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Taneja Blog / Software Defined/Virtualized Infrastructure

Virtualization Management Communities 2.0

It’s going to be a good year for virtualization administrators. They’ve spent the last few years consolidating servers, ramping up utilization, and slashing the time it takes to deliver new environments to users. Often, they’ve done it without much corporate support as both pioneers and evangelists. Much of their success has been due to the strong community they’ve built at places like the VMware Technology Network, where any number of peers is standing by to help resolve a complex problem or share a favorite script, just when you need it.

In the early years of the virtualization technology wave, there was a lot of talk about automation, and quite a few platforms were developed then quickly snapped up by the systems management heavyweights. Few of these platforms did much of anything out of the box – they were policy-based, but where were the policies? They were containers without content, and content always wins.

Over the past month, I’ve been excited to see the second generation of virtualization communities coming to life. Each of them is building on the VMTN model in its own way, leveraging the collective experience of the field to create intelligence organically. A few worth checking out:

vKernel’s SearchMyVM is a free download utility – delivered as a virtual appliance – that quickly indexes an entire VMware environment and fronts it with a Google-style search portal, complete with pre-built searches as well as a query builder. Think of it as a mini Splunk for virtual machines;

Vizioncore’s Virtualization EcoShell Initiative is a community portal – accessed through a freeware desktop app – for those who use Windows PowerShell to manage virtualization. Members can improve their PowerShell skills, or share and debug their own scripts;

TripWire’s vWire community leverages the vendor’s configuration management and security expertise, offering free Windows downloads to verify whether vMotion is working properly, for example, and whether your virtual machines pass VMware’s Security Hardening Guidelines.

The market will decide which communities will thrive, but I like the aggressive approach we’re seeing in this space: race to market with a free utility that solves a real problem, cuts a few key strokes, eliminates a manual job, or teaches something new. The challenge will be to invest enough energy and resources to keep the content coming and build strong ties between community members.

  • Premiered: 05/30/09
  • Author: Taneja Group
Topic(s): Communities Management TripWire Virtualization vKernel Vizioncore VMWare


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