Clear Choice Test: Cross-platform VM management tools

Tools that can manage VMware, Hyper-V and Xen environments come up short

Virtualization management intro

There ought to be an easier way to manage VMs running on disparate hypervisor hosts. In this test, we examine products from Computer Associates, DynamicOps, Insystek and Microsoft to assess how each handles VM life-cycle management in mixed VMware, Hyper-V and Xen virtual environments.

Computer Associates
Score: 3.08

Price: $4,000 plus costs for managed resources, servers and sockets.

Pros: Nice user roles and policies-based management; provides great VM monitoring information; offers good heterogeneous VM control capability; many options for alerting and reporting.

Cons: Incredibly complex; can’t create new VMs from scratch; data refreshes were sporadic; complicated documentation.

Score: 2.45

Price: $1,495 per managed processor socket

Pros: Easily imports VMs already running under VMware VirtualCenter; good Web-based GUI, good reports.

Cons: WIM imaging process is hit and miss—and only works with Windows; weak VM discovery processes; weak documentation; poor overall VM control.

Score: 2.01

Price: $199 per CPU socket for VMware ESXi and VMWare server; $699 per CPU socket for VMware ESX and Citrix Enterprise Server

Pros: Easy installation, can create new VMs from scratch.

Cons: Unstable, some features didn't work well

Score: 2.98

Price: $869; Microsoft Operations Manager (required for trending/alerts) $579

Pros: Can create VM’s from scratch, PRO tips trending useful for life-cycle management.

Cons: Can't use dynamic disks for ESX VM’s when creating from scratch; difficult to setup Operations Manager 2007 to use PRO tips; Lacking in real-time monitoring.

Meet the tester

Meet the Tester

Henderson is a researcher for ExtremeLabs in Indianapolis. He can be reached at .