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Cassatt management tools get virtual

New module lets Collage product govern virtual machines as well as physical machines.

Server software start-up Cassat has introduced a module to enable its core product to control virtual machines as well as the physical machines it now governs.

The Cross-Virtualization Manager module, released Monday, extends Cassatt's Collage software, used to automate management of large numbers of servers. XVM adds the ability to govern which jobs are running on which virtual machines; to move jobs from one to another if a server fails; and start and stop virtual machines, the San Jose, Calif.-based company said.

The software is designed to address the problem of "virtual machine sprawl," a sequel to the server sprawl that arrived when customers started buying large quantities of x86 systems, said Rich Green, Cassatt's executive vice president of products.

"If you ask data center systems to turn into 10 more machines per machine, suddenly you've created a dramatic problem in managing these," Green said. "Whether a machine is physical or virtual, it brings about the same management overhead."

The XVM software works in conjunction with the three major virtualization foundations of x86 servers: VMware, Xen and Microsoft. It already cooperates with VMware's virtual machine products, and will be available for Xen in June and Microsoft Virtual Server in the second half of the year, Green said.

Virtualization is adding new angles to the management software market, but management software isn't a new market.

IBM, for one, is working on management tools, including TotalStorage Productivity Center and IBM Director, to manage both physical and virtual machines. "IBM's experience as a systems vendor and over four decades of virtualization experience give us a unique perspective on addressing these issues," said Rich Lechner, IBM's vice president of virtualization.

Cassatt's core software, Collage, has a starting price of $100,000 to control 40 servers, or about $2,500 each, said Jay Fry, the company's vice president of marketing. The XVM module costs an additional $1,250 per server.