Dunes unveils SMB-ready virtual appliances

Two virtual appliances from automation software maker offer small-to-midsize companies enterprise-level provisioning and desktop life-cycle management

Automation software maker Dunes Technologies this week announced it would release two virtual appliances designed to help small-to-midsize business manage virtualization in their environments.

Dunes, a Swiss company with U.S. offices and an Australian partner, says its Virtual Service Orchestrator, or VS-O, platform provides enterprise companies with a business process automation platform for virtual environments. Dunes VS-O is able to execute predefined tasks by tapping into its policy, scripting and workflow engines. The software also ties into third-party systems via APIs and SDKs, without requiring customers to distribute software agents to enable automated actions.

"Our original focus was toward the enterprise and helping those large customers get their processes in order in virtual environments," says Robert Laurie, Dunes CEO. "We take run-book automation in the virtual server realm and tie it into other technologies such as storage and networking."

The company this week announced it had scaled down its VS-O to provide the underlying technology for two virtual appliances: VS-O Lifecycle and VS-O Desktop. The virtual appliances each include a Linux operating system, a database, a directory service and a preinstalled library of processes and connectors into other systems. The underlying software, VS-O, includes more then 400 workflows and libraries in its repository and acts like a template within the two virtual appliances, designed for smaller environments and targeted at specific tasks.

For example, the VS-O Lifecycle application can automate the request, approval, deploying, archiving and deletion of virtual servers, Dunes says. VS-O Desktop automates the creation of virtual desktop pools and controls access to the resource pools. The software provides a role-based interface to ensure security measures are taken, and IT managers can customize the products' interface to their liking.

"We offer full life-cycle management of virtual servers and address VMware's virtual desktop initiative with these virtual appliances," Laurie says. The company could compete with such automation vendors as Opalis, Network Automation and Opsware, as well as virtualization-management vendors Vizioncore and Veeam.

VS-O Lifecycle and VS-O Desktop are available in beta, and the company expects the software applications to be generally available by the end of the year. Each application requires VMware VirtualCenter and VMware Infrastructure 3 with at least one server. Pricing will be determined when the products are ready to ship.

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Denise Dubie

Network World
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