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Virtualization: The need for a "Universal Stage Manager"

I was reading Alex's post and this caught my attention. I am sure the ecstatic user who suddenly is exposed to the Christmas feeling and wants to share all the stuff he did with the Stage Manager with us all. But the question is : It only works with VI3! Do we really want another proprietary tool that works just for that vendor?

I was talking to a start-up called StackSafe, who do exactly the same and the only difference is that they do it for all environments: Microsoft, VMware and Xen. They have built their product with the Xen technology and thursday I'll get a walk-through. So I'll get more details out there:

What I need from my Universal Stage Manager, is:

  • Cross-domain compatibility
  • Cross-VMM portability (Export the prod VMware VMs to test Xen VMs to Hyper-V development)
  • Security across machines
  • Scripted installation toolkit: I saw something like that in VMLogix, its pity that we don't hear anything anymore from these folks. Ravi Gururaj at VMlogix was quick to reply in a personal e-mail, we will do a interview with Ravi and Team very soon:
Also we have made great progress on the customer acquisition front and now have a great US team in place. VMLogix has actually been very active and competing very effectively in the lab automation market. We release GA support for Citrix XenServer next week in addition to our existing support for VMware ESX, VMware Server, Microsoft Virtual Server – the first lab automation product to truly provide cross platform support for all major vendors.

Why is it today so important that you choose a tool that is cross-hypervisor ready? Because moving from physical to virtual was a very challenging option, moving from one hypervisor to another may only cost you loads of money once again. Vendors are all alike, and thats why your sweetest spot in the middle and your goal should be to :
  • Stay in the middle
  • Get comfy with the middle
  • Become that wolf yourself!
Link to Alex's post


  1. As a customer of VMLogix I can say these guys are doing a great job! They are very responsive to support and feature requests.

  2. And pray Kevin, which company do you work for ? Or is this astro-turfing ?Tarry Boy, keep your eyes peeled. I don't know if you are one them. But you don't sound like one. You are welcome to delete this comment, but you should be aware that since virtualization is a hot area right now, there are a bunch of sophisticated operators trying to game the system - trying to increase the valuation without any real sales and customer usage, etc. Questions like 'who benefits from running outfits like this ?' can be of great help.


  3. Dear Anonymous "Boy",

    Could you be working for VMware? I don't know. Could Kevin be a VMlogix employee, I don't know either.

    I represent the client and the community here. Sure we give exposure to companies but we don't go about telling folks to buy a specific product. I love VMware products, I've tried XenServer, VirtualBox etc and am currently testing Hyper-V. I need to do this in order to provide the best advice to the customer/consumer/community.
    I consult and express the need of the consumer around here. I also express the need of such tools as a tester myself.

    Why I don't delete comments, unless of course they are of threatening nature or use abusive language, is to make this an open place to discuss. I can imagine that the market is heating up a bit but be assured the consumers are not ready to dive in without proper consultation.

    Sometimes I am talking to 4-6 companies a day, start-ups and established alike. I gather information not only based on "vendor-talk" but as a true independent analyst. My eyes are peeled for sure, what about yours?

  4. Anonymous,

    I have been with Vignette Corporation for 7+ years supporting our Research and Development group. We researched Akimbi before it was purchased then we waited to see what VMware would do with them. (Nothing new) We then looked at Surgient and really didn't like the offering that much. My coworker actually told me about VMLogix and after a couple of demos and lengthy evaluation our QA and development teams really liked the automation features they incorporated into the product.

    Hope this helps,
    Kevin Foster

  5. Great to come out of the anonymity, Kevin! I'd love to chat up with you and maybe even post a Q&A with you on the blog as to why you choose for VMlogix against other vendor solutions. This wll help the others to get a customer-centric view of the breadth and depth of product adoption.

    Thanks much! You can always mail me on my gmail address so we can setup a call ;-)


  6. Kevin:
    Thanks for the response. Hope it works out for you - the vmlogix trail. Managing images etc can be such a nightmare. Once these startups get bought they care a damn about their customers. I am not trying to start anything here, just trying to warn people about uncritical endorsement of startup companies. Most of these companies behaving nicely to get a small sale from you. That pushes up their valuation and their chances of getting sold;same goes for patents, partnerships and the rest.

    I apologize for not identifying myself. Let's just say, I am an insider who is sick and tired of the manipulative ways of startup companies (and the VCs who fund them) who try to game the entire system to push up their valuation.

    I most definitely don't work for vmware, but happen to have been on the 'inside' track in the virtualization area. It is interesting that you are taking this line, despite claiming to be a neutral. Vmware though it behaves like a bad boy in the retail channel does deserve respect for all the momentum in this space. Have any of these startups that are into virtualisation management even moved the technology forward by an inch ? The patents are ridiculous. I have seen how startups chase valuation like mad - announce alliances and announce a few trial customers as real ones, though they are not serious about those customers at all.

    I don't want to comment any further. Thanks for your time guys.And oh, keep your eyes peeled ;-)

  7. Hey dude,

    No sweat! I fully understand what you mean. I am absolutely neutral and I love all technologies so that makes me biased as well for all technologies like that of VMware, Microsoft, I love Mac and own a lot of Apple stuff.

    I just didn't know who you guys were! On internet its all those electrons that travel across and you don't know who you're talking to.

    VMware has indeed done a great job and gave us Virtualization as we see it. Start-ups and big daddies are all going for as much of virtualization fame as they can. When I sit and talk to customers and clients, I forget everything. I am neutral as hell. You know why? Because I have to go back to them all the time ;-)

    Thanks for your time, these are indeed crazy times so stay upwind ;-). Don't let'em get to you!


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