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VMlogix: Provision your Data Center, Reduce the hill of Pain

That is what the CEO, Ravi Gururaj of VMlogix explained yesterday on our telephonic interview/online demo of the product of VMlogix's Lab Manager. Hill of pain. Today we look at the server provisioning as a painful ritual. It involves a lot of work. Then when the sysadmins are done configuring the OSs, you have the middle tier guys, they need to configure the applications. You need to deploy it and if things don't work for whatever reason you throw the log files at the managers who have to bite their tongue and explain to the client why stuff went bad. All these cumbersome activities leads to losses and clients walk away. Well you know the how it goes. And obviously there is a huge TCO and it increases 4-fold with a new service. And besides if you are a development shop then you will obviously have a multi-faceted environment. You might have Microsoft Virtual Server, Xen, VMware (Workstation, VMware Server, ESX) and also physical servers. A typical heterogeneous environment thus. The struggle to find and tie multiple of those provisioning utilities (including scripts, runs etc) make it only harder to maintain to run the show. If you lose your staff to a competitor or even if you have to hand over or outsource your divisions to an entirely different continent, there is a lot of documentation and handing over to take place. so you get the idea. What you have now as the means of provisioning (if you have one) does not come anywhere close to scalability and sustainability.

I must admit one thing here, when we did a TCO run for a client here, we also offered reduced administrative costs. It was hard for the folks to figure out how and even why a lot of folks had to learn new technologies and follow cross training programs. even an in-house training model was presented. Still many could not figure out that it could even make sense.

A tool like Lab Manager from VMlogix is exactly something that helps answer these questions adequately. Before you start wondering why, ask yourself these questions:

  • Do you want to reduce your servicing and provisioning time?
  • Do you want to optimize and even automate the same?
  • Do you want to record all the changes for your change managers and QA?
  • Do you want to do the same in a movie!!?? (Yep , VMlogix does show that!)
  • Do you want to configure your application stack individually?
The list of questions goes on and on.

What we did yesterday was build some machines (SugarCRM, JDK environment settings pre-set via the CMD utility) and we even built a dos machine. I will personally test the VMlogix extensively and write a detailed review soon. For the meantime take a sneak peek at the screen shots:

This first one show the main dashboard.

This one shows a detailed configuration along with the VM agent

we also ran a FLV movie to see all operations, we ran logs.

The next release of VMlogix Lab Manager 2.8 is scheduled for March. So expect some real cool features. What I personally liked was the cool movie feature, cmd line features to provision the packaged Os with all applications which every admin likes. Total automation is cool but having the grip on your systems is something no admin will want to give away!

Download the 30 days Evaluation Windows or Linux or even a Boot CD here.

In our next blog post we will evaluate the product thoroughly and do a detailed review.


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