Post-acquisition, Quest and VKernel merge virtualization management solutions

VKernel and Quest software combine to provide a new solution suite for monitoring SAN, guest OS, and physical servers

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Semple added that when virtualization admins approach VKernel at trade show events, his company will have the answer to the virtualization management questions they seek. By combining VKernel and Quest Software product lines, the company will be able to offer in-depth storage visibility; they will be able to monitor both physical and virtual servers; and they will now be able to show administrators what is driving performance issues for business-critical virtualized applications like Microsoft SQL Server and Microsoft Exchange.

But beyond the technology itself, what's really interesting are the product decisions that Quest made.

Remember back in November when I stated the following:

With increased competition coming from VMware's expansion into the virtualization management stack, the acquisition begins to make perfect sense. However, much like VMware's pain in trying to consolidate management applications -- in-house developed products, products gained through acquisition, and those products thrown over the fence from its parent company EMC -- I don't know how easy it will be for Quest to ultimately decide between (or merge) its own virtualization product lines with those created by VKernel. But these guys are smart, and they need to make sure they can out build and outthink the monster-sized VMware that is currently both partner and competitor.

Honestly, I assumed that Quest -- as the acquirer and the larger vendor -- would allow VKernel, the acquired and much smaller vendor, to co-exist for a while as an independent company and to continue to sell its own branded solutions until one day when Quest would bring them in-house, rebrand them, and consume what it could into the vFoglight product lines. Precedent after all had been set with the Vizioncore acquisition.

However, things didn't quite work out that way. Instead, I believe Quest did something very intelligently and very different from the norm. Instead of Quest consuming VKernel's product line into its own and changing the way VKernel sells and markets its product line to match the process that Quest had been using with vFoglight, it was the other way around! As explained above, the Quest product line is now part of the VKernel vOPS solution suite, and Quest will evidently continue to leverage VKernel's much friendlier sales method of "try before you buy" and its software "freemium" methodology that administrator users are becoming accustomed to and prefer.

By moving toward a more ease-of-use approach or an out-of-the-box software experience, Quest may find itself better positioned to compete with the likes of SolarWinds, Veeam, VMTurbo, and Zenoss who also pride themselves on being cost effective and offering easy-to-use product suites.

Now that the vFoglight products have been consumed into VKernel vOPS, we need to see how well the VKernel team can continue to improve the old vFoglight products in order to make them, for lack of a better word, "VKernelized." Nice move, Quest! What do you think?  Did Quest make the right decision here?

This article, "Post-acquisition, Quest and VKernel merge virtualization management solutions," was originally published at Follow the latest developments in virtualization and cloud computing at

Copyright © 2012 IDG Communications, Inc.

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