Application lifecycle management moves beyond VMware

VMLogix and Citrix have signed a new strategic OEM agreement that will provide interoperability by bringing VMLogix's hypervisor-agnostic virtual lab automation and stage management capabilities to both XenServer and Hyper-V.

With VMware kicking off VMworld Europe 2009 in Cannes today, we can expect that the VMware ecosystem information floodgates will be wide open and we'll have more news coming out than we can consume in one sitting. But don't believe for one moment that Citrix and Microsoft are going to be radio silent during this event.

In fact, VMLogix is announcing today that it is expanding support for its virtual lab automation and stage management capabilities to both Citrix and Microsoft hypervisor technologies, moving beyond what it already supplies to VMware.

VMLogix has been providing its LabManager product for VMware ESX for quite some time now. And the company's latest product, StageManager, helps IT operations manage the pre-production and staging infrastructure by reducing the risk of downtime, improving and enforcing the staging process and reducing the IT costs related to service staging.

In order to find out what VMLogix was up to with this new agreement with Citrix and Microsoft, I contacted VMLogix CEO, Sameer Dholakia. Here is what he told me.

InfoWorld Virtualization Report: Can you help explain to readers what the VMLogix-Citrix OEM announcement is all about?

Sameer Dholakia: On Feb. 23, 2009, Citrix Systems entered into a strategic OEM agreement with VMLogix to offer Citrix lab and stage management solutions to the market. The agreement brings VMLogix application lifecycle management capabilities (via LabManager and StageManager) to the Citrix XenServer and Microsoft Hyper-V virtualization platforms. With this agreement, VMLogix will deliver its hypervisor-agnostic application lifecycle management products through Citrix virtualization solutions.

IWVR: How does this announcement impact the virtual lab automation market?

Dholakia: As the hypervisor becomes increasingly commoditized, Citrix is now quickly closing the gap between it and VMware on important management capabilities. The vast and growing set of Citrix XenServer and Microsoft Hyper-V virtualization customers will now benefit from the value and hard ROI offered by our pre-production virtual machine management solutions.

This OEM agreement reinforces VMLogix as a strategic platform partner and further cements VMLogix as the solution of choice in pre-production labs for lowering costs and increasing efficiencies -- benefits which are especially necessary in these challenging economic conditions.

This partnership propels VMLogix into a dominant leadership position in the virtual machine management category. VMLogix already wins the vast majority of head-to-head product evaluations against VMware's ESX-only alternative. With this distribution agreement, VMLogix products will ostensibly become the default pre-production management solution for XenServer and Hyper-V customers (widely agreed to be the No. 2 and No. 3 players in server virtualization). Finally, VMLogix expects to assist other server virtualization platform providers (Sun, Red Hat, Novell, and Oracle) to similarly close the VM management gap vis-à-vis VMware -- and VMLogix will be the natural choice for those providers given this announcement.

IWVR: OK, so how then does this announcement benefit VMLogix prospects and customers?

Dholakia: Customers evaluating server virtualization benefit from this announcement because it brings openness, flexibility, and choice. They don't have to settle for a management application from VMware that only works on ESX. They can choose the Citrix-branded, VMLogix-powered technology and feel confident that they can include both XenServer and Hyper-V hosts in their environment.

Delivering these pre-production management applications on XenServer and Hyper-V will also make it easier for customers to evaluate and learn about these platforms. If history is any guide (a significant percentage of VMware's early install base initially deployed in dev/test), customers will likely trial these platforms in dev/test, because it's a safer sandbox (as opposed to production) in which to do so as they build expertise). VMLogix's management applications are purpose-built for these dev/test use cases, and will thus a) make it easier for customers to trial the underlying hypervisor platform, and b) enable more customer value to be derived by using it.

VMLogix prospects and customers will be doubly assured that they are relying on and working with a trusted, world-class vendor offering the very best of VM management applications. This agreement sends a clear, reinforcing signal to prospects and customers that VMLogix is best-in-class in the spaces it competes in. Naturally, Citrix did not select VMLogix as its OEM partner without evaluating all the other independent players in the market. For existing VMLogix customers, the announcement validates the decision they made to select us. For VMLogix prospects, it will provide a nice proxy for their own decision process. Finally, the agreement brings global distribution through the Citrix channel, thus making our technology even easier to access and acquire.

VMLogix will continue to support, innovate, and independently offer VMLogix management products on the Microsoft and VMware hypervisors. VMLogix also remains committed to supporting other hypervisors (e.g., Sun, Red Hat, Novell, and Oracle) as they become widely available in due course.

IWVR: Sounds interesting. If you would, tell readers where they can go to get more information about this agreement.

Dholakia: You can read more about VMLogix and see the press release announcement on the VMLogix Web site.

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Copyright © 2009 IDG Communications, Inc.

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