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New Software Provides VM Capacity Planning, Self-Service

Embotics has announced version 3.6 of its V-Commander virtualization management software, which includes capacity management that helps system administrators track server resources, a self-service portal that lets users see the virtual machines that have been designated to them--including the ability to run their own reports without having to get too-broad permissions--and the ability to run reports on a schedule. Users with the appropriate permissions can also power-on, power-off, or suspend VMs without their own account in vCenter, though V-Commander registers such actions in an audit log.

Ted Waller, Internet operations engineer for Cvent, a McLean, Va. provider of online event management and planning, says he was interested in the product's new capacity planning features as his company has virtualized more than 90 percent of its servers and has implemented thin provisioning. "When you have 30 VMs on a volume and you run out of disk space, bad things happen." The capacity planning feature will help him go to his CIO and explain why the company needs more server resources. The portal feature will make it easier for him to give users more granular permissions than with VMware, reducing the chance that he will open up security concerns.

Embotics also plans to support Microsoft's Hyper-V by the end of the year. The company will demonstrate Hyper-V support at VMworld. While Cvent currently uses VMware, Waller says there would be benefits to migrating. "Eventually, my CIO is going to ask me to take a hard look at the Microsoft offering from a cost and support perspective," he says. "The more things that are on Microsoft, the better things work together."

Embotics is changing its pricing structure from per-core to per-socket. Previously, pricing started at $360 per core; now, it will start at $398 per socket. Waller was pleased by this change, calling the company's per-core pricing structure "the biggest bone of contention we had when we were working out a deal last year." In addition, because Cvent is moving from 4-core to 6-core servers, his company would not have had enough product licenses.

Features such as advanced management tools are part of the evolution of virtualization from a cost-cutting, consolidation tool to something that will drive operational efficiency, and Embotics is on the right track by focusing on a tightly integrated, comprehensive management approach for the private cloud, says Gary Chen at IDC. However, the market is going to be fiercely competitive between virtualization platform vendors, established management vendors, and startups. V-Commander 3.6 is shipping now to existing users.