At the beginning of last week VMware announced the pricing and availability of its vSphere 4.0 platform, replacing the popular VMware Infrastructure 3.x starting May 21.
Much before that announcement VMware unveiled a long list of new products that will be released over the next months, covering pretty much every possible need that a virtual infrastructure administrator may have.
One of them is especially interesting: the vCenter Orchestrator.
The technology behind this product comes from the acquisition of the European startup Dunes Technology in September 2007.
Orchestrator is extremely interesting as it’s the building block of any highly complex automated infrastructure.
Very few companies are offering similar automation frameworks for virtual infrastructures (while there are many that claim to automate both the physical and the virtual data centers while offering the same level of granularity).
So far VMware didn’t unveil its plans about the pricing of these new modules, but looking at the new vSphere pricing, it’s easy to guess that they will not be cheap. But this time the company may surprise its customers.
virtualization.info has learned from multiple sources that VMware has a plan to offer Orchestrator as a free module for vCenter.
The public documentation available on the official website is unclear about this point, just stating that:
VMware vCenter Orchestrator is packaged with VMware vCenter Server and supports VMware vSphere. It requires no additional purchase to operate.
Now it must be seen in which edition of vSphere this new module will appear. Maybe it will be only available only as part of the new Enterprise Plus license to justify its high price.
This is the case of another new product that VMware already announce, vCenter Data Recovery, which is bundled in some editions of vSphere but not all (for the others it’s available as a la carte option).
VMware is welcome to comment on this post or send us an email to clarify the orchestrator packaging.
In any case if VMware really plans to give away the tool, existing (Citrix with Workflow Studio, Novell with PlateSpin Orchestrate) and upcoming (Quest with Vizioncore vControl) competitors may have a hard time.