Virtual systems management for the masses

Ipswitch, Spiceworks add virtual systems management capabilities to their software suites targeted at small and midsize IT organizations.

Virtual systems management capabilities come to product suites aimed at giving IT departments enterprise-level features at SMB costs.

IT managers looking to get a handle on their growing virtual environments without breaking the bank could turn to some familiar faces in the low-cost management software market. Ipswitch and Spiceworks this month separately announced additional features that tackle virtualization for their low-cost and free management products, respectively.

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Virtualization is making its way into most companies to some degree, and many IT departments are beginning to expand their use of the technology beyond development and test environments, increasing the need for virtual systems monitoring and management products. Yet not all those who adopt virtualization have big budgets for virtual systems management software. While many free tools are available to take on virtual environments in part, two IT management software makers – known to target small and midsize companies with their suites – recently added virtual system support to their respective product portfolios.

Watch a slideshow of the Ipswitch product.

Ipswitch, maker of the popular Whatsup Gold IT management software, introduced WhatsVirtual, a plug-in module to the company’s flagship product designed to help customers monitor virtual systems in their existing management console. WhatsVirtual provides reporting and alerting capabilities for VMware ESX/ESXi environments. The software reports on real-time status and notifies IT managers of failures and performance issues on the virtual systems. WhatsVirtual can also enable drill downs from host systems into each virtual machine to provide administrators support for VMware actions and management tasks, according to Kevin Gillis, vice president of product management at Ipswitch’s network management division.

“We are using the VMware API to get access to the virtual environment, to automate discovery and map hosts and virtual relationships,” Gillis explains. “WhatsVirtual makes IT management simple by enabling single console monitoring for all physical and virtual servers.”

WhatsUp Gold WhatsVirtual is available starting at $1,495 and is licensed for an unlimited number of monitors. WhatsUp Gold 14.2 is required to run WhatsVirtual. A free trial of WhatsVirtual is also immediately available for download here.

Separately, Spiceworks also added virtual support to its IT Desktop Version 4.6, a free IT management software suite. The company, which now boasts more than 900,000 users in small and in some cases larger IT organizations, included features to monitor virtual servers and desktops in the most recent release. According to Spiceworks, the additional capabilities enable businesses to discover and monitor VMware ESX/ESXi and vSphere virtual servers, providing a full inventory and configuration of the virtual machine.

“Almost half of all small and medium businesses use virtualization technology, and that number is only expected to grow in the coming year,” said Scott Abel, co-founder and CEO of Spiceworks, in a statement. “We’re helping to support this trend by giving IT pros the ability to manage virtualized machines free of charge, while providing them with the other IT tools they need to manage their networks and do their jobs.”

More information on how to get Spiceworks IT Desktop is available here.

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