In September 2008 Surgient, one of the first startups in the virtual lab automation space, partially re-tuned its strategy, changing the name of its product suite and adopting a new licensing model.
At the end of April 2009 the revamped solution, dubbed Virtual Automation Platform (or VAP, formerly Virtual Q&A Management System or VQMS) received its first minor update.
VAP 6.1 includes the following new features:
- Partial Host Pooling
Maximize resource utilization and minimize the need for additional hosts with the ability to divide large hosts (RAM, VMs, etc.) across different groups of users and different pools for more granular distribution of today’s larger hosts’ resources.
- License Sprawl Protection
Actively track and manage the number of licenses used within a private cloud or virtual pool to prevent resource sprawl, assuring license compliance and eliminating excess license costs.
- Third-Party Post Deployment Actions
Specify post-deployment actions to be executed directly within Surgient environments on deployed physical and virtual servers from Symantec Altiris Deployment Solution or HP Server Automation. Mainly used for patching and upgrading guest OSs, automating load test data, initiation of nightly builds, and other environment customizations, this enhancement allows the provisioning of configurations and other data center automation actions into deployed virtual pools or private clouds.
- Integration with VMware vCenter
Capitalize on broad functionality and existing investments in templates from VMware vCenter Server by importing and exporting them into the Surgient Virtual Automation Platform with this new integration with vCenter.
- Support for VMware ESXi
Leverage a broad range of enterprise hypervisor technologies, including VMware ESXi, VMware ESX and Microsoft Hyper-V.
- Customizable User Interface
Many Surgient customers create private clouds to demonstrate their software offerings to potential buyers. The new version provides functionality to embed company and product branding into the user interface, providing additional marketing benefit from the product.
Interestingly, Surgient is now publishing some information about its business on its website, so we discover that the company, founded in 2003 and active since mid 2004, has a little more than 70 customers (even if some of them are really significant).
So far Surgient had to compete against a very small group of opponents, which unfortunately includes VMware and its Lab Manager (a technology acquired by Akimbi in 2006 for $59 million) and VMLogix with its LabManager, which was selected by Citrix as the OEM partner for Citrix Essentials.
Unless Microsoft or the new potential virtualization giant Oracle are interested in an acquisition, Surgient will have much more to do to survive the competition.