As we have noted before, virtualization and cloud computing are forcing a reinvention of the operations management business on two fronts. The first front is that virtualization and cloud computing introduce new requirements that legacy solutions do not meet and they break legacy products rendering them worse than useless (because the consume resources and money and add no value). The second front is that successful operations management vendors like Veeam, Xangati, VMTurbo, Zenoss, PHD Virtual, SolarWinds, Reflex Systems, VKernel, and VMware have all made it much easier to try and buy operations management solutions leading to a new business model for operations management vendors that makes the existing legacy way of selling enterprise systems management software completely unattractive to customers and irrelevant.
The VKernel vOperations Suite Announcement
Today, VKernel, now a subsidiary of Quest announced that the functionality of what used to be the Quest vFloglight product line, will now be brought into the VKernel vOperations product line and sold in the easy to try (download it) and easy to buy basis that has been the foundation of VKernel’s success in the marketplace.
The new vOperations Suite is built around two broad product lines: vOPS Server and vOPS Storage.
vOPS Server focuses on server management with three editions:
- Explorer (Free) – Designed to assess the health of a virtualized environment, the Explorer Edition immediately identifies VMs, hosts and datastores that are suffering performance, capacity and efficiency issues. Users can upgrade to a free trial of the Standard Edition to remediate any issues identified with the click of a button.
- Standard ($549/socket) – An easy to install, rapid time to value application that works “out-of-the-box” to provide virtual server performance analysis, capacity management, optimization and chargeback. vOPS Server Standard Edition(formerly VKernel vOPS) will detect issues in VMs, identify root cause and provide remediation steps that can be automatically implemented.
- Enterprise ($799/socket) – Adds the former Quest Software vFoglight product on to the Standard Edition. Enterprise allows data centers to extend near real-time monitoring into applications such as SQL Server and Microsoft Exchange, the guest OS and non-virtualized servers. The Enterprise edition is vastly scalable and can manage tens of thousands of VMs in a single pane of glass. This edition allows for VM administrators to obtain support tailored to unique requirements with configurability that includes the ability to extend the product’s feature set.
vOPS Storage, the second half of the vOperations Suite, is available in two editions:
- Monitor ($499/socket) – For VM administrators who require deep visibility into the SAN or are also the storage administrators, vOPS Storage – Monitor visualizes the topology from VM to disk. Formerly vFoglight Storage, this solution displays every hardware piece in the SAN and how each connects to other components, highlighting where issues are present and what is causing them.
- vOptimizer ($299/socket) – The former Quest Software vOptimizer Pro detects VMs that are running out of disk space, are over-allocated in storage or have misaligned disk block partitions. All of these issues can then be instantly remediated with automation capabilities.
Implications of the vOperations Suite Announcement
First of all, hat’s off to Quest Software for thinking creatively and out of the box. Traditionally when a big vendor buys a small vendor the small vendor’s company name goes away, and the products get integrated into the big vendor’s product line, marketing process and sales process. With this strategy, Quest has turned that process on its head leading to a “the guppy ate the whale” scenario. Instead of the VKernel products becoming part of the vFloglight product line and being sold and marketed in the way that vFoglight was sold and marketed, Quest did something very different and very smart. Someone at Quest obviously saw the traction that vendors like Veeam, Xangati, VMTurbo, Zenoss, PHD Virtual, SolarWinds, Reflex Systems, VKernel, and VMware have been getting in the virtualization market and saw the lack of traction that legacy vendors like IBM, HP, CA, and BMC have been getting in this market and decided to embrace selling software to virtualization customers in the way that those customers have shown a clear preference to purchase such software.
This is a hugely significant step for the operations management industry because it now means that three large publicly traded management software vendors (VMware, SolarWinds, and Quest Software) have all now voted for the easy to try and easy to buy model. The leading management vendors from a customer base perspective in the management business are Quest Software, Veeam, VMware and SolarWinds, all of whom use this model. It is probably now safe to say that the legacy way of selling software to the virtualization and cloud markets is as dead as legacy products are in these markets.
All of which is very good for customers. There is no substitute for seeing a product work in your environment, in production, for enough time to assess its strengths and weaknesses before actually buying it. This is immensely superior to the old process of seeing whose products conform to a checklist (even if they do not actually work in practice), getting a couple of free rounds of golf, buying it and then spending years and a small fortune trying to make it work.
Quest Software has turned the acquisition integration process on its head by integrating vFoglight with the vKernel vOperations Suite. This is one more feather in the cap of the “easy to try and easy to buy” model of selling operations software into the virtualization market, and one more arrow through the heart of the legacy process of selling operations software to the enterprise systems management and network operations teams. VKernel (Quest) now has the ability to bring substantial depth and breadth of functionality to both existing and new customers. A new chapter in the operations management industry has begun.