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VMware, HP team on virtualization management software

Three new integrated software offerings are designed to help users manage virtual and physical environments, but there's some doubt over whether they'll attract non-HP customers.

VMware and Hewlett-Packard (HP) are expanding their independent software vendor (ISV) partnership with three new integrated virtualization management software offerings.

Chris Wolf, senior analyst with the Burton Group, said the new virtualization management software will add value for all customers. New customers are focusing more on virtualization management now, as embedded hypervisors are making deployment of virtualization easier. And existing HP customers "already have a lot of those tools in house," Wold said, "so it's a nice easy fit."

But there is some doubt about its draw among non-HP shops. HP's brand name alone won't attract VMware purists, said Keith Norbie, storage and virtualization director for Nexus Information Systems, an HP and VMware partner in Plymouth, Minn.

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"They're very valuable additions, but the question is going to be how well they work," Norbie said. "Does [the software] work well? Some engineers say it does. Some engineers say it doesn't."

The three new integrated server virtualization management software offerings are HP Business Service Management, which monitors physical and virtual environments; HP Discovery and Dependency Mapping and HP Universal CMDB, which allow for discovery and reporting in virtual environments; and HP Business Service Automation, which automates change processes in both virtual and physical environments.

Partners of either VMware or HP can sell the integrated virtualization management software, but solution providers that are partners with both companies are "the real key," said Ben Matheson, VMware's senior director of marketing.

Solution providers can also take advantage of the integrated virtualization management software by integrating even more features, Wolf said. One suggestion: adding a storage component with VMware Site Recovery Manager.

"You want to sell them virtualization, but there's also a lot of interest in selling them other services that could add value," Wolf said.

The configuration management database and the ability to automate processes will be the keys to attracting non-HP customers, Norbie said. Even then, customers may be too busy with day-to-day issues to focus on long-term virtualization management strategies, he said.

But Wolf said more customers are seeing a need for virtualization management software now, as they learn from the mistakes of early virtualization adopters.

"Organizations are now starting to take management seriously," he said.

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