Monday, November 06, 2006

IBM’s new virtualization tool

With so much virtualization going on, it is very important that systems programmers have the right tools to configure, administer, and monitor both physical and virtual resources in the heterogeneous environments they now find themselves in. That’s why IBM has just introduced a new tool for them to do just that.

Virtualization Manager is a Web-based browser dashboard that can view and manage IBM’s Virtualization Engine’s virtual machines. It works across IBM’s server line, ie System i, System p, and System z (I got told off when I used their old names in my ECLipz blog the other week). Virtualization Manager can also access the x86 instruction set of Intel and AMD servers, and can manage virtual machines generated by Microsoft Virtual Server, VMware, and open source Xen. So, basically, it will discover and monitor virtual and physical resources from different vendors.

The software, which is an extension to IBM Director (a systems management tool), is installed on a management server and works with software already on managed servers and storage resources. The browser-base GUI is then used to configure servers, schedule maintenance, or work with other virtual servers.

Interestingly, IBM is making the software available as a free download. More information is available from http://www-03.ibm.com/systems/virtualization/.

HP already has its Dashboard software, I’m sure other companies will be rushing out similar products very soon. Managing real assets can be hard enough, once you add virtualized assets the job gets even tougher. That’s why users need software to help, and that’s why this new software from IBM is going to be very well received.

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