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VMware’s new management tools are hybrid, hybrid, hybrid

Brandon Butler | Feb. 12, 2016
VMware wants to manage your data center and the public cloud

VMware has been on a news blitz this week, announcing updates to many of its management products and one specific focus has been on enabling hybrid cloud computing.

The company has a stronghold in its compute virtualization software based on vSphere, but as more enterprises use public cloud services, VMware is extending the support of its management tools to include off-premises resources. VMware hopes that any customer looking to use Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure or Google Cloud Platform will choose the company's vRealize Suite to centrally manage their on-premises virtualized environments and the public cloud.

VRealize Suite combines management software products, such as the newly updated vRealize Operations 6.2, which is meant to be a portal for monitoring and managing a virtual environment. It gives users a central view into all of the virtualized resources in an environment, allowing issues to be resolved and compliance monitoring to be done from a single interface.

screen shot 2016 02 11 at 5.04.06 pm
vRealize Operations 6.2 monitoring AWS public cloud resources alongside vSphere instances

The rest of vRealize Suite is made up of Log Insight (also updated to a 3.3 release with backend enhancements), vRealize Automation (for automatically provisioning workloads across virtual and cloud-based infrastructure) and vRealize Business Cloud (which provides chargeback of usage to departments).

One new hybrid cloud enablement feature is Portable Licensing Unit, which prices VMware's management tools based on how many workloads they manage no matter where those workloads live. They could be VMware virtualized resources, or those in the public cloud.

Carl Brooks, an analyst at 451 Research, notes that the product updates fit with VMware's announced strategy of bundling management tools atop its core virtualization products. "They want to be the gateway, they want to be the control panel in front of the admin, and therefore the most sticky software in the data center," he notes.

But these tools are no silver bullet, Brooks says. They can do high-level API integration with public clouds like AWS and Azure. But management of extensive use of those platforms will likely require expertise in any particular vendor's cloud.

Hybrid cloud management technology is not unique to VMware: A whole host of vendors offer this capability. VMware's one differentiator is its network virtualization NSX technology, Brooks says. VMware has hinted that it will enable customers to use NSX as a bridge between their on-premises and public clouds. Already customers can run the software in both locations.

In addition to the operations management news, VMware announced Virtual SAN 6.2, the fourth-generation update to the company's all-flash storage platform for virtual machines. It includes new deduplication and compression capabilities, which along with other new features, can increase storage efficiency by up to 10x, VMware says.


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