Embotics adds granular policy control to virtual management

Embotics adds granular policy control to virtual management

Policy-based management helps companies reduce virtual server sprawl and better manage the lifecycle of virtual machines.

Managing virtual environments became a dominant theme at a Gartner conference this week, and start-up Embotics took the opportunity to launch the second generation of its policy-based management tool that the vendor says tracks virtual machines throughout their entire life cycle.

Embotics, founded in April 2006, this week used Gartner's Infrastructure, Operations and Management Summit to unveil V-Commander 2.0, which now applies rules to different stages of a VM's life cycle. For instance, a virtual machine goes from being provisioned to active to inactive to expired, and it's imperative that IT managers know the current state of all virtual machines and remove unused instances to prevent server sprawl and potential exposures.

V-Commander 2.0 increases the range of zones, or groups, to which IT managers can create and apply policies to include VirtualCenters, data centers, folders, hosts/clusters and resource pools. Company executives say that will give IT managers better control over sets of virtual machines that may require different policies depending on their usage at any given time.

"In this release, we expanded the granularity of the product to create zoning of VMs, provide the ability to overlap zones that apply to such things as compliance, high availability and production," says David Lynch, vice president of marketing at Embotics. "Now we provide the ability to rationalize policy sets across zones so that the software ensures the appropriate policy gets implemented to all the VMs to which it applies."

V-Commander software installs on a server and requires an account with VMware's VirtualCenter to gain access to VMs. It doesn't use agents to collect data, and it provides centralized policy-based management of VMs. The software can track each VM throughout its entire life cycle and associates specific policies around access, authorization and end of life with each VM. This release also includes a policy-driven reclamation feature that would enable IT managers to reclaim unused VM resources or expired VMs after a predefined amount of inactivity.

Embotics competes with a growing market of start-ups focusing their efforts on managing virtual server environments. Companies such as Hyper9, Fortisphere, ManageIQ, CiRBA, iWave Software, Novell's PlateSpin and Netuitive also showcased their tools specific to virtual environments at Gartner's show. Cameron Haight, a research vice president at Gartner, reports that he is tracking more than 100 vendors in the market to manage virtual environments.

"Virtualization is a game-changing technology, and traditional and emerging management players, and the hypervisor providers, are trying to envision the best strategy to manage it," Haight said.

V-Commander 2.0 is scheduled to be available July 11, and pricing starts at US$10,000.

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