Does A Hosted Virtualized Environment Require New Tools?

By Brent Scotten

Many enterprises have invested millions of dollars over the years in IT management, monitoring and automation solutions for their data centers. So a natural question that arises when considering migration of workloads to hosted environments is around management tools. What new capabilities will be required? What new skills will our organization need? Is our existing toolset extensible at all?

The reality is that with the right environment and service provider, workloads and virtual machines in hosted environments can be managed with the same tools being used in the on-premise customer data center. This is particularly true for enterprises that are running virtualized workloads in a VMware environment. In fact, with the right service provider, no new applications or automation tools are required to manage hosted workloads.

Enterprises running VMware workloads that want to leverage their existing toolsets need to look for a service provider that offers the following capabilities:

  1. Hosted VMware environments – first, the service provider must offer customers the ability to run VMware virtualized workloads in their hosted environments.
  2. VMware vCenter Services – next, the service provider must offer the ability to manage hosted virtualized workloads using the VMware vCenter Server Management Console.
  3. Access to VMware vSphere APIs – finally the service provider must also expose the native VMware vSphere APIs to the customer to allow the connection of any compatible VMware or third party tools.

By leveraging the VMware vCenter Server management console across on-premise and hosted VMware environments, enterprises are able to enjoy benefits in the following areas:

Resource Management and Performance Monitoring – by leveraging hosted vCenter services enterprises can manage and schedule resources as if the hosted environment were an extension of the customer data center. Host profiles and configurations and settings can be used across on-premise and hosted environments. In addition, resource allocation rules for CPU, memory, disk and network can be applied across both environments, and common alerts and notifications can be configured.

Process and Workflow Automation – by leveraging hosted VMware vSphere APIs, organizations that currently use VMware vCenter Orchestrator can extend their existing workflows and scripts to workloads running in a hosted VMware environment. This applies not just to out-of-the-box VMware workflows, but also custom scripts and workflows developed by IT administrators.

Extensibility of Existing Applications – with access to hosted vCenter APIs, existing third party and custom applications and scripts can be used with workloads in the hosted VMware environment. Many enterprises rely on third party applications in the VMware partner ecosystem that integrate with vCenter for capacity management, business continuity, performance monitoring and other capabilities. By exposing the same APIs used to manage on-premise virtualized workloads, these same applications can be used for hosted workloads as well. For example, businesses are able to connect third party tools like VMware vCenter Operations Manager (vCOps) to increase visibility into the environment through analytics, as well as assist in capacity and configurations management.

Because no new tools or capabilities are required to manage the hosted VMware environment, enterprises will also find that they can continue to leverage existing IT operations and management skills. By using the right service provider and hosted vCenter services, enterprises can seamlessly manage their on-premise and hosted VMware environments through their existing tools, solutions, processes and people.

This is the third in a series of posts exploring the IT governance and management implications of migration to hosted VMware environments. Stay tuned for our next post featuring a case study on one enterprise that decided to migrate to a hosted virtualized environment.

: Does A Hosted Virtualized Environment Require New Tools?