VMware CEO: Future of IT is automation

Going forward VMware's primary aim will be to lower operational expenditure by automating management

The future for IT lies in automating as much as possible of the infrastructure, allowing users to self-provision applications, all in a mixture of virtualized private and public clouds, according to VMware's CEO Paul Maritz.

There is no longer any question that virtualization will be the foundation for IT, and it is no longer a question if an enterprise is going to use virtualization, but rather when and how.

So far, virtualization has been about lowering hardware costs, but going forward the primary aim will be to lower operational expenditure by automating as much as possible of the management process, according to Maritz. It will be a constant theme for VMware's products: stitching together servers, storage, networking into a "giant computer that can be increasingly automatically managed", he said at VMworld Europe on Tuesday.

A product that will help that vision is vCloud Director. It allows enterprises to create pools of virtual infrastructure resources, which VMware calls Virtual Data Centers, that come with its own set of management policies and groups of applications. They can sit in private or public clouds, and be moved between the different environments, according to Maritz. Making that possible is something the IT industry needs to enable, he said.

On top of the Virtual Data Centers, users will be allowed to self-provision software via application stores, or service catalogues, as VMware likes to call them. To give the IT department more control, VMware has introduced vCloud Request Manager, it said on Tuesday. Request Manager will, for example, allow the IT department to track of software licenses and put in place processes for approving user access to applications, according to VMware.

The move to a more flexible IT world will also put additional pressure on monitoring. The latest version of vCenter CapacityIQ includes new analytics capabilities for storage forecasting, according to VMware.

vCloud Request Manager and vCenter CapacityIQ 1.5 will start shipping in the fourth quarter. vCloud Request Manager will be licensed per virtual machine with prices starting at US$100 per machine. CapacityIQ 1.5 will also be licensed per virtual machine with prices starting at $75 per machine.

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