Embotics Free Virtualization Tool Fights VM Sprawl

Virtualization management tool vendor Embotics offers V-Scout, a free program that helps you track virtual machines from cradle to grave and automate management tasks.

Embotics, a virtualization management tools vendor that's been making a name for itself with its V-Commander tools, today will announce a free, starter version of that program dubbed V-Scout. If you're an IT pro trying to figure out the best way to track and automate virtual machines before they sprawl much further throughout your organization, this chance to peek at the Embotics approach for free should be appealing.

Not just Embotics but several other virtualization management tools vendors will try to make some news this week and next, before the spotlight settles on Microsoft's Hyper-V launch event and VMware's VMworld show in mid-September.

V-Scout, which has the same interface as V-Commander, says Embotics VP of marketing David Lynch, should help you answer some key questions about virtual machines in your shop; for instance, the tool can help you analyze how the VMs are produced and tracked and what IT management policies are being applied to the VMs. Then you can automate policies for better management and security, and for help at auditing time.

The free tool includes canned and ad hoc reporting capabilities, so you can slice and dice VM data by say, line of business owner or project number. Today, Embotics tools work only with VMware infrastructure; Lynch says Microsoft Hyper-V support will arrive in late 2008 or early 2009 after Embotics gets the necessary management tools from Microsoft. Citrix support is planned for 2009, he adds.

Tracking VMs has not yet been automated or streamlined at many IT shops: Lynch says he still sees a lot of shops tracking VMs in a spreadsheet, on a whiteboard, or in one recent case, on a cork board with slips of paper.

Embotics estimates that on average, an environment of 150 VMs has anywhere from $50,000 to $150,000 locked up in redundant VMs.

Lynch cites rogue VMs, unpatched VMs and VM naming messes as examples of the ten top virtualization risks hiding in your company.

"There's still a large portion of people working tactically with virtualization," Lynch says.

As we have reported previously at CIO.com, until you get a grip on the tactical jobs, you can't move on to thinking strategically about virtualization, in other words, tapping into it to move your business forward.

The data from the free tool will port to V-Commander in the case an IT shop decides to upgrade. The tool will be available from the Embotics site starting tomorrow.

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Copyright © 2008 IDG Communications, Inc.

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