I had the opportunity to chat with Mark Angelo, Director of Business Development at VMLogix, Inc., about LabManager 2.8. VMLogix is announcing Ready for Rational Software validation and integration with IBM Rational Build Forge on June 11, 2007 at the Rational Software Development Conference in Orlando, FL. Here are the Lab Manager features he highlighted:
- Heterogeneous Virtualization Platform Support — LabManager 2.8 offers comprehensive support for virtualization platforms from Microsoft and VMware today and is likely to support others in the future.
- Build and Test Automation — LabManager 2.8 is designed to automate building and testing execution by providing capabilities to configure software, tools, scripts and data at the guest operating environment level.
- Image Builder — The product provides the capability to build (and rebuild) images without requiring manual intervention by specifying the operating system, software, tools, scripts and data required.
- IP Zones — LabManager 2.8 lets multiple users deploy concurrent copies of suspended multi-machine configurations without changing Ethernet MAC addresses, static IP addresses or Windows SID
- Shared Snapshots — Allows LabManager users to capture and share "live" multi-machine configurations from the repository. The captured configurations preserve memory and CPU state and can be redeployed very rapidly.
- Differential Image Storage — LabManager offers several transparent compression techniques to optimize shared virtual machine storage
Here's a quick SWOT analysis.
- Strengths — VMLogix's focus on the automation of build and test automation appears to offer large organizations and software developers sophisticated tools that should reduce the costs of this part of the development process.
- Weaknesses — VMLogix's messages appear to be equivalent to those offered by Cassatt, DataSynapse, Scalent, Surgient and others. This means that it would be difficult for this company to get through the noise to its targeted audience. I expect the partnership with IBM's Rational Software is likely to help somewhat.
- Opportunities — It appears that VMLogix's tight focus on building and testing environments would reduce the available market to large companies and software developers.
- Threats — Due to the similar messages and features being offered by VMlogix and others, threats are likely to come from companies that are really focused in other directions rather than being direct competitors. Cassatt, DataSynapse, Scalent, Surgient and others are speaking about provisioning and management in a broader context which include the build and test cycle. These companies appear to be doing a better job of getting their messages out to a broad audience. Regardless of how well LabManager does technically, it will be challenging for VMLogix to overcome these competitors.
All in all, LabManager appears to offer some powerful features for those focus on automating building and testing software. Since organizations are increasingly look for ways to lower their costs of development, VMLogix has an opportunity to win. If the organization is taking a broader view of management and provisioning, VMLogix's tight focus only on development environments could stand in the way of the company's success against competitors.