IT as a Service

IT as a Service (ITaaS) covers private clouds hybrid clouds and the cloud management offerings used to create and manage these clouds. This includes coverage of Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) private and hybrid cloud offerings, Platform as a Service (PaaS) private and hybrid cloud offerings, and Software as a Service (SaaS). (Read More)

Emerging areas like Desktop as a Service (DaaS), Storage as a Service, and Applications as a Service are also covered. The key issues covered include which enterprise applications and use cases are appropriate for private and hybrid clouds, and how vendors should select the cloud management offerings that are going to be used to manage these various types of cloud services. Covered vendors include VMware (vCloud Automation Center), VirtuStream, CloudBolt Software, Intigua, ElasticBox, ServiceMesh, Cloudsidekick, and Puppet Labs.

Your VMworld 2012 Virtualization Management Sponsors and Exhibitors Short List

VMworld2012150x27VMworld 2012 is upon us and one of our tasks is to figure out which vendor’s booths to go see. With over 230 booths to choose from this is a daunting task. If you are interested in finding creative new solutions to your management, monitoring, deployment, security, data protection, and desktop management problems, this list will help you.

Virtualization Management Categories Defined

Here are the definitions of the eight virtualization management categories profiled below:

  • Application Performance Management (APM) – APM is about the end-to-end and hop-by-hop (across application tiers) measurement of response time and the diagnostics required to pinpoint degradations in response time (or flat out failed transactions) in the applications themselves or in the supporting infrastructure. APM tools come in two varieties. Developer focused tools help developers (or DevOps teams) support custom developed applications in production by quickly identifying and diagnosing application code problems in production. Operations focused tools  support every application in the environment (custom developed and purchased), and focus their diagnostics more on infrastructure issues that are impacting application performance.
  • Operations Management – Operations Management is a broad category of products that are used to support the day-to-day performance, capacity and configuration management tasks that face virtualization administrators. While all of these products support vSphere, some support other hypervisors as well.
  • Infrastructure Performance Management – IPM is APM for the infrastructure. It is all about the end-to-end and hop-by-hop latency of the infrastructure in support of the workloads running on the infrastructure. The thesis of this category is that in a virtual environment you cannot infer the performance of the infrastructure from resource utilization metrics, you have to measure it directly and continuously.
  • Automated Server and Image Management – This category has come into its own this year. The focus is upon allowing you to automatically manage what runs on your servers (physical, virtual or cloud), update them at scale, and keep them consistent. Think of this category as BladeLogic Version 2.0.
  • Cloud Management – Cloud Management is about building clouds on your vSphere infrastructure, and extending those clouds to other hypervisors, as well as to public cloud infrastructures.
  • Virtualization Security – Virtualization Security is about protecting the infrastructure, the systems software, the middleware, the applications, and all data from unauthorized use or attacks.
  • Virtualization Backup and Data Protection – Backup and Data Protection ensure that your data is always available for you (and no on else), irrespective of what failures or disasters have occurred in or to your IT environment.
  • Desktop Virtualization – Desktop Virtualization is about using virtualization as a catalyst to combine the benefits of user flexibility and centralized management.

Your VMworld 2012 Short List

Vendor Product Category What Makes Them Special New at VMworld 2012 Booth #
Application Performance Management
Aternity Frontline Performance Intelligence Platform Application Performance Management Provides a unified view of end user experience management across physical, virtual, and mobile environments Management of View end user experience through the correlation of PC-over-IP® (PCoIP®) latency with the actual business transaction response times and the VM image’s health. 329
ExtraHop Networks Application Delivery Assurance
Application Performance Management Performance Management of every application in the environment across virtual and physical tiers with no agents User application performance geo-mapping, solution bundles, and flex grids for virtualization management. Subscription pricing for virtual appliances. 2335
New Relic RPM Application Performance Management SaaS delivered APM for Java, .NET, Ruby, PHP and Python applications 529
VMware vFabric APM Application Performance Management Support for every application through a virtual appliance on a mirror port, and support for deep dive Java diagnostics via a Java agent
 Operations Management
Astute Networks ViSX Operations Management Simple to deploy network attached Flash Storage optimized for VMware and deployable by the VMWare Adminstrator ViSX G4 High-Performance VM Storage Appliance 435
Cirba Cirba Operations Management Sophisticated predictive analytics for controlling capacity, resource allocations and placements. 623
CloudPhysics CloudPhysics Operations Management The CloudPhysics platform helps you make the best decisions in the face of continual change. We make the invisible visible – revealing otherwise hidden structures and relationships in your datacenter. Launch of the CloudPhysics service. Fusion-io 2201
Hotlink SuperVISOR Operations Management Extends VMware vCenter to fully manage Hyper-V, KVM, XenServer, CouldStack and Amazon EC2 – no additional console required. Management of EC2 and CloudStack from VMware vCenter 2422
Intigua  Intigua Operations Management Virtualizes your Management Agents so that their impact is minimized and so that they are easily managed at scale 428
ManageEngine  IT360 Operations Management Agentless monitoring for applications and servers along with single pane of glass view across physical, virtual and cloud IT infrastructure. Privileged password management for VMware vSphere, capacity planning reports and automated resource optimization for virtualization software. 2340
PHD Virtual  Virtual Monitor Operations Management End to end virtual infrastructure monitoring for vSphere and XenServer & XenDesktop environments. 314
Reflex Systems Virtualization Management Center Operations Management Real-time, streaming data analysis including customizable analytics, charts and graphs that give enterprises extremely granular visibility and pure data fidelity for managing virtual infrastructure.  Reflex and ExtraHop partner to drive IT automation in virtualized datacenters and cloud infrastructure by delivering integrated infrastructure and application context to performance management. 517
Splunk Splunk App for VMware Operations Management Unlock the value of vSphere data and get granular performance management and analysis, as well as security reporting and monitoring, complete operational visibility and capacity analytics. The new Splunk App for VMware  1909
VKernel vOps Manager Operations Management Provides control over virtual environments and cloud deployments with analytics, advice and automation Performance impact modeling for environment changes, Automated environment change implementation, VM issue diagnosis screen for all problems affecting a VM, VMware vCloud Director integration 607
VMTurbo Operations Manager Operations Management Ability to guarantee resource allocations based upon workload priorities

Integrated configuration management with OpenStack


VMware vCenter Operations Operations Management Automated operations management solution with self-learning analytics, application awareness and integrated performance, capacity and configuration management for virtual and cloud infrastructure. Full transaction tracing and Closed loop integration from provisioning to monitoring to auto scaling (In Beta)  CAP1
Zenoss Service Dynamics Operations Management A single product that delivers end-to-end service assurance for real-world, hybrid IT that spans physical, virtual and cloud-based infrastructure.


 Infrastructure Performance Management
Gigamon GigaVUE Fabric Manager Infrastructure Performance Management Gigamon empowers infrastructure architects, managers and operators with visibility into the physical and virtual networks without affecting the performance or stability of the production environment. GigaVUE-FM provides the platform to manage distributed GigaVUE-VM virtual fabric nodes on virtual and physical infrastructures. 1716
Virtual Instruments VirtualWisdom  Infrastructure Performance Management
Real time, Deterministic and Comprehensive Health and Latency Metrics from the VM to the LUN  
Xangati Xangati Management Dashboard (XMD) Suite Infrastructure Performance Management Live and continuous tracking of infrastructure performance health (server+hypervisor, storage and network). Problems identified within first hour of install. StormTracker: Industry’s first solution to track and anticipate transient, performance storms that fly under the radar of conventional monitoring solutions.  2413
 IT Automation
Puppet Labs Puppet Automated Server and Image Management IT automation software that gives system administrators the power to easily automate repetitive tasks, quickly deploy critical applications, and proactively manage infrastructure changes, on-premise or in the cloud. The Puppet integration service for VMware vFabric Application Director provides customers with the productivity and agility benefits of software-defined infrastructure.  2323
Opscode Chef Automated Server and Image Management Chef is an open-source systems integration framework built specifically for automating the cloud. Integration of Opscode Chef with VMware vCloud Director as well as vCloud integrations with Terremark and Bluelock, enabling users to deploy and automate vCloud infrastructure in private/public clouds.  2431
rPath  Cloud Engine Automated Server and Image Management Automate the assembly, provisioning and change of OS platforms, middleware platforms and entire application stacks to deploy, not in weeks, but in minutes Unveiling of ECAF model removes chaos from cloud transformation & plugs IT pros into power of cloud with positive business results. Pragmatic approach embeds need for standardization & guides journey.  2441
 Cloud Management
Cloupia Unified Infrastructure Controller Cloud Management A multi-hypervisor and multi-cloud provisioning and management solution that provides physical and virtual infrastructure control, management and monitoring Unified Converged Infrastructure Orchestration Solutions – FlexPod & VSPEX 100
DynamicOps Cloud Suite Cloud Management Management of private, hybrid, and public clouds across multiple hypervisors and virtual/physical infrastructures Just got acquired by VMware 512
Embotics V-Commander Cloud Management Private Cloud In a Box – Deployed in Less than One Hour IT as a Service functionality: Request multiple virtual or physical assets from a single entry in the service catalog. 616
ManageIQ  EVM Suite Cloud Management Enterprise cloud management solutions that enable IT services to be easily provisioned and managed across physical, virtual, private and public cloud infrastructures.  Major new release announcement with support for hybrid clouds including leading public clouds like Amazon and Rackspace. 506
Virtustream XStream Cloud Management A cloud for business critical, performance critical and mission critical applications like SAP xStream software GA for enterprises, service providers and governments: private, public and hybrid cloud management for existing hardware/virtualization with security and legacy application SLAs NetApp Booth 1402
Virtualization Security
 AFORE Solutions CloudLink Virtualization Security AFORE’s CloudLink® provides encryption for active Cloud Storage and Virtual Hosted Applications. CloudLink® protects mission critical data while managing security compliance and service performance. AFORE’s announces: CloudLink® 2.0 – Secure Virtual Storage Appliance; CloudLink CX Encryption of End-User Data in VDI and Virtual Hosted Apps; CloudLink Achieved Secured by RSA® Partner Certification 2428
HyTrust HyTrust Virtualization Security HyTrust empowers organizations to virtualize more by delivering enterprise-class controls for access, accountability, and visibility to their existing virtualization infrastructure. 2129
Trend Micro Deep Security &
Secure Cloud 
Virtualization Security Trend Micro Incorporated, creates a world safe for exchanging digital information with Internet content security and threat management solutions. 1123
Symantec Critical System Protection
Virtualization Security Critical System Protection w/vSphere integration. CSP adds an multi-layer security to critical systems such as VMware vCenter as well as enforcement of security hardening of vSphere.  Deep Security 9 offers better protection, performance & ROI for virtual servers & desktops & with our new Trend Ready program you can confidently pick a Deep Security compatible cloud service provider. 909
Backup and Data Protection
Quantum  vmPro Virtualization Backup Quantum addresses data protection and big data management, providing specialized storage solutions for physical, virtual and cloud environments to maximize the value of data. 2017
Veeam Veeam Backup & Replication Virtualization Backup VM admins like Veeam because it’s fast, reliable and easy to use. Eliminates headaches of traditional backup, including agents, backup job failures and multiple backups. 100% virtualization-focused. Restore VMs from SAN snapshots. Fast: < 2 min. Flexible: Individual VMs, guest files or Microsoft Exchange items. Free: worry-free, agent-free and literally free (included in upcoming 6.5 release). 1709
Zerto Virtual Replication Virtualization Backup Zerto, VMworld Best of Show 2011 winner, provides the only hypervisor-based business continuity/disaster recovery solution for business-critical application protection in virtual & cloud environments. Zerto Virtual Replication 2.0 is Live – featuring multi-site replication and secure multi-tenancy. Plus, over 35 Cloud Providers begin offering cloud Disaster Recovery services powered by Zerto. 624
Desktop Virtualization
Appsense  User Virtualization Platform Desktop Virtualization AppSense reduces IT complexity and enables enterprise consumerization with independent management of the user experience across all mobile devices and desktops. 301
Citrix XenApp, XenDesktop, & XenClient Enterprise Desktop Virtualization With cloud, collaboration, networking and virtualization technologies, Citrix powers mobile workstyles and cloud services, making complex enterprise IT simpler and accessible for 260,000 organizations 735
Desktone Desktone Cloud Desktop Virtualization Desktone delivers the industry’s only multi-tenant desktop virtualization platform for service providers to offer Desktops as a Service (DaaS). Dell/Wyse, NaviSite, Quest Systems & NetApp will be demoing DaaS built on the Desktone platform. In addition, Desktone will discuss support for VMware View 5 user experience features including PCoIP. 2330
Liquidware Labs Stratusphere FIT, IXD, UX & ProfileUnity Desktop Virtualization Liquidware Labs™ offers an integrated set of solutions to support the complete desktop transformation lifecycle for migration to next-generation “anytime, anywhere, any device” desktops. ProfileUnity with FlexApp combines virtualized deployment of department and user applications with full-featured user virtualization for ultra-manageable desktops with best TCO. 2536


We wish you safe travels to and from VMworld 2012 and a great show. The one certainty is that the virtualization and cloud landscapes will be different after VMware and all of the vendors in the ecosystem make their announcements next week. VMware’s new Software Defined Data Center strategy is going to usher in a set of changes as profound as those precipitated by virtualization itself – and that entire journey lies in front of us.

Here Comes the Heterogeneous Distributed Enterprise Cloud

ITasaServiceVMware’s purchase of DynamicOps signaled a major shift in both VMware’s strategy, and in the market for cloud management solutions. Previously VMware strategy (with vCloud Director) was focused mainly upon addressing development, test, pilot and training type use cases on its own vSphere platform. This relegated clouds to tactical and transient use cases which while important for many enterprise organizations, are not the bread and butter use cases that drive IT Operations day in and day out. Now here comes the enterprise cloud. Continue reading Here Comes the Heterogeneous Distributed Enterprise Cloud

Is the Software Defined Data Center the Future?

ITasaServiceVMware purchased Nicira, backed the Openflow Community, and is now touting software defined data centers (SDDC).  But what is a software defined datacenter? Is it just virtualization or cloud with a software defined network? Or is it something more than that? Given heavy automation and scripting of most clouds, do we not already have SDDC? If not where are we going with this concept? What does SDN add to the mix? Continue reading Is the Software Defined Data Center the Future?

Windows Intune 3.0 Microsoft Cloud-based Device Management – More Than Just a Curiosity

DesktopVirtualizationInitial released in March 2011 at the Microsoft Management Summit 2011 in Las Vegas, Windows Intune was Microsoft’s first toe in the water of cloud-based management services for business desktops.  Initial designed to appeal to small to medium-sized companies with up to 500 desktops, it offered a minimal feature set with just the bare bones needed to secure and control basic of desktop services. Nevertheless, there was strong early interest,with all 1,000 test places taken just 24 hrs after the initial public beta was launched in April 2010.  When Microsoft first launched Windows Intune it was easy to misunderstand; combining as it did operating system and application management services, remote support services, and anti-malware services along with a Software Assurance-like Windows upgrade license. As a management solution it was limited, certainly not capable of meeting the needs of more customers with more complex environments. At the same time though it offered sophisticated features that abstracted complexity of managing different operating system releases, and as a cloud-based service it was easy for organizations lacking in skill IT support staff to obtain remote support services from MSPs. Continue reading Windows Intune 3.0 Microsoft Cloud-based Device Management – More Than Just a Curiosity

Maritz/Gelsinger – Virtualization and the Cloud Diverging?

CloudComputingSo far we know this much for sure. Pat Gelsinger from EMC is going to replace Paul Maritz as CEO of VMware, and Paul Maritz is going to become Chief Strategist at EMC. It is also fairly likely that there is much that we do not know, and in fact it is likely that we cannot even firmly list thing things that we do not know (we do not know what we do not know (and you thought only the government had that problem)). Continue reading Maritz/Gelsinger – Virtualization and the Cloud Diverging?

Microsoft’s Three Pronged Windows Azure Strategy

ITasaServiceBack in June Microsoft announced major enhancements to its Azure public cloud – adding a robust set of Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) capabilities to the existing .NET based Platform as a Service (PaaS) capabilities. Now comes word that Microsoft will put the Azure Service Management Portal into the Service Provider Edition of Windows Server 2012, allowing service providers to offer their own branded Azure based clouds. This leads to one question on Microsoft’s Windows Azure Strategy. How much of Azure will be in the version of Windows Server 2012 destined for on premise enterprise use?

Microsoft’s Biggest Asset

Microsoft’s biggest asset is the installed base of its Windows Server operating systems, the associated Windows applications that run on those servers and the corresponding Windows Desktop operating systems and applications. If you look at Microsoft as a cloud vendor with this asset in their pocket and compare Microsoft to Amazon and VMware the differences are stark. Amazon has effectively zero on premise footprint unless you include the on premise installations of AWS compatible clouds from vendors like Eucalyptus. VMware claim over 250,000 customers, but the customer base for Windows Server is at least one order of magnitude (10x) larger.

It is also the case, the Microsoft has a massive presence at the application layer that neither VMware nor Amazon have. If you look at the installed bases of SQL Server, Exchange Server, IIS, and the multitude of other server based applications, Microsoft is far ahead of any of its rivals on this front.

The New Windows Azure Strategy

Let’s combine the two things that we do already know with some informed speculation on the third:

  1. We already know that Microsoft is positioning the Azure public cloud as a robust, flexible and open IaaS public cloud offering fully capable of competing on a head-to-head basis with Amazon AWS and anyone else (Google?) who may enter the public IaaS market in the future.
  2. We have just seen the announcement that hosting companies will be able to private label Azure and offer Azure IaaS and PaaS services to their customers through the integration of the Azure Service Management Portan and API to Windows Server 2012.
  3. There is only one missing piece – one that Microsoft has hinted at on many previous occasions. That is how much a Azure is going to be built into the version of Windows Server 2012 that will be sold for on premise use by enterprise customers world wide?

The Seamless On-Premise, Service Provider, Azure Public Cloud Strategy

Microsoft has already stated on numerous occasions that it is going to let customers set up where applications run in their on-premise installations of Active Directory and at the same time point each set of users to the appropriate installation (on premise, server provider, Azure Cloud) instance of those applications. Microsoft has taken steps to make migrating SQL Server databases between instances easier. If Microsoft follows through on all of this with something that makes delivering applications on Windows 2012 identical to ordering up applications through a service provide or the Azure Cloud then Microsoft will be effectively leveraging it biggest asset (the installed base of Windows and Windows applications) to feed its Azure cloud strategy.

Impact on VMware vCloud

Many service providers have already stood up vCloud based clouds in an attempt to steal workloads running on the on-premise instances of VMware vSphere. So right now VMware is ahead of Microsoft in terms the size of the third party cloud ecosystem that has been built. But Microsoft has a substantial existing ecosystem of hosting providers that it fully intends to convert into Windows Azure Cloud partners. So this is an area where Microsoft, if it executes well, can catch up with VMware pretty quickly.

The card that Microsoft has to play here that VMware is completely missing is the installed base of operating systems and applications. The three key pieces here are Active Directory (whose stuff runs where), .NET (the application level API’s) and SQL Server (the database). In contrast, VMware has no Directory Service, it has the start of an application platform in the form of Cloud Foundry (but a long way to go) and no in house database server. If Microsoft can prove that dealing with Windows applications and services at the Windows level (instead of just encapsulating them the way VMware does) has advantages to the customer, then this war will tip towards Microsoft.

Microsoft also has the obvious advantage of having its own cloud, something VMware does not have or offer.

Impact upon Amazon AWS

While Azure now support Linux workloads, and AWS certainly supports Windows workloads, the trend here is clear. If Microsoft succeeds at nothing else, it will make Azure into the preferred Windows cloud. Microsoft will succeed at this at the on premise level for truly private clouds, at the service provider level, and at the public cloud level. The most likely scenario here is that if you are building or buying an application that is going to run on Windows, you are going to (with Microsoft’s help) gravitate towards Azure based clouds.

This puts Amazon in a difficult spot. Amazon has no on premise installations of software to leverage. Amazon could obviously focus upon being the Linux cloud company, but here it will have to content with Red Hat who are certainly going to be looking to steal a page or two from the Microsoft playbook.

Comparison of Vendor Cloud Offerings

Vendor Amazon AWS Microsoft Azure VMware vSphere
& vCloud 
Google Compute
On premise private cloud
Cloud Partner (Service Provider) Program
Vendor Offered Public Cloud

Late Breaking Updates

  1. According to this Wired article, Google is readying its own IaaS cloud offering – allowing users to run “anything”, not just applications restricted to the currently offered Google AppEngine service.  A column has been added for Google to the table above.
  2. According to GigaOm in this post, VMware and EMC are considering spinning out CloudFoundry, some big data assets, and and IaaS offering into a completely independent company. If this is true than the red X in the lower right corner of the table above becomes a green check mark.


The combination of Microsoft’s own Azure cloud, Service Provider offered Azure Clouds, and Azure services in Windows Server 2012 will prove to be a formidable offering in the next generation of the system software wars. Someone once said that it takes Microsoft three tries to get something right. Well here comes Hyper-V 3 along with Windows Server 2012, and a whole bunch of new Azure services.