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Virtualization systems management

Andi Mann of Enterprise Management Associates sits down with to discuss virtualization systems management from the floor of Data Center Decisions 2008.

Read the full transcript from this video below:  

Virtualization systems management

Bridget Botelho: Hi, I'm Bridget Botelho with I'm here with Andi Mann with Enterprise Management Associates. He gave a session today at Data Center Decisions about virtual machine management and automation. So he's going to talk to us a little bit about what's going on in that industry, and some issues that are being addressed with managing virtual environments.

Andi Mann: It's nice to be here Bridget. I'm really enjoying the conference. There's a lot of good activity. One of the big things about virtualization and virtual systems management that I'm really interested in is the way that it really addresses skill set issues. You've got a lot of problems, a lot of lacking skills in virtualization, virtualization management. A lot of the people I'm talking to here at the conference are saying they'd like to do more with virtualization but they haven't got the time or the people or the skills, and one of the answers to that I find very strongly is automation and automated virtual system management. You end up being able to embed knowledge into automated systems, you can act on end user requests a lot faster, you can deal with complex problems and larger environments with fewer people. So that's one of the things I'm really excited about in virtual systems management. You can automate a lot of this processing and overcome some of those really problematic skills issues.

Bridget Botelho: What are the biggest issues with virtual environments right now? Is it DM sprawl or something else?

Andi Mann: I think it's actually two really strong areas. One is VM scroll definitely. You end up there with compliance issues, licensing issues, also triage when you have a problem. You just can't find your service, and so I think that's a real issue. The other one I think is important is around compliance generally. Here I'm talking about standards compliance: Compliance with the VMware hardening guidelines and this sort of thing, compliance with Itel and best practices, but also like configuration compliance. The idea that you can just if you've got authority, stand up a virtual server that might have access to data files that I protected; it might have an active directory access. It can be very dangerous even if it's not malicious, accidental configuration changes can be very problematic.

Bridget Botelho: So can you recommend to people a good starting point if they want to look at management products?

Andi Mann: Yeah, absolutely. I think one of the big areas to look at is certainly around configuration management and configuration compliance. So there are some very good vendors out there at the moment doing things around virtual and physical configuration management, who like Trip Wire, or Configure Soft, I've looked at, and they're pretty interesting. The larger software vendors are doing some very comprehensive work in systems management. So you look at the big four: BMC, HPCA, IBM, doing some interesting things there. Also the other area I think is really important is just straight out process automation. Some of those vendors are doing that, I saw a company called Bapallus. These companies are I think are doing really smart things to embed knowledge in automation tools in management tools to make it easier to scale up and scale out.

Bridget Botelho: Well thanks Andi, I appreciate it, and to read more about virtualization and managing your virtual environment, check us out at

Andi Mann: Thanks very much, it's been a pleasure.

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