Veeam Software, known for virtualization management tools and its FastSCP file management freeware for VMware environments, has acquired nworks, a maker of "enterprise management connectors" that link VMware virtual infrastructure tools and enterprise systems management tools from Hewlett-Packard and Microsoft. \n"Our customers have been asking to manage their physical and virtual infrastructures through a single console, and many of them have significant investments in HP OpenView and Microsoft System Center Operations Manager," says Ratmir Timashev, Veeam president and CEO. \nVeeam's new lineup of product offerings will include backup, reporting and monitoring tools as well as Veeam Configurator, which manages VMware configurations from a Windows interface; nworks Smart Plug-In for VMware for HP Software Operations Manager, which incorporates VMware management into HP OpenView; and nworks Management Pack for VMware for Microsoft System Center Operations Manager, which incorporates VMware management into Microsoft SCOM. \nManaging virtualization today requires a patchwork of old and new management tools for most IT departments. While VMware offers its own set of management tools, a competitive, still-growing pack of startups continues to innovate in niches of the virtualization management market, as nworks has done. \nThis is not to say the HP's of the world are being pushed aside. To the contrary, some virtualization industry-watchers think HP is an example of an old-world vendor that's sitting pretty overall in the virtualization wars.\nIn reality, many IT departments are still debating the need for the newer virtualization management tools, says Cameron Haight, a research VP for Gartner whose specialty is virtualization management. That will change as IT puts a wider variety of subject-matter experts at the virtualization planning table, he believes. \n\n"There's a big debate today, do we buy the virtualization specific tool, or do we take what we bought from HP or IBM and make it work in the virtual world," he says. "Today, the VMware administrator is helping force that debate to have more of a virtualization flavor. Today the VMware environment is being managed as a silo primarily. Over time, I see this changing: As virtualization becomes a bigger part of the IT environment, management has to be integrated as well." \nThe "big four" management tools vendors from the physical world as Gartner defines them, BMC, CA, IBM and HP, haven't gone out of their way to completely bridge their old-world tools with the new world of virtualization, Haight says, but you can certainly expect them to continue to develop new tools and enhancements along those lines, he adds. \nWhere does nworks fit into the tools picture today? "VMware today has an SNMP interface and has published web services APIs so third parties can build solutions," such as nworks' tools, Haight says. "Nworks is filling a functional need, visibility at the ESX level, which VMware didn't have. They provide new metrics as well as a bridge to HP OpenView." \nThis acquisition of nworks enables Veeam to open up its data to third-party management consoles: "Today it's HP and Microsoft, but perhaps others down the road," Haight adds.