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As demand for virtual machines increases, so does the possibility of generating them ad hoc, then losing track of them. Controlling virtual machine "sprawl" is a problem that's beginning to be addressed by tools like startup Embotics' V-Commander.
Embotics came out of its development phase for a public debut at VMworld in San Francisco earlier this month. It's V-Commander will manage both running virtual machines and stored images of virtual machines.
If the operating system in both running and offline virtual machines needs to be patched, V-Commander can see that both bases are covered, VP of marketing David Lynch said in an interview. Updating running virtual machines is typically a top priority. Catching up with those that are stored on disk has been a loose end of virtual machine management, he said.
The tool has a built-in repository for storing core virtual machine images and ensuring that a family of virtual machines evolves from a common base for easier maintenance.
It can provide operational oversight of running VMs and govern their startup and provisioning with a centralized set of policies. The policies might dictate that virtual machines using lots of input/output in the middle of the day not be paired with virtual machines that must support unpredictable amounts of Web traffic throughout the day.
V-Commander can be used in conjunction with a partner's product, PlateSpin's PowerRecon Virtual Infrastructure. The PlateSpin product discovers a data center's server and software assets, including virtual machines, and determines their workloads.
The results of such a survey can be used to help set policies that are then enforced by V-Commander. The product can apply such policies to the virtual machines running in multiple VMware Virtual Centers, VMware's management system. Some VMware users end up activating multiple Virtual Centers, noted Lynch.
V-Commander will be generally available in the fourth quarter at a price of $25,000.