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With virtualization becoming more mainstream in the enterprise, businesses now are looking for easier and more flexible ways to deploy and manage their environments.

VMware, Cassatt and Surgient are rolling out offerings designed to address those demands. The moves come at a time when enterprises are beginning to move their virtualization environments from testing to production—VMware says that about 90 percent of their customers use virtualization in production environments.

According to a report in August from Enterprise Management Associates, almost three quarters of businesses surveyed are deploying virtualization in one form or another, and the market is growing by about 26 percent. In addition, less than 4 percent of those polled had no virtualization program in place or any plans for one.

Cassatt, whose Collage product offers automated management capabilities for data center infrastructures, is teaming up with XenSource to offer management of virtualized environments based on the Xen 3.0 open-source hypervisor.

The San Jose, Calif., company in April rolled out its Collage Cross-Virtualization manager, or XVM, to support such environments using VMware hypervisor technology. Now they’re expanding that capability to include Xen. In addition, Cassatt will sell XenEnterprise, a packaged offering from XenSource that includes the hypervisor. XenSource was founded by the developers of Xen.

The move by Cassatt “adds significant color around our message of heterogeneity,” said Ken Oestreich, director of product management at Cassatt. The company’s software not only can manage virtual servers created through VMware and Xen hypervisors, but also physical machines from all the top server makers.

The two companies also will offer joint support for customers and marketing efforts for the combined solution. In addition, Cassatt will offer a “quick start” service for customers considering Cassatt and XenEnterprise solutions. The next version of XVM with support for XenEnterprise 3.0 will be released later this year, though the company is offering an early pilot program for customers interested in early access to the product.

Surgient, of Austin, Texas, is rolling out the latest version of its Virtual Lab Management Applications that offers greater support for heterogeneous virtualized environments and a new management console.

Surgient’s technology is designed to automate the software testing and development process. As virtual test labs have become more complex, the demand for greater manageability of heterogeneous environments has grown, said Erik Josowitz, vice president of marketing. People running such labs don’t want to have to worry about which virtual machine technology they’re using, he said. Version 5.0 of its Virtual Lab Management Applications, which is available immediately, takes care of the details regarding virtual machines, capacity planning, configuration and provisioning.

“It’s all about the enterprise,” Josowitz said.

The new console offers easier management and allocation of pooled servers, and new reporting tools enable users to have greater insight into server usage and user activity. The new offering also enables virtual labs to scale from hundreds to thousands of virtual machines.

The new product also brings tighter integration with Web services, offering an XML API.

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