Novell's Joe Wagner and Richard Whitehead caught up with me after a whirlwind trip to San Francisco for Linuxworld. They wanted to bring me up to date on Novell ZENworks Orchestrator.
As you might remember, I chatted with Novell back in April (see Novell’s Orchestrator) for a post on that conversation. At that time, I was impressed with the simplicity and power of Novell's product. The major changes that appear V1.1 of Orchestrator are improvements to the user interface, virtual machine lifecycle management using a repository and better accounting functions for all of the physical and virtual resources being orchestrated.
The market that this product is addressing is quite busy. Cassatt, VMware, PlateSpin, Vizioncore and quite a few others are offering products that appear, on the surface, to be competitive. If one looks just a level or two lower, Cassatt is most directly competitive with Orchestrator. Both products manage VMware and Xen virtual machines. Both have mentioned plans to support Microsoft virtual machines when they become available. PlateSpin and Vizioncore seem more complementary solutions than really competitors.
Novell would say that Orchestrator is the best product because it focuses more on user and business productivity than merely focusing on optimizing system resources. It would also point out that it manages the whole life cycle of a virtual machine.
Cassatt is likely to point out that their product acts as an operating system for a dynamic datacenter and that their technology is better.
What do you think? If you use one of those products, let me know how they're helping your organization be more efficient.