SolarWinds is betting that due to the size of its existing administrator community (the over 1M users of its free tools, and the 97,000 paying customers) that it can cost effectively reach the admin’s at the 225,000 VMware customers that are being under-served by the vendors targeting larger customers and larger VMware environments.
When you read books on virtualization, cloud computing, security, or software product sheets a common word that shows up is Policy. Tools often claim to implement Policy, while books urge you to read or write your Policy. But what does Policy imply?
Webster (webster.com) defines policy as:
1 a : prudence or wisdom in the management of affairs b : management or procedure based primarily on material interest
2 a : a definite course or method of action selected from among alternatives and in light of given conditions to guide and determine present and future decisions b : a high-level overall plan embracing the general goals and acceptable procedures especially of a governmental body
When you read policy in product literature and books we are looking at definition number 2 and often a over b. But what does this mean to those who administer and run virtual environments or make use of cloud services?
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.
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.
I talked extensively to Hyper9 to determine if their product would be a good fit for the SMB as most of their marketing literature is geared towards helping to manage thousands of VMs not necessarily 100s of VMs. My thoughts before talking to them is yes it would be useful, but after talking to them, I discovered some key facts that would help an SMB decide on whether or not to invest in Hyper9 which is a tool to allow you to query the VMware virtual environment for issues as well as general information.
Enterprises are urged to look at virtualization management as a separate purchasing decision from the decision to purchase and standardize upon a virtualization platform. Third party vendors are likely to be more in tune with the requirements of constituents other than virtualization administrators, and products from these third party vendors are more likely to provide robust support for multiple virtualization platforms.