VMware Tool Aims Help Developers

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VMware wants to make it easier for IT departments to manage the virtual machine configurations that they use for testing or developing software, and will release an upgraded Lab Manager tool on Thursday.

Testing enterprise applications is becoming increasingly complex. With the adoption of service-oriented architectures and Web 2.0 techniques, the interactions of multiple servers must be taken into account, making it important that quality assurance be able to deploy realistic test set-ups easily and repeatably.

VMware's Lab Manager allows software developers and testers to choose a virtual machine set-up from a library of previously stored configurations and deploy it to a server pool, while IT staff retain control of who does what. The configurations can include multiple virtual machines.

Version 3 of Lab Manager adds more capabilities for defining the networks linking virtual machines, including multiple subnets and multiple network cards per virtual machine.

On the management side, it adds support for role-based access, allowing IT departments to define different user roles and customize the rights associated with them, the company said Monday.

It will also integrate with OpenLDAP servers, where the previous version, 2.5, integrated only with Microsoft's Active Directory. Lab Manager 3 also adds the ability to create groups of users, called organizations, which can be mapped to groups in OpenLDAP.

With virtualization software increasingly seen as a commodity, companies like VMware have had to concentrate on virtualization management tools to make money. In July, VMware began giving away its ESXi hypervisor, the software layer that allows multiple operating system images to coexist on a single physical machine. The move was a response to Microsoft's release of a free version of its hypervisor, Hyper-V, at the end of June.

VMware Lab Manager 3 now integrates with VMware Infrastructure 3, the company's flagship management platform released early last year, offering users access to the high-availability features in VMware HA and load-balancing functions in VMware Distributed Resource Scheduler.

The new version of Lab Manager requires VMware Infrastructure 3 Standard or Enterprise, but will not work with VMware Infrastructure 3 Foundation.

The software will go on sale through VMware distributors and resellers on Thursday, priced at US$1,295 per processor, VMware said.

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