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July 20, 2009


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Elias Patsalos

Cool stuff.


Elias P

Justin Watermann

So basically its like Xiotech's Virtual View a year later? Does it leverage web services as well?

Chad Sakac

Justin - thanks for the comment.

The key thing that we think we're doing differently is tackling this from both ends - the VMware Administrator and the Storage Administrator. In some cases there is only one person doing both, but in many cases, there are two people.

Both want to have end-to-end visibility in their natural context. For VMware administrators - that's in vCenter, and for the Storage Admin - it's in the storage management interface (which is either an element manager - like Navisphere; or a heterogenous manager of managers - like Control Center).

As far as I know - this is indeed the first instance of the actual element manager integrating with the vCenter APIs. It's considerably harder than an external model that reads both the storage array APIs and the vCenter APIs and presents them in a new format. The reason it's harder is you have to fit into into the release train and development path of the full-blown element manager (or manager of managers).

This is why our vCenter plugin actually came before the VM-Aware Navisphere update. We've now covered 3 bases - the VMware administrator, the Storage admin using the element manager, and the storage admin using an manager of manager (enterprise storage resource management).

(BTW outside the area of storage - we also have a security plugin, a configuration compliance plugin, and something we're demoing at VMworld this year that will blow people minds on the topic of end-to-end dependency and relationship mapping).

BUT - the upside for the customer is that it's in the right, natural context - for both types of users.

Now, I don't claim to be an expert on Xiotech. A quick glance at the public materials suggests that Xiotech's tool is an MMC plugin. Is that the rest of their management model as well? MMC plugins can be hard to "extend" - does the virtual info kind of "hang off" the rest, or is it right integrated in? For example, when you're doing a task on a LUN (in the natural context the Xiotech user would be, can they (in context) drill down and get VMware-level info including virtual disk relationships, performance info, and other (applied against those objects, in context?).

BTW - there's no restriction on innovation - I think it's great that many vendors are integrating in all sorts of ways with VMware, and customers can look at, evaluate and make a choice that best suits them!

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