The Virtualization Room

Jul 29 2010   1:58PM GMT

Virtualization Vendor Profile: Uptime Software

Colin Steele Colin Steele Profile: Colin Steele

Welcome to the latest edition of the Virtualization Vendor Profile. Every once in a while I’ll talk with a smaller or lesser-known company, learn about their business, discuss some industry trends, and write up a recap.

The issue of mixed virtual environments — running multiple platforms together, such as VMware and Hyper-V — has received a decent amount of coverage this year. Still, most admins would prefer to standardize on one platform, according to last year’s Virtualization Decisions survey results — and according to Alex Bewley, CTO of Uptime Software, a Toronto-based systems management vendor.

“It tends to be pretty homogeneous,” he said during a phone call yesterday. “VMware is by far the biggest beast out there. We do have some pure Hyper-V shops … and just do not see a lot of Xen.”

But Bewley does see many customer sites that combine server virtualization platforms with other methods of abstracting applications from hardware, including Solaris Zones and AIX Partitions. Uptime’s goal is to monitor and report on the availability and performance of all of these different platforms (in a “single pane of glass,” of course).

“We want to be the tool that monitors all of these,” Bewley said.

Uptime also offers some limited public cloud management. Its product supports Amazon EC2, but Bewley said customers are only experimenting with that platform for now and not using it to run production workloads.

As I perused Uptime’s presentation slides before our call yesterday, I noticed that the company charges per host. Naturally, with all the fuss going on about VMware’s new per-VM licensing for management tools, I asked Bewley about it. He said per-VM licensing is “very complicated” and forces customers to do a lot of predicting, which can end up being inaccurate.

Customers are saying, “I don’t know what I’m going to virtualize. I don’t know what my density’s going to be,” he said. “With us, you just go in and count the green lights.”

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