VMWorld 2011: VMware unveils business management tools

VMware's new IT Business Management suite will provide CIOs with financial guidance.

Cloud computing

VMware today announced the launch of its first business management solution - IT Business Management suite.

In a new venture for VMware, the company is set to address the business needs of CIOs by introducing the product which analyses IT expenditure and provides a more granular view of how IT services are being used.

Speaking at VMware's VMWorld Europe event in Copenhagen, Steve Herrod, VMware's chief technology officer (CTO), said that the IT Business Management suite was "one of the biggest management launches we've ever done." He claimed it would help CIOs get detailed information on department expenditure and help them understand cost and risk.

The suite, based on technologies from VMware's June acquisition of Digital Fuel, will provide a means of assessing the business value of a service, giving CIOs a grasp of the financial worth of IT assets.

"What's the cost of an IT service?" said Rob Smoot, VMware director for product marketing, speaking after the announcement, adding many CIOs could not estimate the cost of providing IT features and services.

"They operate a simple model," he said. "What CIOs do is to make periodical inventories and then make an estimate of the cost to charge back to departments. IT Business Management Suite will mean that IT departments will be in a position to implement chargeback."

Smoot said the introduction of the IT Business Management Suite really tied into the whole notion of IT as a service.

"The assumption that IT owns the full stack is no longer true, cloud has changed all that," he said, claiming the the role of the IT department had fundamentally changed.

"Businesses are no longer looking just to IT departments but at many service providers and may have to look at moving a service from one service provider to another, IT needs to be the broker for those services."

The suite will include three modules: IT Finance Manager, IT Service Level Manager and IT Vendor Manager. Applied together, they will be able to take data from a variety of financial sources and, by applying analytics, will be able to provide a single view of IT capital, operating and service expenses with meaningful metrics and reports. Herrod said the suite would allow CIOs to make accurate business decisions based on cost, risk, performance and compliance.

The company also made some more technical announcements too, again centred on management products.

The company has introduced an update for its vCenter Operations Management Suite by combining its VMware vCenter Capacity IQ and VMware vCenter Configuration Manager products.

It has introduced new dashboards and smart alerts to help identify emerging problems and fix performance issues caused by configuration changes. The new suite will also include application awareness capabilities to map the relationships and dependencies between applications and the infrastructure components that support them.

The other new management product introduced by VMware was a new version of its vFabric Application Management suite.

The suite will contain two new products: vFabric AppDirector will make it easier to deploy applications to any cloud with standardised templates and component libraries, and the vFabric Application Performance Manager, which it claims will help customers proactively manage application performance in virtual and cloud environments.

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