VMware opens Stage Manager beta program

As virtualization.info readers know since last week, today VMware opens the beta program of a brand new product called Stage Manager (VSM).

Stage Manager streamlines and rationalizes the deployment process of a new virtual machine in production environment: through well-known manipulation tools like multiple snapshots, clones, VM templates, customers can track their virtualized servers during all pre-production phases, rolling back at any point if something goes wrong.

In details Stage Manager is able to:

  • Rapidly create new multi-server software configurations (services)
  • Monitor resource usage on a per-service, per-stage and per-instance basis
  • Easily perform operations on a complete service (e.g. cloning, deploying, archiving, etc.)
  • Marshall changes across the service lifecycle, interacting with external process management/workflow system to ensure compliance with service transition policies
  • Maintain an archive of past service configurations supporting compliance and recovery operations
  • Maintain an auditable history of software configuration changes
  • Manage storage behavior on a per-stage basis to maximize storage efficiency
  • Control access to services on a per-service, per-stage and per-instance basis
  • Inherit then deploy services to resource pools created within VMware VirtualCenter

An even more detailed list of features is available here.

In many ways Stage Manager seems a VMware Lab Manager applied to production environment instead of development & testing ones. In fact both products often overlap goals and share some features like a VM library and the so called Network Fencing technology.

It’s surprising that VMware didn’t build a unique product merging both approaches. At least a basic integration between Lab Manager and Stage Manager is expected at this point.

In any case the product is very welcome considering the endless possibilities to further simplify some risky and very frequent operations like patching production servers or deploying updated applications.

It’s worth to note how aggressively VMware is approaching the VM lifecycle management space from different angles: first Lab Manager, now this one and in a near future also the Lifecycle Management product acquired from Dunes Technologies.

Newest startups just entered the space (Embotics, Fortisphere, ManageIQ) will have a hard time providing additional benefits for VMware customers. The easiest strategy for them will be offering same products for other virtualization platforms like Citrix XenServer and Microsoft Hyper-V.

Enroll for the beta program here.