VMware beefs up mangement tools

VMware unveiled three management tools ahead of its VMworld European user conference, which officially tomorrow (26 February).

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VMware unveiled three management tools ahead of its VMworld European user conference, which officially tomorrow (26 February).

The company announced Lifecycle Manager, Stage Manager and Site Recovery Manager, with all three tools playing a specific role in a virtualised enterprise.

Stage Manager takes care of administrative duties, including testing and integration, until a system is put into production. "You can test a new service pack before it's put into production," said Robin Prudholm, senior systems engineer at VMware.

Then, Lifecycle Manager takes over and is used until it's time for the system to be retired, with the goal of combating "virtual machine sprawl."

"It's really easy to create a new virtual machine and that sometimes leads to a loss of control, especially when you have your IT department in more than one location," Prudholm said.

With Lifecycle Manager, the creation of virtual machines is more tightly controlled.

"Whenever an administrator needs to create a new virtual machine, he heads to a portal and fills out which project the virtual machine is for and how long it's needed. A top-level administrator then approves the creation of the machine. This puts the IT department back in the driver's seat," Prudholm said.

With the last tool, Site Recovery Manager, VMware wants to simplify the recovery of failed systems.

"Site Recovery Manager opens a lot of doors for small and medium-sized companies," Prudholm said.

Traditionally, site recovery has been a very complex and expensive enterprise. But virtualisation can change that, according to VMware.

"In the physical world, the hardware needs to be identical, down to network cards, at both sites. In the virtual world that's not an issue. You can choose any servers you like," Prudholm said. "Testing is also much simpler; you can do it automatically over night and get a report in the morning."

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