Surgient to Support New Microsoft, VMware Virtualization Offerings

A new August offering by virtual lab maker Surgient will add support for two key enterprise virtualization products: VMware ESX Server 3 and Microsoft Virtual Server 2005 R2 SP1.

"Our strategy is to be very strong in heterogeneous structure support," said Surgient Director of Product Strategy Marcus MacNeill. Surgient, he said, is the "only vendor that supports Microsoft Virtual Server and VMWare ESX, 64-bit guest OSes, and the Vista guest OS."

The upgrades will be part of Surgient Virtual Lab Management Applications 5.3. Although it's not a milestone release -- the way that the upgrade from version 4 to 5 was -- MacNeill said it includes some "sizeable" improvements. They include:

  • Advanced, agentless networking, which speeds up communication between guest images through the use of advanced networking capabilities.
  • Better remote access, enabling users to more efficiently use a centralized lab from anywhere in the world.
  • New reporting capabilities that allow integration with business intelligence tools, CRM systems and enterprise dashboards.

Virtual Lab Management Applications is an upgrade to a trio of products: The Surgient Virtual QA/Test Lab Management System (VQMS), which provides centralized management of virtual labs; the Surgient Virtual Training Lab Management System (VTMS), meant for educational and training lab environments; and the Surgient Virtual Demo Lab Management System (VDMS), which is primarily for salespeople in the field who use it for software demonstrations and evaluations.

In a press release, Bill Daniel, Surgient president and CEO, talked about the growing importance of virtualization.

"The use of virtualization in the enterprise has moved far beyond simple consolidation within the data center," he stated. "Virtual labs have become an increasingly significant part of the application development and delivery lifecycle."

Microsoft would agree, as it has moved aggressively into the virtualization space. Its replacement for Virtual Server 2005, Windows Server Virtualization (formerly code named "Viridian"), is expected to be released late this year or early in 2008. It will not include some expected features. Those features were deleted so that WSV could be released concurrently with Windows Server 2008.

MacNeill stressed that he doesn't see Microsoft's virtualization products as competitors.

"With Viridian, Microsoft's focus is on the production datacenter, like VMware with ESX," he said. "When I look at Viridian and Carmine [the code name for WSV's management program], I see it more in a production datacenter environment." Surgient's virtualization products play in a different sandbox.

Without giving specifics, MacNeill said that when Windows Server 2008 is shipping, Surgient will be ready to support it, along with new releases from Microsoft's virtualization competitors.

"We will be very aggressive with that; suffice it to say that we're committed to the new Windows server release, and to VMware."

Pricing for the products begins at $35,000.

About the Author

Keith Ward is editor of Virtualization Review magazine. You can contact Keith at [email protected].