Embotics V-Commander Boosts Virtual Machine Management

Embotics has announced version 3.7 of its V-Commander virtualization management software, which includes integration with VMsphere for improved configuration management and automated remediation of non-compliant virtual machines (VMs) that do not have the appropriate types of metadata defined. Other new features include customizable self-service VM request forms, and enhanced capacity and performance management capabilities, including bottleneck and rightsizing reports.

January 31, 2011

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Embotics has announced version 3.7 of its V-Commander virtualization management software, which includes integration with VMsphere for improved configuration management and automated remediation of non-compliant virtual machines (VMs) that do not have the appropriate types of metadata defined. Other new features include customizable self-service VM request forms, and enhanced capacity and performance management capabilities, including bottleneck and rightsizing reports.

The company had said last August that it planned to ship a version supporting Microsoft's Hyper-V by the end of 2010, but while it has developed that software internally, it is not expected to ship until the first half of this year.

The initial plan was for Embotics to offer general availability of support for Microsoft's Hyper-V by last year, but based on customer requirements, the company decided to invest in capacity features instead and defer release of Hyper-V support, says Jason Cowie, VP of product management for the Ottawa, Canada, company. Embotics had believed 2011 would be the year of mass adoption of Hyper-V, but now believes that will be deferred to 2012, he says.

The VMsphere integration, provided through a VMware Infrastructure Client, means that vSphere users can launch V-Commander in context, so they no longer need to go into VMware Virtual Center (now known as VMware vCenter Server) to perform configuration functions, Cowie says. Instead, the company has been able to marry configuration and change management into Virtual Center using the same interface, he says.

Capacity management reports help prevent the "virtual sprawl" that can happen in virtualization environments. This virtual sprawl makes it difficult for an organization to track where its assets are, according to Cowie. In many organizations, for as many as 10 to 20 percent of the VMs, no one has a good understanding of where they are, their current state and whom their owners are. Cowie related the story of one organization that discovered it had $1 million in virtualization assets.Right-sizing reports include information such as summary, storage, memory and CPU, while idle VM reports show information such as low CPU, disk I/O and network I/O. Bottleneck reports include data such as CPU, memory, disk and network.

"Embotics has done a nice job," says Chris Wolf, research VP for Gartner, a Stamford, Conn., consultancy. "Infrastructure as a service is highly complex, with numerous dependencies such as capacity management and lifecycle management. Embotics' integrated solution is attractive to customers because it can address those management dependencies under a single umbrella. Embotics had been a bit ahead of its time, and virtualization management requirements are now starting to catch up to the solution offered by Embotics."

The new version of the software is available now for prices starting at $299 per year per host CPU socket, or $649 per socket for a perpetual license, Cowie says. The company's users are split fairly evenly between the two licensing schemes, he says. About 20 to 30 percent of Embotics' users are enterprise-sized, while 60 to 80 percent are midmarket-sized, he says. The company has about 30 employees.

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