Free Embotics V-Scout Tool Helps Consultants Tame VMware Environments

By Frank Ohlhorst  |  Print this article Print

Embotics is now offering Embotics V-Scout, a free product that audits and reports on VMware virtual environments and sets the stage for solution providers and consultants to offer upgrades and management services. Embotics V-Scout can work with or without the Embotics V-Commander VMware management environment.

Take a step back and think about how most administrators are "managing" their VMware virtual environments, and you will find that the word "management" does not really apply.

When it comes to virtual systems, most administrators are focused on the reactive and not the proactive form of management. What’s more, most of those same administrators spend hours every week updating spreadsheets manually with the specs of their virtual environments. There has to be a better way!

Embotics is hoping that better way comes in the form of its V-Commander VM management product and is now paving the path to V-Commander with V-Scout, a freeware utility that offers a subset of V-Commander’s capabilities. But V-Scout is more than just a tease for what V-Commander can do. V-Scout offers powerful capabilities from which any VMWare consumer can benefit.

V-Scout is billed as a free, agentless, centralized insight tool for VMware environments, which offers automated population reporting of VMware virtual centers. Users will find V-Scout offers population reports with historical trending, custom fields for information association and full inventory reporting.

Out of the box, the product comes with several report templates and allows users to perform ad-hoc reporting. The idea here is to replace manual methods of gathering and storing information about the various virtual machines in the environment and storing that information in a database. Users can then query the stored information to generate reports, track trends, understand environment changes and get pretty much anything else that they need to know from an informational point of view. Of course, V-Scout functions as a lead-in for V-Commander, a product that allows you to act on that information, but V-Commander will be the subject of another review.

Here at Channel Insider, we got a chance to kick the tires of V-Scout just prior to its Sept. 2 release date, and we found the product to be quite useful. We downloaded V-Scout from Embotics’ Web site and followed the installation wizard bundled with the downloaded executable. For the most part, installation is automatic, and most users can actually get started with V-Scout in a few minutes.

The real power of the product comes from its ability to seamlessly query VMware’s VirtualCenter to gather information about all of the VMs in the environment. Within minutes, users can use the product’s GUI to spit out reports on VMs, such as inventories, guest OSes, hosts and so on. Reports are output graphically to the screen and also available via a handy "print" button, making hard copies easy to create. The report engine allows users to filter reports by a number of elements or even create custom reports.

For solution providers, V-Scout can be a powerful services sales tool by demonstrating where VM environments are lacking (in management or otherwise), or V-Scout can actually be used to upsell to V-Commander.

For administrators, V-Scout is a valuable tool that allows harried administrators to finally get their arms around their VM environments and give insight into what is actually happening with their virtual systems. The product is both a timesaver and management tool, and comes at an unbeatable price–free! To download V-Scout, visit Embotics and follow the links.

Frank Ohlhorst Frank J. Ohlhorst is the Executive Technology Editor for eWeek Channel Insider and brings with him over 20 years of experience in the Information Technology field.He began his career as a network administrator and applications program in the private sector for two years before joining a computer consulting firm as a programmer analyst. In 1988 Frank founded a computer consulting company, which specialized in network design, implementation, and support, along with custom accounting applications developed in a variety of programming languages.In 1991, Frank took a position with the United States Department of Energy as a Network Manager for multiple DOE Area Offices with locations at Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL), Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPL), Argonne National Laboratory (ANL), FermiLAB and the Ames Area Office (AMESAO). Frank's duties included managing the site networks, associated staff and the inter-network links between the area offices. He also served at the Computer Security Officer (CSO) for multiple DOE sites. Frank joined CMP Technology's Channel group in 1999 as a Technical Editor assigned to the CRN Test Center, within a year, Frank became the Senior Technical Editor, and was responsible for designing product testing methodologies, assigning product reviews, roundups and bakeoffs to the CRN Test Center staff.In 2003, Frank was named Technology Editor of CRN. In that capacity, he ensured that CRN maintained a clearer focus on technology and increased the integration of the Test Center's review content into both CRN's print and web properties. He also contributed to Netseminar's, hosted sessions at CMP's Xchange Channel trade shows and helped to develop new methods of content delivery, Such as CRN-TV.In September of 2004, Frank became the Director of the CRN Test Center and was charged with increasing the Test Center's contributions to CMP's Channel Web online presence and CMP's latest monthly publication, Digital Connect, a magazine geared towards the home integrator. He also continued to contribute to CMP's Netseminar series, Xchange events, industry conferences and CRN-TV.In January of 2007, CMP Launched CRNtech, a monthly publication focused on technology for the channel, with a mailed audience of 70,000 qualified readers. Frank was instrumental in the development and design of CRNTech and was the editorial director of the publication as well as its primary contributor. He also maintained the edit calendar, and hosted quarterly CRNTech Live events.In June 2007, Frank was named Senior Technology Analyst and became responsible for the technical focus and edit calendars of all the Channel Group's publications, including CRN, CRNTech, and VARBusiness, along with the Channel Group's specialized publications Solutions Inc., Government VAR, TechBuilder and various custom publications. Frank joined Ziff Davis Enterprise in September of 2007 and focuses on creating editorial content geared towards the purveyors of Information Technology products and services. Frank writes comparative reviews, channel analysis pieces and participates in many of Ziff Davis Enterprise's tradeshows and webinars. He has received several awards for his writing and editing, including back to back best review of the year awards, and a president's award for CRN-TV. Frank speaks at many industry conferences, is a contributor to several IT Books, holds several records for online hits and has several industry certifications, including Novell's CNE, Microsoft's MCP.Frank can be reached at frank.ohlhorst@ziffdavisenterprise.com

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