CA Technologies Seeks to Address "VM Stall" with Virtual Portfolio

CA Technologies yesterday announced the general availability of five products in the CA Virtual portfolio, which offer comprehensive management capabilities designed to help increase business agility by providing a better way to provision, control, assure, secure and optimize virtual environments. The five products are CA Virtual Assurance, CA Virtual Automation, CA Virtual Configuration, CA Virtual Assurance for Infrastructure Managers, and the latest addition to the portfolio, CA Virtual Privilege Manager. The company also introduced the CA Virtual Foundation Suite, which combines select virtualization management products at a special price.

The offerings, says CA, are designed to help eliminate what has been described as the "VM stall" faced by many organizations. After virtualizing the "low-hanging fruit," which typically means the conversion of no more than 20% to 30% of physical servers to virtual machines, a variety of factors can contribute to stall progress.

According to CA, many organizations in virtualization stall never manage to virtualize their tier 2, tier 1, and mission-critical systems. Stuck at the first stage on the virtualization maturity curve, these organizations are unable to leverage the entry-level benefits of server consolidation into infrastructure optimization, automation and orchestration, and the promise of a dynamic data center and private cloud. This in turn means that they fail to realize the full scope of benefits from virtualization: not just cost reduction, but also business and IT agility, management efficiency, market responsiveness, service improvements, and staffing benefits.

The benefits that server virtualization provides in promoting flexible utilization of IT resources, reduced capital costs, high energy efficiency, highly available applications, improved business continuity, are well known, Biren Gosai, principal product marketing manager, tells 5 Minute Briefing. "However," he notes, "what we are seeing is that virtualization brings with it a very unique set of challenges around management of the virtual infrastructure."

Organizations require comprehensive capabilities to manage and secure virtual environments and these capabilities are essential to expand virtualization enterprise-wide and reap the benefits that are promised by this emerging technology, he says. "Customers are accustomed to a lot of visibility and control into the availability and performance of their physical environments and now that they are adopting virtualization, they want the same kind of visibility and control that they have been accustomed to in their physical environments." If organizations feel they are not able to have that visibility and control in the virtual environment, Gosai, explains, they become hesitant about moving critical applications into the virtual environment. "That is what our portfolio addresses. It helps them manage and secure their virtual environments and provides a lot of control into the virtual environment." 

First unveiled at CA World on May 17, 2010, the CA virtualization management portfolio is designed to help emerging and large enterprises overcome virtual stall by providing a better way to provision, control, assure, secure and optimize complex virtualized environments. The CA Virtual portfolio in particular features solutions specifically designed to deliver robust virtualization management capabilities for virtualization-focused administrators. The portfolio also offers more advanced capabilities for integrating specialized virtualization management into the end-to-end management of hybrid physical and virtual systems, networks, storage and applications, as well as connecting IT infrastructure with business policies and priorities.

CA Technologies has broadened its CA Virtual portfolio by adding a new security solution - CA Virtual Privilege Manager, which is designed to control privileged access to virtual environments by securing console access to the hypervisor and managing privileged access to all of the virtual images running on the virtualization server as well as the service console. Key capabilities of the solution include privileged user password management for the virtual machines and service console, fine-grained administrative access controls to the hypervisor service console, service console hardening, and original user activity monitoring in virtual environments.

Additionally, CA Virtual Foundation Suite is a combined offering of CA Virtual Assurance, CA Virtual Automation, and CA Virtual Configuration. The suite, which offers a discount on the individual products, is aimed at organizations that have embarked on virtualization projects without an enterprise-class management foundation, and as a result, are facing a potential firestorm of poor performance, resourcing gaps, and damaged business confidence. According to CA, CA Virtual Foundation Suite provides the management foundation that can ease virtualization adoption and broaden expansion, as well as help drive both immediate and long-term business results.

For more information about the CA virtualization management portfolio, go here