Another VMware Tool, Lab Manager 3.0, next is Production Manager for the Virtual Data Center?

VMware rolled out its latest version of Lab Manager 3.0.  NetworkWorld covers the release.

VMware tool aims help developers

By Peter Sayer , IDG News Service , 08/04/2008

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.

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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.

I am glad Lab manager has added the capability to use a library of stored VM configurations as this is something we manually needed to do for customers 4 years ago to make it easier to control the proliferation of VM iterations.

Going with the idea of VMware running a Virtual Data Center, VMware could manage a library of known good VM configurations that have tested and verified for security, compliance, etc. This would offload a huge burden from IT shops and VMware could make server configurations a commodity it sells as a service.

VMware is following the same strategy I recommend to many others in getting into the data center - go for the dev and test labs first then go into the production data center.  So, even though the product is being promoted as a lab tool, you can expect VMware to create a Production Manager Tool next or Lab Manager will integrate with VMware's lifecycle management tools.

In this white paper VMware discusses the the Virtual Data Center.

VMware white paper
Conclusion: The New Automated Virtual
VMware virtualization is changing IT organizations dramatically,
bringing unprecedented levels of flexibility to datacenter by
eliminating complex hardware and software interdependencies
and creating a standard platform for deploying mission-critical
applications. This shift will require IT organizations to think
differently about managing the IT infrastructure.
VMware Infrastructure accelerates the rate of change, and has
the potential to turn the datacenter on its head by services
and IT resources are fluid rather than static, meaning that
the traditional ways of managing systems no longer applies.
The traditional way of managing systems no longer applies.
Datacenter administrators need to account for this new dynamic
IT environment as they deploy and manage virtualization on an
increasingly greater scale.
Ultimately, the automated virtual datacenter provides several
key benefits:
• Eliminates manual, error-prone repetitive tasks, increasing ROI
and freeing up IT to focus on strategic projects.
• Minimizes risk and improves compliance with IT and business
• Reduces configuration issues by maintaining consistent
systems across the datacenter
• Allows IT to increase responsiveness to the business,
accelerating time-to-market for IT services dramatically
To do this effectively, IT organizations need best-of-breed tools
designed to automate the new virtual datacenter. VMware
Infrastructure provides the core building blocks for the new
virtual datacenter, and solutions for automating IT service
delivery and business continuity let customers leverage their
existing investments in VMware to accelerate the rate of change
while maintaining predictability and control, providing greater
responsiveness to the business. Using VMware Infrastructure
as a strategic platform for the datacenter, organizations can
automate the virtual datacenter

There is no reason why VMware could not host the Virtual Data Center.