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It’s 10 PM … Do You Know Where Your VMs Are?

By: Andy the Angry IT Guy

Editor’s note: This is the tenth in a series of posts we’ll be running from “Andy,” an anonymous IT administrator working for a mid-sized organization located somewhere in the American Midwest. In his previous post, Andy displayed an uncharacteristic burst of positivity, reveling in the newfound adulation (or, more accurately, indifference) he’s been receiving from his coworkers since simplifying his IT operations with VMware Go.

Today, Andy shares a few thoughts on VMware Go’s vSphere integration after testing it over the past few weeks. He shares how it has drastically streamlined the process of managing his network infrastructure—and why he loves beta testing so much.

When I was a boy of just twelve, I got perhaps the single greatest gift an aspiring computer geek could ever hope for: I was asked to be a beta tester for King’s Quest VI – one of the seminal computer games of the early 1990s. Yes, I only got it because my Aunt Millie worked in the product development department for Sierra Entertainment, but that’s neither here nor there. Being a beta tester gave me a feeling of power that I had previously thought to be attainable only by royalty and/or Oprah.

I was one of the absolute first people to experience the game. Not only that, but I got to offer up my opinions on how it could be improved from its current iteration. From that point on, I was hooked. Over the past decade, I’ve been a beta tester for everything from shaving blades (You like that extra blade on the Mach5? You’re welcome, world!), to Gmail (OK, so were about three million others). I was also part of the original test group for LOST (I’m not going to say I’m the only reason that they didn’t kill off Jack in the pilot episode, but I like to think I played a pretty big part in the producers’ decision to keep him around). God, I love beta testing.

The reason I bring this up here is because I’ve recently had the opportunity to try out some new features from VMware Go as a beta user – namely, its tight integration with vSphere. For one, it provides an extremely clear view of the virtual machines in my network. With VMware Go Pro’s configuration wizard, I can easily inventory my VMs and see their status. The wizard also allows you to set up automated alerts to flag relevant performance issues without having to go directly into vCenter (I can do it from the Go Pro console), which saves a lot of time that I can otherwise spend mining through angry/clueless help ticket requests from my less technically inclined colleagues.  And did I mention that Go can also install vCenter for you now?  Yeah, that’s definitely new.

This vCenter-based approach takes a lot of the pain out of managing my network. I can see all my VMs across all my hypervisors in one place.  And I don’t feel the need to constantly probe individual hypervisors to make sure they’re OK. If there’s a problem, I’ll get an automatic email alerting me that a given machine needs some love, which I can perform with the click of a mouse from anywhere, anytime.

So, in response to the title of this post, I can confidently state that I know exactly where my VMs are at 10 PM – and what the status of each machine is without having to manually log into them one by one. Take that, creepy local news promo from the 1980s!

They’ll be rolling this feature out to the general public (much to my chagrin – I like feeling special) at VMworld San Francisco, so stay tuned for more updates soon.

You can also learn more at VMware Go’s sessions at the show:

Creating a Highly Profitable Virtualization Practice with VMware Go Pro

VMware Go: The Zen for Small and Midsized Business IT Management