VMware's latest stab at accelerating customer cloud adoption comes in the form of VMware vCenter Operations Management Suite, which is the newest piece of VMware's comprehensive management portfolio.
The vCenter Operations Management Suite is designed to simplify and automate the operations of virtual and cloud environments. Ideally, the product will make it easier for enterprise IT managers to create IT services that are cloud-based.
The concepts behind vCenter Operations Management Suite mirror much of what Microsoft is promising to deliver with the forthcoming Microsoft System Center 2012, a product that focuses on provisioning and managing private and public cloud platforms that offer IT services.
It seems that VMware has correctly identified that system management is one of the key elements for effectively deploying cloud-based services. "The highly dynamic nature of cloud infrastructure has outpaced traditional operations management disciplines, requiring customers to think differently about how to manage their virtual and cloud environments," Rob Smoot, director, product marketing, Enterprise Management, VMware, said in a statement.
That sentiment is shared by Microsoft as well, at least as far as developing management tools that make it easier to manage and deploy cloud technologies, as evidenced by Microsoft's claims as to what System Center 2012 will offer IT managers.
Obviously, the key to success with developing private and public cloud services is having the proper tools that can deliver provisioning and automation capabilities. "The VMware vCenter Operations Management Suite provides customers with greater visibility 'under the hood' of their infrastructures, and it provides the actionable intelligence customers need to optimize efficiency, enable compliance and proactively manage service levels," Smoot said in his statement.
One of the most notable capabilities offered by vCenter Operations Management Suite is the inclusion of analytics and metrics. Not only are IT managers able to deploy and manage cloud offerings built in the VMware ecosystem, but those managers will now be able monitor service levels and calculate loads over time, as well as look for inefficiencies. The metrics delivered by vCenter Operations Management Suite should prove very useful for IT managers looking for elasticity in operations and for judging scale-up or scale-down as determined by business needs.
It is obvious that vCenter Operations Management Suite may reduce the need for third-party tools, especially those that monitor and report on VMware ecosystem functions. That said, the new suite does incorporate tools that were offered previously as add-ons for VMware's earlier vCenter Operations products. Notable is the Chargeback Manager tool that produces forecasts of future expenditures when current conditions are left as they are, compared with the savings recouped from making adjustments.
While many of the goals set forth for vCenter Operations Management Suite compare with Microsoft's hopes for System Center 2012, one notable difference is that Microsoft is pitching System Center 2012 as hypervisor-agnostic, meaning IT managers can choose whatever hypervisor technology they feel best fits their environment. That means Microsoft's future offering may be a competitive product for vCenter Operations Management Suite, especially since System Center 2012 will support VMware's own hypervisor technology.
General availability of vCenter Operations Management Suite begins now, with various licensing rates beginning at $50 per virtual machine.