Novell has updated its Novell Cloud Manager cloud management tool with a number of new features, including an application for access from an Apple iPhone. Novell Cloud Manager 1.1 also adds an enhanced ability to import existing hosts and virtual machines into the cloud. Cloud Manager was introduced in September to help enterprises manage private cloud environments that they operate within their own data centers.
The upgrade also improves elasticity of cloud environments, making it possible for IT administrators to add computing resources to heavily used and under-performing workloads, or withdraw resources from underused or over-provisioned workloads. The upgrade also allows users to bill for cloud services globally in a variety of local currencies, in cases where companies may bill specific departments for IT.
Although version 1.0 has been out on the market only for about three months, the private cloud management market is growing quickly and new features need to be added quickly, says Ben Grubin, director of data center management for Novell. In addition, most Novell customers have deployed Cloud Manager 1.0 only in lab environments, and the 1.1 upgrades will allow it to be deployed in production environments.
"We've given you the ability in 1.1 to put this on an existing infrastructure, go out and discover all of the workloads that you've already got in that virtual infrastructure ... and basically suck all of those workloads in," says Grubin.
Novell is in an increasingly crowded field for cloud management for heterogeneous IT environments, competing against such companies as HP, Microsoft and CA. When Novell Cloud Manager was introduced, James Staten, a Forrester analyst, said he advised clients to standardize on a cloud manager that serves heterogeneous environments because, otherwise, they would need a separate manager for each brand of technology they own.