Kace, Vizioncore Lead Cadre of New Virtualization Management Offerings

Virtualization management software vendors, including Kace, Vizioncore, Reflex Systems and Sychron, are using VMworld 2009 to launch new and enhanced offerings touching on everything from server and desktop virtualization to application virtualization. The offerings are all designed to make it easier to manage the growing virtualized environments and lower costs.

With the adoption of server, desktop and application virtualization gaining ground in enterprises, a host of vendors are looking for ways to help companies manage their growing virtualized environments.

Many of these vendors-including Kace, Vizioncore, Reflex Systems and Sychron-are unveiling new offerings at the VMworld 2009 show, which runs Aug. 31-Sept. 3 in San Francisco.

Kace Aug. 31 rolled out the latest version of Kace Virtual Kontainers, its application virtualization technology. Kace Virtual Kontainers 2.0 offers greater application compatibility and easier patching and updating capabilities.

Lubos Parobek, vice president of product management at Kace, said in an interview that the vendor is looking to make it easier and less costly for businesses to adopt application virtualization, where the application is separated from the operating system.

Kace Virtual Kontainers 2.0 offers a signature update service that enables businesses to more easily add support for changes to Windows, middleware and new applications. The new version also makes it easier to directly update, patch and modify existing packages of virtualized applications without having to start over with each change.

It also offers command-line capabilities, enabling IT professionals to create Kontainer packages from the command line, and a self-service user portal, accessible through a Web browser.

"This is really helpful for administrators who have to deal with a lot of ad hoc deployments," said Bob Kelly, senior product manager at Kace.

Vizioncore is bundling its entire solutions set into a single package called vEssentials Complete. The offering covers the entire life cycle of virtual machine management, according to company officials. The company announced the new offering Aug. 31.

Vizioncore already offered vEssentials, through which customers can pick any three Vizioncore management products. With vEssentials Complete, businesses get all six stages of VM management. The latter is for SMBs that run VMware's virtualization platform, vSphere Standard Edition or higher, according to the company.

Reflex Systems Aug. 31 rolled out VMC Version 2.0, which offers a host of new security and management capabilities as well as features aimed at the cloud. Focusing on security as well as management makes sense, Reflex CEO Pete Privateer said in an interview.

"Security and management are just two faces of the same coin," Privateer said.

Reflex's policy enforcement technology, vTrust, now includes infrastructure and compliance policy settings, to go along with the network policy capabilities that already were in place. Storage, memory and CPU levels now can be used to set policies that can then be leveraged to provision virtual machines, mete out resources and respond to security events.

The management software also now can keep track of applications on each VM without having to have an agent or system scanning, making for easier management of the virtual machines.

VMC 2.0 also includes role-based access control for VMs and other virtual infrastructure, and administrators can determine access levels based on the infrastructure and security policies managed by Reflex VMC.

On the cloud computing side, Reflex's new version of VMC comes with an optional API for the cloud, which enables service providers and larger businesses to manage security and compliance for each cloud tenant without the need for external hardware.

Sychron is expanding its OnDemand Desktop VDI (virtual desktop infrastructure) management offering with a new interface for its Enterprise Manager, a single place where users can handle everything from portals to groups of users to clusters across a variety of hypervisor environments for tasks such as provisioning, according to Sychron officials.

OnDemand Desktop 4.0 is highly agnostic. It works with virtualization technology from both VMware's ESX and Microsoft's Hyper-V hypervisors, and will be adding XenServer support from Citrix Systems in the future, Paul Sexauer, senior vice president of sales and marketing at Sychron, said in an interview.

"There are no limitations from a hypervisor perspective," Sexauer said.

It also works with any device type, from traditional desktops to thin clients.

Sychron's new offering also comes with an integrated connection broker, which offers a provisioning engine and load balancing capability in the same place, which removes the need for other software components.

In addition, OnDemand Desktop 4.0 lets businesses scale their virtualized desktop environments, which will be important as enterprises look to move those environments from controlled tests to wider production employment, Sexauer said.