-to-deploy and use, but sophisticated enough to manage multiple instances across multiple hosts," Farooq said. "If an organization is using other hypervisors and cloud platforms, ConVirt is the single pane of glass to control them all."
If needed, ConVirt can convert management of multiple Hyper-V hosts into a private cloud so that computing resources are self-serviceable by users and can be controlled, for example, with quota management, Farooq said.
ConVirt can do even more than that. Beyond Hyper-V management, ConVirt can serve as a unified management platform for an organization's entire virtualization and cloud infrastructure. So ConVirt can extend its management capabilities beyond internal virtual machines to include public cloud resources, Farooq said.
New features in ConVirt for Hyper-V include a centralized view of resource information for each virtual machine; self-service virtualization management; unified virtualization and cloud management; and centralizing virtual and cloud infrastructure management.
Farooq said that there is no "rip-and-replace" with ConVirt, because it builds on the existing features within each virtualization and cloud platform. Provisioning is done centrally so that cloud computing resources appear as an integral part of the data center, he said.
ConVirt Enterprise and ConVirt Enterprise Cloud with Hyper-V support is now available directly from Convirture. Volume pricing for an annual subscription starts at $449 per host for single socket servers. Users of ConVirt 3.0 with a current Gold Support and Maintenance package will receive Hyper-V support as a free update.