Some virtual-server apps manage competing products
CIO - Virtual-server vendors are following the example of systems-management and physical-server vendors by expanding their management applications to control not only their own virtual server environments, but those of their competitors.
Citrix Systems and Microsoft's management tools -- XenCenter and System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2008, respectively -- both manage virtualized environments based on VMware's ESX Server as well as those of their own products.
"Several of our clients are looking at using Microsoft's Hyper-V or Citrix XenServer to compliment their existing VMware ESX environment," says Chris Wolf, senior analyst for The Burton Group in Salt Lake City. "The reasoning has primarily been cost, and the other platforms provide the services they need for virtualizing branch offices as well as development, test or training environments."
Citrix's XenCenter manages the company's XenServer, VMware's ESX Server and Microsoft's HyperV environments. Microsoft promises its Virtual Machine Manager 2008 (VMM), which is in beta test now, will also support Xen and VMware ESX Server.
"It's not just about managing VMware enough to get customers to convert to Hyper-V; we are looking at a full management experience for both sets of users," according to Ed Yuen, technical product manager at Microsoft. "We've gone the route of having multi-vendor management," says Yuen. "We recognize that a customer isn't going to have just Microsoft Hyper-V servers or virtual servers, they are going to have VMware racks too-and if they do, VMM will manage it."
Yuen says that Microsoft made a commitment to provide Xen management. "Obviously since the acquisition of XenServer, Citrix would be at the top of that," Yuen says.
VMware is the only virtualization vendor in the top three that hasn't anted up to managing other environments.
The company's answer: "If our customers demand it, we will consider it."
"At this point, it is definitely something we want to do, when we feel there is enough market adoption of other virtualization technologies," according to Erik Wrobel, director of product management for VMware. "Right now when we talk to customers they either have not adopted mixed environments at all or have done so in small amounts."
However, managing environments other than its own may not be to VMware's advantage, Wolf says.
"VMware currently doesn't have as much to gain by supporting products with small market penetration," Wolf says. "Rushing to support these platforms could also be viewed as VMware validating their relevance, which is something VMware is in no hurry to do."
The management of heterogeneous virtualized environments has also gained some degree of success with other software vendors.
Hyper9, a startup in Austin, Texas, has said that its product will manage Microsoft Virtual Machine Manager and Citrix XenCenter instances as soon as next year. The company's Hyper9 software, in beta now and expected to ship in September, already manages VMware ESX Server environments.
CA too has joined the game. It's CA Unicenter Advanced Systems Management console and that of VMware's VirtualCenter work together to monitor joint environments.
- Virtualization Security Is Not an Oxymoron While the business benefits of virtualization are clear, the virtualized world makes your organization vulnerable to an array of new cybersecurity threats.
- Security for Virtualization In the rush to implement virtualization, security has become second. So while the business benefits are clear, the risks are less well documented...
- Enabling Ubiquitous Visibility in Virtualized Environments Enterprises are rapidly adopting virtualization for dynamic service delivery and service management agility. IT challenges already exist in virtual environments and will only...
- ESG - Economic Value Validation - Riverbed Performance Management: Cascade Top 10 Most Important IT Priorities
- Live Webcast Best Practices: How to Improve Business Continuity with Virtualization VMware solutions include a range of business continuity capabilities to help ensure availability for applications across your virtualized environment. Learn More>>
- Best Practices: How to Improve Business Continuity with Virtualization VMware solutions include a range of business continuity capabilities to help ensure availability for applications across your virtualized environment. Learn More>>
- Cloud Knowledge Vault Learn how your organization can benefit from the scalability, flexibility, and performance that the cloud offers through the short videos and other resources... All Virtualization White Papers | Webcasts