vCenter Configuration Manager 5.5 is now available

On March 19 VMware announced the availability of vCenter Configuration Manager 5.5 that provides configuration management capabilities within VMware vCenter Operation Management Suite.

The primary theme for vCenter Configuration Manager 5.5 release is “Cloud Ready”.  New capabilities within this release significantly increase the ability of the Virtual Infrastructure team to ensure that their VMware Infrastructure is properly configured to meet the rigorous demands associated with virtualizing business critical workloads; including addressing requirements associated with VMware’s own hardening guidelines.

What gives more value to this release is the introduction of Change Management Dashboard, an high level dashboard that allows easily to track changes in configurations of VMware Infrastructure by product type and magnitude.

In addition to this monitoring features vCenter Configuration Manager provides the ability to make bulk configuration changes across vCenters and to create compliance templates that grant continuous hardening of the systems involved.

Other significant enhancements to vCenter Configuration Manager in this release include:

  • Ability to create machine groups within vCenter Configuration Manager based on organizational constructs (clusters, virtual datacenter, application trust zones) within vCenter, vCloud Director and vShield.
  • Support for configuration and compliance management for virtualization specific constructs such as templates and offline VMs (via VMware vCenter Orchestrator workflows delivered separate from the release)
  • The ability to snapshot a VM before making a configuration change
  • Support for the “Security Content Automation Protocol” (version 1.0) –  important to federal agencies
  • A new REST based API that will allow vCenter Configuration Manager to more fully participate in VMware and 3rdparty ecosystem solutions