As many users have predicted, VMware is indeed phasing out its Lab Manager product.
VMware has not officially announced Lab Manager’s end of life, but sources within the company said this week that it is in the works. In the meantime, VMware’s official line is, “We are encouraging people to move to vCloud Director,” the sources said.
With the vCloud Director release at VMworld 2010, users started asking questions about the future of Lab Manager. Lab Manager and vCloud Director have similar features, and VMware hasn’t issued a major Lab Manager update since July 2009.
The transition from Lab Manager to vCloud Director could be a tricky one for users. For example, vCloud Director requires an Oracle database on the back end, and it involves a lot of moving parts. (One VMware partner told me at Partner Exchange this week, “It took a while for even our smartest guys to get their heads around it.”)
For the time being, vCloud Director also lacks some of Lab Manager’s features, such as Record/Replay capability and support for linked clones.
UPDATE (Feb. 14, 9:42 a.m.): VMware officially announced today that it is discontinuing Lab Manager. The company will continue to support the product through May 1, 2013.