CA Unicenter to manage virtual servers

Unniventer ASM 11.1 to help enterprise IT managers virtualise elements based on demand

CA Monday made available software designed to let enterprise IT managers more easily manage physical, virtual and clustered server environments from one console.

Unicenter Advanced Systems Management (ASM) 11.1 will help enterprise IT managers not only identify the virtual and physical elements in their environment, but also optimize them based on demand, CA says.

"We have seen our customers trying to create some order out of the chaos they have in their environments, resulting from various platforms of virtualization and clustering. We wanted to manage that, but also provide a platform to show overall performance and activity management," says Peter Richardson, a product manager for virtual platform management at CA.

Unicenter ASM -- which is a core element of CA's Virtual Platform Management offering -- performs continuous discovery of physical and virtual resources, reporting on managed resources and visually mapping virtualized environments to speed problem identification and resolution, the vendor says. It works with CA's Unicenter System Command Center dashboard product to provide a common user interface for all Unicenter components. The software also can document how much capacity is available within a virtualized server environment, which helps organizations make more informed decisions, CA says.

ASM works in concert with the vendor's Unicenter NSM (Network and Systems Management) software, utilizing the same distributed software agents on managed machines and a common management database for collecting and storing configuration information. CA says its NSM software helps expose the virtual capabilities that need to be managed, and ASM enables pre-set policies to be enforced and actions taken based on demand and resource consumption and allocation.

The software also works with APIs provided by virtualization vendors. For example, ASM manages virtualization technology including HP MC Service Guard, IBM HACMP and pSeries LPAR capable eServers (P4 and P5), Microsoft Virtual Server and Cluster, Red Hat Advanced Server cluster, Sun Enterprise and Mid-Range servers as well as Sun Cluster and Sun Fire, Veritas Cluster Servers running Solaris and Windows, and VMware ESX/GSX Servers, CA says.

"Our customers have a great deal of variety in their environments and managing that is a pain they have been feeling," Richardson says.

Competitors such as CiRBA, IBM and Opsware also have released virtual server management wares of late, and industry watchers predict 2007 will be the year heterogeneous management comes to the forefront of virtualization trends.

Pricing for Unicenter ASM 11.1 includes an US$1,800 flat fee for a manager component, plus an additional variable cost for each resource being managed (for example, a CPU). CA says customer implementations can start at US$30,000, depending on the size of the infrastructure being managed.

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