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What is new in V-Commander 5.0.3

The Swedish IDG Techworld did a product test of V-Commander in February 2013. The version at the time was 4.6.1.

They liked the product alot but were asking for some features:

  • Microsoft Hyper-V support
  • Multi-tenant organization support
  • Improved chargeback.

Guess what, that is now included and alot more!

Read the original IDG Techworld article here

 

 

Below is a list of the new features in V-Commander 5.0.3

Support for Amazon EC2

This release allows you to integrate your Amazon public cloud environment with your private cloud infrastructure. Through Amazon Web Services (AWS), vCommander™ accesses Amazon EC2 (Elastic Compute Cloud) to allow you to deploy EC2 AMIs (Amazon Machine Images) and manage EC2 instances.

With vCommander, you can create and manage workloads on the virtualization and cloud platform that is best for that workload, using criteria such as price, availability and technology.

vCommander supports a wide range of features with Amazon EC2, including inventory and reporting, change and configuration management, policy automation, cost visibility and chargeback, and self-service and provisioning automation. To save public cloud costs,  vCommander now also supports the ability to schedule a power on/off cycle for VMs (see "Configuring Power Schedules for VMs" for more details).

This release of vCommander is perfect for customers who want to leverage the Amazon public cloud to enhance their existing private cloud capacity. Once you have added AMIs in your EC2 Dashboard, you can add these private AMIs to your vCommander Service Catalog.  Your consumers of IT services can then easily access these services in a hybrid cloud environment. vCommander supports both Virtual Private Clouds (VPCs) and EC2 Classic.

Note that additional per-VM licensing is required in order to take advantage of the Amazon EC2 capabilities. Please contact ARJ Distribution for more information.

For details on feature support in this initial EC2 release, see "vCommander Features by Managed System Type".

Organizations, Quotas and Self-service Automation

This release offers several improvements in the Cloud Automation and Self Service category:

Multi-tenant organization support
Resource-based and cost-based quotas
Service Portal home page redesign
VM sharing
VM clone requests
Delegation capabilities for organization management and service request approval
Ability to change the size of the base disk for new VMs
Removal of CPU and memory restrictions

Organizations

Organizations form the basis of the vCommander multi-tenant model. An organization is a group of consumers with a common business purpose. Organizations allow you to:

Isolate data for your consumer groups
Delegate administrative tasks to consumers, providing control from within the organization and lightening the load on the vCommander administrator
set up distinct cloud automation configurations for your consumer groups

Because each organization has distinct service ownership and configuration, organization membership affects what each user sees and what they can do in the Service Portal.

Organizations also provide a way for vCommander users to log into the Service Portal: just add the vCommander user to an organization. This can be helpful when you're making configuration changes that you want to test in the Service Portal.

See "Creating Organizations for vCommander™ Multi-tenancy" to learn more.

Quotas

Quotas allow you to set a limit on the compute resources granted to an organization so that you can assign available resources to your consumer groups based on their business requirements. You can configure:

resource-based quotas, which allow you to limit the number of vCPUs, the amount of RAM and the amount of storage
cost-based quotas, which allow you to limit the total daily cost of VMs

org-quota-config

You can set quotas for organizations and, optionally, for individual members. Member quotas allow to you set limits based on users' individual needs.

Once you assign quotas, you can use them to determine whether a service request can be approved. For example, you may want any service request that exceeds an organization's quota to be rejected automatically. Or, you may want a second level of approval for requests that will exceed quota. To set up an approval process, you configure an approval workflow for new service requests and service change requests.

Service Portal users can see their individual quota, as well as their organization's quota, on their home page:

portal-homepage-quota

Members see warnings when they've exceeded their quota and when submitting a service request that will exceed their available quota. See "Setting Quotas for vCommander™ Multi-tenancy" to learn more.

Delegating Organization Management

Organization management can be delegated to those responsible for managing an individual organization. Organization managers can add and remove organization members and manage member quota in the Service Portal.

Service Portal Home Page Redesign

The Service Portal home page has a new look:

portal_home

Users now see saved searches, service request status, resource and performance information, and cost details immediately upon login. You control what information users see: if a user does not have permission to see costs, for example, the Costs pane will not appear on their home page. Users can also choose the four saved searches to display on the home page. 

VM Sharing

vCommander and Service Portal users can share exact copies of their VMs with other users and groups. Service Portal users can also share VMs with their organization. If a tester has reproduced a bug discovered during testing, for example, they can share the exact VM configuration  with a developer, speeding up the bug fixing process. Note that VM sharing is supported only for vCenter VMs. 

Request a VM Clone

Service Portal users can request a clone of one of their VMs. Their request goes through the same approval process as other service requests. Note that VM clone requests are not supported for Amazon EC2 VMs. See "Requesting a VM Clone" to learn more.

Approve Service Requests Right in vCommander and the Service Portal

In previous releases, the only way to approve service requests was to click a link in an approval email. Now, vCommander and Service Portal users with the required permissions can view a list of service requests awaiting their approval and approve those requests right in the vCommander console or the Service Portal. 

Change the Size of the Base Disk for New VMs

In previous releases, users needing a larger base disk had to submit a change request after the new VM was deployed. Users can now choose a base disk size different from the source template when requesting a new VM. Administrators can also adjust the size of the base disk when manually deploying new VMs. To enable this feature for new service requests, edit the Storage  element on your New Service Request forms:

form-storage-allowed-actions

Note that this feature is supported for vCenter VMs only.

CPU and Memory Restrictions Removed

We've removed the CPU and memory restrictions in vCommander and the Service Portal, so that administrators can now specify maximum values that make sense in their environments. You can now specify a comma-separated list of any values for the CPU Count form element on request forms, and the Memory form element no longer has a maximum allowable value. Likewise, the maximum values have been removed from the Reconfigure Resources dialog, the Fulfill Request dialog, and the Resources page of the manual deployment wizards.

Fenced Network Support

You can now deploy multiple isolated copies of services from the Service Catalog without IP or MAC address conflicts. This means that you can replicate an entire environment without impacting production services.

When creating a Service Catalog entry, administrators can specify that the service components should be deployed as part of a fenced network. vCommander takes care of the underlying router configuration, so that the process is completely transparent to the Service Portal users consuming the service.

See "Network Fencing" to learn more.

Performance and Resource Optimization 

New features in the Performance and Resource Optimization category include:

VM rightsizing recommendations
integration with Splunk to gather guest OS performance data and provide more accurate rightsizing recommendations
automatic power on/off scheduling for VMs
performance metrics for Microsoft Hyper-V
vCommander data optimization

VM Rightsizing Recommendations

Rightsizing recommendations help both vCommander and Service Portal users optimize VM cost and performance. Rightsizing means ensuring that all VMs in your virtualized infrastructure are allocated the correct resources for their workload, with the goal of minimizing cost and maximizing performance.

Using VM data from the hypervisor, vCommander issues CPU and memory rightsizing recommendations for VMs.

Once you've reviewed a recommendation, either from the VM summary page or from the full list of recommendations for your virtual infrastructure, you can apply it immediately, submit a change request, or schedule it for later. You may decide to ignore certain recommendations. You may also decide that you don't want to consider rightsizing recommendations for particular VMs. The parameters that vCommander uses to make its rightsizing recommendations are also fully configurable.

rightsize_vm_unblur

 

Get Guest OS Performance Data from Splunk

This release introduces the ability to integrate with Splunk in order to gather Windows guest OS performance monitoring data. Combining Windows guest OS performance data with VM performance metrics from the hypervisor allows vCommander to provide more accurate rightsizing recommendations for your virtualized infrastructure.

 

Automatically Power Your VMs On and Off

You can automatically power VMs on and off at specified times using power schedules. Power schedules are especially useful for the public cloud, where you pay more when VMs are running. Once a vCommander administrator has configured one or more power schedules, Service Portal users can assign schedules to their VMs. Administrators can also create a policy to automatically set the power schedule for new VMs. 



Performance Metrics for Microsoft Hyper-V

You can now view performance metrics, such as CPU, memory and disk usage, for VMs in SCVMM managed systems.

performance-scvmm-cpu

 

vCommander Data Optimization

Several data management improvements have been introduced to increase overall system scalability and performance for environments of all sizes. vCommander initialization and managed system connection times have been improved. Additionally, the Events listgrid now defaults to display the last 30 days, with the complete history available to users via Search.

Finally, enhanced database management capabilities have been added to allow for greater control over retention rates for specific data types. Database purges can now be scheduled, and a default schedule is created on new installs to purge Events and Tasks records older than one year. Embotics recommends that upgrading customers implement the same schedule.

Reporting and Analytics

In this release, we've introduced:

a new VM Comparative Economics report, in the Chargeback and IT Costing category
a new Service Fulfillment report, in the Lifecycle Management category

New VM Comparative Economics Report

The VM Comparative Economics Report allows you to assess the cost-effectiveness of:

moving VMs to another hypervisor
moving VMs to Amazon EC2
applying rightsizing recommendations

Here's a sample report showing that migration from VMware to Hyper-V is recommended:

vm-comparative-econ-report

This sample report shows that applying current rightsizing recommendations would be cost-effective:

vm-comp-econ-rtsize

The Projected table provides details on rightsizing recommendations:

vm-comp-econ-rtsize-table

New Service Fulfillment Report

We've added a new report in the Lifecycle Management category: the Service Fulfillment Report. This report tracks service request status and fulfillment. It can help you determine whether you're meeting service delivery levels and taking full advantage of self-service automation.

service-fulfillment-report-top

service-fulfillment-report-mid

service-fulfillment-report-bottom

Role-based Access Control

In the Role-based Access Control category, this release introduces new Service Portal roles and easier role customization:

New permissions to delegate for organization management and service request approval
related Service Portal permissions are grouped
some permissions have been renamed for clarity

sp-roles

See "Customizing Service Portal Roles for End Users" to learn more.

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