VMware builds devops bridges between developers and operations

VMware unveils suite aimed at emerging devops, along with updates to vCenter Operations and CIO-oriented suite for ROI assessment

Recognizing the blurring lines between application development and IT operations, VMware today announced a new suite called VMware vFabric Application Management that provides devops tools for quickly and easily deploying, updating, monitoring, and managing applications in virtual and cloud-based environments from a single UI. The company also unveiled significant enhancements to VMware vCenter Operations, along with a second suite called VMware IT Business Management that better helps CIOs determine how much bang they're getting for the application buck.

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The term "devops" is slowly gaining traction in the enterprise, referring to the adoption of roles, processes, and tools that improve collaboration between developers and IT operations and enable applications to be deployed more quickly. In the cloud-based world, businesses want to push out application updates and patches in real time; virtualized, on-tap pools of computing and storage resources theoretically enable ongoing high performance and high availability; and lags and downtime are less tolerable than ever. Thus, the developer and operations roles are necessarily starting to overlap and even converge. 

VMware vFabric Application Management helps to bridge the divide between developers and operations while supporting active-application management -- that is, quickly responding to business demands with updates and patches while maintaining performance and availability through monitoring and optimization. The suite includes vFabric AppDirector, through which developers can easily automate the release and deployment of applications to public and private cloud by building blueprints using standardized templates, component libraries, and deployment workflows.

The other piece of the puzzle is vFabric Application Performance Manager, with which IT can manage and monitor application performance in virtual and cloud environments. It includes a wealth of dashboards that provide at-a-glance views of application health. For example, charts and graphs indicate the immediate health of an application (whether it's behaving as expected); the potential for risk based on factors such as capacity in use and how much remains; and one that that displays how much processing power, memory, disk I/O, and network I/O a given application is using. It also provides tools for comprehensive monitoring of transactions, codes, and application infrastructure.

Meanwhile, VMware also introduced noteworthy changes to VMware vCenter Operations Management Suite, first introduced last March. The suite aimed to give users greater control over their growing virtualized IT infrastructures by integrating performance, capacity, and configuration management. In addition to deeper integration with vCenter Capacity IQ and vCenter Configuration Manage, vCenter Operations boasts new dashboards and smart alerts for correlating performance and capacity information and identifying emerging problems. What's more, the update helps IT identify and fix performance issues caused by configuration changes.

vCenter Operations Management Suite now includes new application-awareness capabilities that automatically discover and map the relationships and dependencies between applications and the infrastructure components that support them. This, according to VMware, can help organizations optimize infrastructure operations such as security management and disaster recovery based on application needs.

Finally, VMware unveiled a suite called IT Business Management Suite -- based on the company's June acquisition of Digital Fuel -- that aims to deliver greater visibility into costs, service levels, and vendor operations associated with the use of public cloud services. Aimed at CIOs charged with running IT more like a business as IT organizations evolve into service brokers, the suite includes three modules: IT Finance Manager, IT Service Level Manager, and IT Vendor Manager. In a single UI, the trio aggregates data from an array of financial sources, applying analytics and modeling for companies to assess operating and service costs, risks, performance, and compliance.

The updated vCenter Operations Management Suite will be offered in four editions, from versions suited for small and midsized businesses on up to enterprises. It's expected to be available in early 2012 with prices starting at $50 per virtual machine. The updates will available as a free upgrade for current vCenter Operations customers.

vFabric Application Performance Manager is expected to be available in Q4 2011 with prices starting at $360 per VM. vFabric AppDirector is expected to be available in early 2012. The IT Business Management Suite is expected to be available in Q4 2011 and will be licensed per user.

This article, "VMware builds devops bridges between developers and operations," was originally published at InfoWorld.com. Get the first word on what the important tech news really means with the InfoWorld Tech Watch blog. For the latest business technology news, follow InfoWorld.com on Twitter.

Copyright © 2011 IDG Communications, Inc.