VMware Adds Production Assistant Tool

The new tool, called Stage Manager, looks to give IT administrators an additional tool for testing applications and utilizing resources.

VMware is looking to give IT administrators a new tool to help with the testing and deployment of new applications in the data center.

On Jan. 21, the Palo Alto , Calif. , company announced the public beta of Stage Manager, a tool that looks to help streamline the process of bringing a new application through various test phases before full deployment within an enterprise. While VMware is releasing the beta, the full version will not be available until later this year, said Melinda Wilken, senior director for marketing with VMware.

Stage Manager works in concert with VMware's Virtual Infrastructure suite and allows IT departments to have better control over what Wilken calls "shadow instances," or the replicas of a production environment that are created at various stages of testing a new application for eventual use in an enterprise.

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Wilken told eWEEK that these shadow instances tend to stay within a system after an application has already been tested. This can cause sprawl within a system and also draw other computing resources away from other production configurations or interfere with updates and changes to the application.

Stage Manager allows managers to better control all of the preproduction assets, from servers to storage to network equipment, and allows for better utilization of those assets during production, which cuts down on server sprawl once testing is complete. The software also enables the IT department to build preproduction images faster and allows for cloning from older production systems.

"What we wanted was to streamline the production process and allow the IT department a way to move easily from one stage of production to another," Wilken said.

The Stage Manager beta complements VMware's Lab Manager, which allows its users to set aside data center resources for application development and testing. The company updated Lab Manager in July to support 64-bit operating systems.