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Embotics Adds Cloud Automation To Its V-Commander Virtualization Software

Embotics has introduced a new version of its V-Commander virtualization software that provides additional management, policy-driven automation, wizard-driven rapid provisioning features and new cloud automation to its base platform. Other features in version 4.0 include a self-service catalog; granular access controls; the ability to track, audit and report on service delivery; IT costing and chargeback; resource optimization; lifecycle management; embedded workflows; intelligent placement of IT services and virtual machines (VMs); and request and fulfillment management that is role-based, meaning the capabilities differ depending on the role of the person using the software.

Steve Goodman, senior server engineer at Aston University, Birmingham, U.K., has been using V-Commander for six months to manage and monitor the capacity, performance, VM lifecycle, chargeback and configuration of its virtual infrastructure. He has been using V-Commander 4.0 for about a month, which he says has allowed the university, which supports about 11,000 students, to implement a self-service portal for virtual machine provisioning, authorization and configuration change, building upon the chargeback and lifecycle management in the previous versions of the product. “The new self-service provisioning and service catalog is a real bonus and is helping us to streamline virtual
machine requests,” he says. The product’s capacity management tools also helped him defer the purchase of additional servers by buying more memory instead, which he said paid for the software. The chargeback and VM lifecycle features have reduced the time spent tracking and managing the process by approximately 90%, he says. He hopes that, longer term, the software will also support the Hyper-V hypervisor. “Although we’re not planning a migration of our virtual environment to Hyper-V just yet, we don’t want our choice of hypervisor to be restricted by our choice of private cloud management tool,” he says.

While Embotics faces a number of major competitors in the virtualization management space, including VMWare itself, the company is competing by having more features and making the software easier to use than its competitors, particularly in the mid-market, says Jason Cowie, VP of product management for the Ottawa, Canada, company. Consequently, users have one integrated solution rather than three or four, which is heavy and complex to implement for midsize vendors, he says.

Embotics is clearly targeting the small to midsize enterprise market with an “all-in-one” solution that can manage several different aspects of a virtual infrastructure and an internal hardware-infrastructure-as-a-service (HIaaS) cloud, agrees Alessandro Perilli, research director for Gartner. He likes that V-Commander 4.0 now includes a service catalog and a provisioning portal because Gartner considers self-service provisioning to be a fundamental aspect of any internal HIaaS cloud. He also likes the approval workflow framework and the capability to customize both portal appearance and ordering process. However, the product is still infrastructure-oriented, and he expects the company to provide both an
infrastructure-oriented and a service-oriented offering.

V-Commander 4.0 is available now starting at $399 per socket per year. About 80% of the company’s sales are to the mid-market, while the other 20% are to the enterprise, Cowie says.

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