By acquiring ManageIQ, Red Hat has thrown its hat into the ring as a vendor of a suite of software comparable to the VMware vCloud Suite. This has broad ramifications for Microsoft and for legacy vendors of management software.
Putting an entire N-tier application system into a private or hybrid cloud appears to create something that does not fit into the existing definitions for IaaS, PaaS, or SaaS. We need to determine if a new category of cloud computing is warranted. And then if it is, we need to find some appropriate and non-offensive name and acronym for it.
Implementing IT as a Service requires a virtualization platform, and virtualization aware configuration and change management, secure multi-tenancy, provisioning and lifecycle management, orchestration and automation, and service catalog. These capabilities are available from VMware, DynamicOps, Embotics, Eucaplyptus, ManageIQ, newScale, Quest, rPath and Reflex Systems.
The question of whether and how to replace DRS is really a part of the question of what is in the virtualization platform and what is not. Clearly the virtualization platform consists of much more than the hypervisor. VMware would like to define the virtualization platform as all of vSphere Enterprise Plus, and then suggest that vCloud Director and its own performance management solutions are logical extensions of that platform. Enterprises need to be careful about where they draw their own lines in this regard. As VMware is a clear market leader both in terms of product functionality and enterprise installations, VMware needs to be given full credit for the quality of vSphere and its success. However full credit does not need to imply that one is 100% locked in to VMware solution as there is room to pursue third party IT as a Service, Performance Management, and Service Assurance strategies as well as replace/augment components in vSphere.
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vCloud Director is a good start at an IT as a Service platform for enterprises looking for a VMware specific solution that does not integrate with existing physical or non-VMware provisioning mechanisms. Enterprises looking for IT as a Service solutions that span multiple virtualization platforms and that span provisioning across virtual and physical resources should look at alternatives from Platform Computing DynamicOps, newScale, Embotics, Euclyptus, ManageIQ and rPath as these vendors all offer heterogeneous enterprise class IT as a Service platforms.
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VMware intends to in an 18 to 24 month period come out with a true management stack that addresses capacity management, infrastructure performance, applications performance (and service assurance), configuration management, lifecycle management, extended provisioning and wrap all of that into a service catalog that lets IT provide a menu of services that can then be automatically provisioning on a dynamic (or even a cloud based) virtual infrastructure.
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This obviously brings to mind the impact that these new product assets has upon VMware’s existing ecosystem of virtualization management and performance management vendors. VMware has a very rich set of vendors that produce value added products for the VMware environment and it is a valid question as to how VMware’s forthcoming management stack will affect these vendors.
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The support for multiple virtualization platforms on the part of these third party virtualization managements vendors also raises an issue and an opportunity for enterprises with large scale VMware deployments. The issue is to determine if the enterprise is going to end up with more than one hypervisor. If the answer is yes, then the opportunity is to look at a virtualization management solution from a vendor like Dynamic Ops, Fortisphere, ManageIQ, Platform Computing, Surgient, or VizionCore.
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VMware, Microsoft and Citrix all include management tools with their offerings. Every enterprise customer of VMware, Microsoft and Citrix virtualization platforms typically uses the default management tools provided by the virtualization platform vendor. However, there are strong reasons to look beyond these tools, and consider offerings from vendors like Dynamic Ops, Embotics, Fastscale, Fortisphere, Hyper9, ManageIQ, Platform Computing, Reflex Systems, Tripware, Surgient, Veeam, and VizionCore.