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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.