VMware Go Pro beta program launched for small-business market

VMware hopes new management software will convince small and medium-size businesses to move to private clouds

Back in January of this year, VMware released a new product called VMware Go, a hosted software-as-a-service (SaaS) management application that runs in the cloud rather than in the user's local environment. The product was designed to simplify IT management for small to medium-sized businesses and was developed with Shavlik Technologies, a VMware Technology Alliance Partner that also helped with VMware's Update Manager patching solution.

With VMware Go, VMware attempted to address the perceived complexities surrounding server virtualization; for new users, VMware provided an easy on-ramp to the installation and configuration of VMware vSphere Hypervisor (formerly ESXi). The product was free, but customers had to grant VMware permission to analyze the collective usage data from the system, with the goal of better understanding usage patterns and improving VMware Go functionality.

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During VMworld Europe 2010, VMware announced a new and more advanced version of VMware Go, appropriately dubbed VMware Go Pro.

Where VMware Go was designed to make virtualization configuration and deployment an easier pill to swallow, VMware Go Pro wants to bring that same ease-of-use to IT infrastructure management and help small businesses increase their IT productivity and responsiveness. VMware calls Go Pro a comprehensive cloud service that will make it easy for small and midsized businesses to consolidate servers, control assets, and secure their IT infrastructures.

Once again, VMware renewed its partnership with Shavlik Technologies to develop the more advanced version of VMware Go Pro and to better leverage Shavlik's expertise in patch management. According to VMware, although patch management is new to VMware Go Pro, the underlying technology is robust and mature as it was developed by the same team of experts from Shavlik that built NetChk Protect, which has been used by thousands of customers.

"We are excited to extend our existing partnership with VMware, helping customers simplify their IT management," said Mark Shavlik, president and CEO of Shavlik Technologies. "VMware Go Pro leverages our SaaS solutions enabling companies to break down barriers faced when adopting complex technologies, creating a level playing field."

Interestingly, with the VMware Go Pro release, VMware is going to go where it typically hasn't ventured in the past -- the company is attempting to provide a single pane of glass for managing both virtual and physical assets. If VMware continues to add physical asset management into its products, it will increasingly encroach upon and go head-to-head with the Big 4 management vendors, much like the Big 4 are continuing to target VMware's virtualization management domain.

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