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Start-up touts smart virtualization growth, management

Fortisphere launches virtual machine life-cycle management suite, promises to curb server sprawl and control virtual environments.

By , Network World
January 14, 2008 12:47 PM ET

Network World - Fortisphere Monday made available software the company says will empower systems administrators to manage virtual machines in preproduction and production environments, curbing server sprawl and ensuring pre-set policies are followed.

Virtual Insight is the first of two applications within the start-up's virtual machine life-cycle management suite, dubbed Fortisphere Virtual Essentials. Virtual Insight is software that helps IT operations staff inspect, tag, track and report on all virtual machines in an environment as they move from testing to preproduction to production environments. The application includes configuration, tagging, reporting and auditing features that Fortisphere executives say will enable IT operations staff to better understand all the elements in their virtual environment and how they interact.(Learn more about Server Management products from our Server Management Buyer's Guide.

"IT staff needs to know what is on the machine, what is its purpose, what are its dependencies and who owns it," says John Suit, principal and CTO at Fortisphere, which brought in $10 million in Series A funding last year.

Competing with fellow start-ups such as Vizioncore, Veeam and Virtugo Software, Fortisphere executives say the company differentiates itself by designing its technology to run directly on the hypervisor. "We created a small device driver that runs in the kernel of the operating system," Suit explains.

Virtual Insight is packaged as a virtual appliance that runs on hypervisors from VMware, Microsoft and Citrix XenSource. Once installed, the software provides details around virtual machine configurations, including patches, hotfixes and applications. The software also allows IT staff to embed a fingerprint of sorts to each virtual machine that details business attributes such as owner, functional group and trust level. Virtual Insight also generates an audit trail with a history of changes and transactions on the virtual machine and includes more than 50 status reports.

Virtual Insight pricing starts at $10,000 and is based on the number of hypervisors to be managed. The second application in the suite, Virtual Foresight, which provides policy-based management and automation capabilities, is scheduled to be made generally available later this spring.

Read more about infrastructure management in Network World's Infrastructure Management section.

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