I've long known that Sun is one of the few suppliers that has an entry in nearly every virtualization software category listed in the Kusnetzky Group Model. This not only allows the company to address organization's requirements at almost every level. This also means that I don't have a chance to address everything they're doing here. So, it was a great opportunity for me to chat with Michael Barrett about Sun's xVM Ops Center. We got so involved in the product demonstration that I didn't have time to speak with Chris Kawalek, Product Line Manager, Desktop & Virtualization Marketing, who was waiting patiently on the line. Chris and I will most certainly talk later. Here's a bit about Sun's xVM Ops Center and my take on what clearly is a powerful product for Sun's own Solaris, Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) and SUSE Linux Enterprise Server (SLES) environments.
Here's how Sun describes xVM Ops Center
Sun(TM) xVM Ops Center is easy-to-use, highly scalable datacenter automation tool that enables customers to simplify the management of heterogeneous IT environments and reduce costs. Sun xVM Ops Center is a key component of Sun(TM) xVM software, the company's open virtualization and management platform.
As companies move to virtualize their datacenters, the management of servers, network and storage is becoming increasingly complex. From a single console, Sun xVM Ops Center enables customers to simplify the management of all assets, regardless of the operating system or hardware platform on which they run. The management console automates time consuming, routine system administration tasks, such as firmware updates, bare metal operating system provisioning, and patching and updating – making it easier for users to manage thousands of IT assets simultaneously. As part of the company's ongoing commitment to the open source community, Sun has released updates to the source code used to build Sun xVM Ops Center to the Openxvm.org community under the GNU General Public License Version 3 (GPLv3).
So, what does xVM Ops Center do?Here's a sinippet from Steve Wilson's (VP or xVM for Sun) presentation, "Building a Dynamic Virtualized Datacenter":
Ops Center provides an amazingly easy-to-use interface to to manage rapid growth in your IT environment.
Discover Scan and identify servers across your network even when powered off Provision Hands-off installation of Linux and Solaris onto both bare metal servers and virtual environments Update Stay secure and up-to-date with patch management tools for Red Hat, SUSE and Solaris Manage Securely manage users and assets with the best knowledge about your Sun gear Report Assure compliance with the industry's first compliance auditing solution
Snapshot analysisFirst of all, it's really impossible for me to describe all of the functions Sun's xVM Ops Maanager offers here and really do justice to the product. I'd suggest setting up a demonstration of the product for yourself. My overall impression is that this is a powerful tool that will be a good foundation for users of Sun's Solaris, Red Hat's REL and SUSE's SLES operating environments. As one would expect for a version 1 product, it has its rough edges and an strong promise for the future.
The ranks of suppliers for management tools for physical and virtual resrouces reads like the who's who of system software suppliers. Just about everyone has a management framework or a point product that is intended to address the requirements virtualized environments impose on organizations using this technology. Sun has its work cut out for it if it hopes to get through all of the noise in the market. Some of the products these suppliers are offering are well beyond the first generation of code and have become very powerful, easy to use and, in some cases, quite colorful and easy to use.
That being said, I don't know of any products that are being offered that have immediate access to Sun's knowledge about Solaris and Sun hardware. If you organization has a great deal of Sun products in the datacenter, this tool will be of great help. Sun also has access to a great deal of knowledge about Red Hat and SUSE Linux product packages and components.
I'd suggest taking the time to see a demo yourself. It's pretty interesting.