VMware Buy Expands Virtualization Opportunities

Dunes Technologies lets VMware take greater advantage of the growing ubiquity of virtualization in the enterprise.

SAN FRANCISCO--VMware announced today that it has acquired Dunes Technologies, a vendor specialized in software that allows customers to automate workflows for managing their virtual environments. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The move comes at a time when virtualization is moving speedily from leading edge to mainstream, with VMware positioned as the vendor most ready to take advantage of this rapid rate of adoption.

The application from Dunes is a natural fit for the most recent version of VDM (Virtual Desktop Manager), which VMware announced at VMworld, its annual conference here.

VDM is one of several products that VMware is introducing to extend the functionality of virtualization from server consolidation to other aspects of IT management, such as remote desktop management.

The Dunes application will help VMware to create an automated workflow for provisioning and maintaining virtual desktops from cradle to grave.

"Dunes is essentially a workflow platform for managing virtual machines," noted Bogomil Balkansky, senior director of product marketing for VMware.

Balkansky said the application creates a portal for users to request a virtual machine, and an approvals and provisioning workflow for the IT staff. It will allow administrators to create the virtual machine either from a template or by copying another existing machine, or administrators can create one from scratch.

The application will also allow administrators to monitor utilization, adjusting resource allocations as necessary. It will also send prompts to users if it seems like they are no longer using a given virtual machine, much like desktop software offers to clear actual desktops of unused icons.


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Balkansky said the application becomes especially valuable at the enterprise level, where customers can derive cost savings and efficiencies from automating a provisioning process, and can also ensure that IT administrators are complying with internal standards and policies when building a new virtual machine for their users.

The application can greatly speed provisioning, but Balkansky warned that customers will also have to adapt their internal processes to map to the technology. They will have to address new issues, such as "who approves the virtual machine? Who approves the right configuration?" he noted.

To help with this aspect of adoption, VMware has created a wiki to help "operationalize virtualization." Balkansky described it as "a place for different constituencies to collaborate on operational matters, like how do you handle charge-backs."


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Demand for virtualization technology promises to continue growing, and, according to VMware, broader adoption will lead to the discovery of ever more uses for its application.

During his keynote presentation, Advanced Micro Devices chairman and CEO Hector Ruiz cited figures from IDC demonstrating rapid projected growth by the end of this decade. According to IDC, businesses will spend $20 billion on server hardware between now and 2010, 68 percent of which will be spent on servers partitioned for virtualization; the number of virtual servers is expected to grow by 41 percent CAGR (Compound Annual Growth Rate) over the same period.

The growth in virtualization can also be measured in terms of attendance at VMworld, which has grown from 1,500 four years ago to over 10,000 this year.

The acquisition of Dunes, based in Lausanne, Switzerland and Stamford, Conn., helps VMware broaden its product suite in one area where some industry observers may have felt it was lacking.


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