Fortisphere Virtual Essentials 2.0

As I'm clearing my desk to prepare for Citrix's event this week, I thought it would be good to post about Fortisphere's recent move. Fortisphere, a Kusnetzky Group Client, recently launched version 2 of its Virtual Essentials.
Written by Dan Kusnetzky, Contributor

As I'm clearing my desk to prepare for Citrix's event this week, I thought it would be good to post about Fortisphere's recent move. Fortisphere, a Kusnetzky Group Client, recently launched version 2 of its Virtual Essentials. Virtual Essentials is a tool that provides agentless, policy-based mangement of virtual machines. When the company first pulled the curtains aside and announced their existence back in November 2007, I posted this: Fortisphere launch. This is a company that has done its best to address the issues found in the KG white paper Visibility and Control are Inside Jobs.

What Fortisphere had to say about its product

Fortisphere, a leading provider of policy-based virtualization management software, today announced the release of Fortisphere Virtual Essentials™ 2.0, the industry’s most comprehensive solution for policy- based management of heterogeneous virtual infrastructures. With extensive eco-system integration into leading systems and infrastructure management vendors, Fortisphere is delivering next generation technology that compliments existing investments in data-center management solutions. In addition to broad eco-system integration, Virtual Essentials v2.0 also features expanded capabilities, including agentless inspection of offline virtual machine configurations, extended configuration intelligence and an enhanced policy framework to provide users with unprecedented levels of visibility, control and automation across their virtual infrastructures.

What's new?

Here's how Fortiphere describes the new features provided by Virtual Essentials 2.0

Fortisphere Virtual Essentials v2.0 provides organizations with a number of new features designed to simplify and automate the management and growth of a virtual infrastructure. New features include:

  • Enhanced User Interface—With simplified controls and elaborate graphical elements, users can more quickly view and manage the entire virtual infrastructure.
  • Expanded Agentless Inspection of VMs—Inspect online and offline VMs, providing deep configuration intelligence across the entire virtual infrastructure.
  • Expanded Data Collection—Discovery and assessment features provide the industries deepest details about virtual machine resources, including system, security, software and user information.
  • Enhanced Comparative Analysis—Automated configuration analysis quickly identifies configuration drift and triggers the remediation process.
  • Enhanced Policy Framework—The ability to author rules and import or export policies across environments and VMs provides enhanced control over the entire virtual infrastructure.
  • Additional Content—Virtual Essentials v2.0 features more than 40 new out-of-the-box policy rules and reports for offline VMs, change management, configuration management, sprawl management and infrastructure

Snapshot Analysis

It's clear that many companies, including Fortisphere,  have seen the issues that are created by the rapid, often unplanned, adoption of virtual machine technology. Virtual machines share many characteristics with physical machines and require similar processes and procedures to maintain operational integrity. They also bring a whole new level of complexity to an organization's datacenter - often an unseen consequence.

Virtual machines are easy to copy, creating sibling systems. It is then easily possible to modify one or more of these siblings to create children virtual machines that often impose different requirements on administrative and operational staff. Any or all of these virtual machines can easily be rehosted to a different physical server when the need arises. Keeping track of where everything is, what the patch level is of each and every piece of software encapsulated in those virtual machines, what software licenses have been consumed by that virtual machine, what data is required for successful operations, where that data is hosted, etc. is quite a challenge. Organizations that have quickly moved to adopt virtual machine technology often start with sticky notes or a manually maintained spreadsheet as a tracking mechanism for their new virtual toys. It's easy to see that this isn't going to be a useful approach for very long.

Fortisphere has done a nice job of developing technology that will find these virtual machines, taken an inventory of what each is doing and making it easy for an administrator to keep things happily running in the datacenter.

If this is an issue in your datacenter, it would be worth a visit to the Fortisphere site to learn more.

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