Firms Partner to Open Window on Enterprise Virtualization

GlassHouse Technologies announced on Monday the releaseof Managed Services for Virtual Environments, a first-of-its-kindsuite of managed services. The company broke the news atthe VMworld 2008 Solution Exchange in Las Vegas.

GlassHouse, an independent IT infrastructure consulting and servicesfirm, launched its advanced management interface in conjunction withvirtualization management software from Tek-Tools Software. Thepartnership produced a service that provides users with improvedvisibility, monitoring and reporting of their virtualized ITenvironments.

It enables users to maximize availability, track system configurationsand manage utilization to reduce IT costs, according to the company. Leveragingand analyzing output through the management interface, GlassHouseconsultants help customers interpret the data and usecapacity and utilization reports to manage their virtualenvironments.

“We are the first to do this. We are filling a gap in the market. Overthe past few years we have seen more companies adopt virtualization,”Mitch Northcutt, senior vice president for GlassHouse Technologies,told TechNewsWorld.

No Longer One and the Same

This trend is expected to continue, according to research firm IDC, with the virtualization services market predicted to reach US$11.7billion by 2011. Managed Services for Virtual Environments is intendedto eliminate a barrier to the broader adoption of virtualizationtechnologies by offering usersdeeper insight into the productivity, capacity and return on investment of theirvirtual machines, Northcutt said.

GlassHouse has watched companies adopt virtualization strategies in order to reduce costs by cutting back hardware and relatedexpenses. However, many of these companies have no clear picture of exactly how far along they are in achieving that goal at a given time, or exactly what level of expenses they’ve managed to cut. The industry lacked avisible way to show virtualization users the scale of theirexpectations and illustrate other management issues related to virtualization,he said.

“It used to be that the same people who managed the physicalenvironment did the virtual environment. But they are not the samething. Now that we are seeing virtual sprawl, we need a better way tomanage it,” Northcutt said.

Need More Than Tools?

Various software firms have produced a range of tools to helpmanage virtual environments. However, users often lack anyin-depth knowledge about maximizing the data these tools report.

The partnership of GlassHouse and Tek-Tools is intended to offer virtualizationcustomers a two-level product.

In customer support gatherings, GlassHouse identified the need formore in-depth instruction on how to maintain visibility,measure results and effectively manage the environments. Alreadyproviding these capabilities for storage and backup environments,GlassHouse developed a management interface integrated with Tek-Tools’Profiler for VMware to provide a single-pane view into the virtualenvironment and a comprehensive service to manage virtualized ITassets.

Level One

The first part of the GlassHouse tool package is the monitoring andreporting service. It gives IT managers data analysis the can inform their decisions when managing the virtual environment.

GlassHouse built a single-pane view on top of the Tek-Toolsvirtualization management software. Tek-Tools will continue to sellits Profiler management software. GlassHouse modified this tool towork with its own platform.

“Our device sits on their environment to watch over itand report trouble,” said Northcutt.

Level Two

The second phase of GlassHouse’s new service is a “fully managed system looks at the newer and different virtualization features,” Ron Oglesby,director of architecture for virtualization services at GlassHouse,told TechNewsWorld. “It addresses the concerns of enterprisemanagers about is the host system at optimum efficiency.”

For example, the number of patches issued by various software makers is constantly growing — currentstatistics show patches are being issued on a monthly basis instead ofquarterly, he explained.

The result is a soup-to-nuts approach to running virtualization hosts.GlassHouse will provide the tools to manage cost models and add allthe things missing from a standard X86 environment, said Oglesby.

Pricing and Availability

Managed Services for Virtual Environments will be available beginningnext week, Oglesby said. GlassHouse is currently working withcustomers utilizing the management interface and is expandingfunctionality through other partners.

The pricing structure is not yet finalized, but it will likely bebased on the number of hosts. Oglesby expected the final pricing formula to group pricing levels onone to three hosts, four to 10 hosts, and 10 or more hosts.

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