Posted by Ben Verghese
Chief Management Architect, Virtualization and Cloud Platforms Business Unit
Today VMware announced a definitive agreement to acquire certain
management products from the EMC Ionix portfolio, including Server
Configuration Manager (formerly Configuresoft), FastScale, Application
Discovery Manager (formerly nLayers), and Service Manager (formerly
Infra).   These products will provide new capabilities to VMware’s
vCenter family of products.
Over the years, VMware has led the industry in virtualization of IT infrastructure. We have empowered customers to reduce costs, increase automation, and deliver new services that they could not before. Now, as the enterprise has increasingly adopted a virtualized model, the foundation has been built for the transition to cloud computing.
There is so much hype around the word “cloud” these days, but what I am referring to is a way of doing computing that enables a revolutionary business model for enterprise IT. Start with efficient pooling of infrastructure to create on-demand virtualized capacity, add automation based on industry-wide and user-local policies, self-service access to a catalogue of IT services, charge-back and usage reporting, and you achieve public-cloud economics with private cloud control. This is IT-as-a-Service.
An IT-as-a-Service model demands strong capabilities and automation across several aspects of management: provisioning, capacity, configuration, performance, business continuity. With the acquisition of the Ionix products, VMware will extend the capabilities of vCenter in order to meet these demands, especially around configuration management and compliance in the enterprise private cloud.
Let’s take a look at a couple of examples where the Ionix products complement what we already have in the vCenter line. In the drive to IT-as-a-Service, customers have been asking for visibility into full-stack compliance, from metal to apps. We recently announced the ConfigControl product that works closely with vCenter to provide configuration management and compliance to policies in highly dynamic virtualized environments. Ionix Server Configuration Manager enhances this functionality in two important ways. First, it adds visibility of the guest OS and application configuration on virtualized and non-virtualized servers. Second, it provides built-in capability for Compliance Reports ranging from the ESX hardening guide to HIPAA and PCI. The Ionix Application Discovery Manager product (formerly nLayers) automatically discovers complex applications with components on multiple servers, virtual and physical. The combination of these three products, when integration is complete, will give us comprehensive configuration and compliance capability across a broad domain with virtual infrastructure at the core, but extending to the adjacent areas of the OS, complex applications, and physical hardware if needed.
There are many opportunities to integrate these two sets of products to deliver management value in the private cloud.  Another example of synergy is the potential to integrate Studio and the acquired Ionix FastScale provisioning engine.  Studio enables the application developer or integrator to describe the application and the OS and how it should be put together as a Virtual Appliance. The FastScale engine can slim down the Virtual Appliance and deploy or update the image to a VM (or bare hardware if desired).
Let me be clear: our goal is to simplify management of IT as customers move to an increasingly dynamic and virtualized infrastructure. However, our customers have varied needs and have also made significant investments in management platforms and tools from our partners.  As we integrate the Ionix products into the vCenter family and accelerate innovation towards a new more agile management model, we remain committed to open APIs, and co-operation and integration with our partners.  This approach has allowed us to jointly provide robust solutions for our customers and we will continue to lead in this area.