VMware Expands Its Cloud Infrastructure Management Arsenal

VMware's vFabric Application Management Suite is a new offering based on technology from the company's 2009 acquisition of SpringSource. One of its core components is vFabric AppDirector, which handles deployment of applications to cloud environments , according to Rob Smoot, director of product marketing for VMware’s vCenter management products.

"This allows you to assemble the applications with standardized templates and libraries and automate deployment into cloud environments," Smoot said in an interview.

A second component, vFabric Application Performance Manager, keeps tabs on applications to ensure they're functioning properly. While it's mostly focused on Spring and vFabric, the Application Management Suite also works with other development frameworks, said Smoot.

"This gives you a holistic view of the health of an application, from the code up to the business transactions going through it," Smoot said. "We're initially focused on vFabric environments, but our philosophy is open and extensible to other deployment environments."

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Also new is IT Business Management Suite, which is based on technology gained from VMware's acquisition in June of Digital Fuel, an Israel-based SaaS vendor of IT services analytics technology.

This is important for VMware partners that are becoming more involved in cloud service brokerage, Smoot said. "They need a view of the service levels of the different vendors. IT used to do this manually with Excel, but we need more real time view of internal and external services in order to make strategic decisions about where to run applications," Smoot said.

VMware also released its first major update to vCenter Operations Suite, which launched in March and handles performance, capacity and configuration management in virtual and cloud environments running on VSphere.

Through deeper integration of VMware's capacity planning and configuration management technologies, Smoot said the updated vCenter Operations Management Suite can keep tabs on resource pools in private and public clouds while also monitoring any performance impact stemming from configuration changes.

Smoot said VMware now has more than 500 partners selling vCenter Operations Suite, and the simplicity of the product makes it ideal for partners that are looking to add management expertise. For small environments with between 50 and 100 virtual machines, vCenter Operation is deployed as a virtual appliance and can be up and running in minutes, said Smoot.

The Enterprise edition of vCenter Operations can bring in third party data sources, including management feeds and storage networking, Smoot said, adding that there's consulting work for the channel at the higher end in extending third party systems and customizing their customers' dashboards.

Cloud is effecting some significant changes to how infrastructure and apps are managed, and VMware's guiding management principle is to provide visibility across the entire IT stack, including private and public clouds.

"The ownership model is changing. IT used to own the full stack, but increasing some portions of the infrastructure may be managed by another provider," Smoot said. "We're trying to reinvent management for the cloud era, and we're automating everything in sight."