VMware, Inc. (NYSE:VMW) showcased four new virtual machine management products that bring unprecedented automation of IT service delivery and business continuity to the datacenter. These products extend the VMware virtualization platform by automating previously error-prone, slow and manual processes.

VMware virtual machines are ideally suited for capturing and automating IT processes. VMware virtual machines encapsulate applications and operating systems in standardized, hardware-independent packages that can be easily changed, moved and manipulated. VMware’s new management products take full advantage of the mobility and manageability characteristics of virtual machines to deliver scalable, repeatable and efficient IT. The products also leverage VMware VMotion(TM) and the virtual machine packaging of an application and operating system to provide one uniform way to capture and automate processes.
Today’s IT departments are under increasing pressure to create, deliver and maintain flexible and resilient IT services that respond to changing business conditions and withstand any type of downtime. The process of IT service delivery typically includes multiple steps: build, deploy, update, monitor, recover, and retire. IT departments are often overwhelmed with the sheer number of one-off requests for providing new IT services or updating existing ones. Administrators also lack visibility into the status of IT services leading to risk exposures or errors. Business continuity has also traditionally been an intractable problem.

VMware’s new products leverage virtual machines to automate the steps of the IT service delivery and business continuity processes, eliminating repetitive, rote tasks and minimizing the margin for error. The result can be scalable, repeatable and efficient IT processes.

Four New Products for Management and Automation

VMware is introducing three IT service delivery products: VMware Lifecycle Manager, VMware Lab Manager and VMware Stage Manager. Each product extends the VMware Infrastructure platform and uses virtual machines and VMware VMotion to enable automation throughout the entire lifecycle of service delivery.

  • VMware Lifecycle Manager addresses the needs of infrastructure
    administrators, and allows companies to implement a consistent and
    automated process for requesting, approving, deploying, updating, and
    retiring virtual machines.
  • VMware Lab Manager addresses the needs of development and QA engineers
    and the IT teams that support them by providing fast and simple
    self-service provisioning of multi-tier virtual machine based
    environments while enabling IT control over policies.
  • VMware Stage Manager addresses the needs of the IT and application
    administrators responsible for rolling new and updated IT services
    into production, enabling streamlined and accelerated transition of
    applications through the pre-production stages – including
    integration, testing, staging, user acceptance testing – and into

For Business Continuity, VMware demonstrated VMware Site Recovery Manager, which can make disaster recovery more rapid, reliable, and manageable. Traditional disaster recovery solutions are slow and prone to failures because they involve many manual and complex steps, are almost impossible to test, and require exact duplication of the production datacenter hardware to ensure reliable recovery. VMware Site Recovery Manager uses hardware- and operating system-independent mobile virtual machines to deliver a groundbreaking solution, which can make disaster recovery more rapid, reliable, manageable, and affordable. VMware Site Recovery Manager delivers centralized management of recovery plans, automates the recovery process, and enables dramatically better testing of recovery plans.
“Customers have been deploying VMware Infrastructure as their strategic virtualization platform to reduce capital and operating expenses, help ensure business continuity, strengthen security and go green,” said Raghu Raghuram, vice president of products and solutions. “Automation is the next stage for the virtual datacenter. The new VMware products are designed to increase the productivity of IT administrators by preventing virtual machine sprawl and enabling business users to self-provision capacity on demand, and they will bring unprecedented levels of resiliency to all software applications running in VMware virtual machines.”

“VMware Infrastructure together with the new VMware automation solutions, like VMware Lab Manager and VMware Lifecycle Manager, provide us the critical toolset to make the automated datacenter a reality,” said Reid Engstrom, global director shared technical services, Harley-Davidson Motor Company. “This allows us to achieve operational excellence with lowered unit costs and greater responsiveness to business users all while improving IT controls.”
“Embracing VMware Infrastructure 3 with our Business Service Management strategy is critical for customers to be successful in mainstreaming virtualization technologies within the datacenter. As more customers move in this direction, the combination of VMware’s automation products and BMC’s Service Automation products allow customers to automate critical IT processes spanning the physical and virtual datacenter,” said Kia Behnia, chief corporate architect for BMC Software.

“Virtualization enables IT organizations to automate tasks across traditionally disparate ‘IT silos’ such as application development, and the IT infrastructure operations — opening up a whole new world for management in virtualized environments,” said IDC Director Stephen Elliot. “Virtualization also reduces the risk of downtime and streamlines recovery from disasters. As IT organizations expand their virtualized production environments, automation offers an opportunity to extend the initial virtualization ROI while deploying IT services quickly and in strict compliance with IT standards and policies.”

VMware Lab Manager is currently available. VMware Lifecycle Manager, VMware Stage Manager and VMware Site Recovery Manager are expected to be available by the second quarter of this year.