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As the use of virtualization capabilities in the data center grows, companies such as BladeLogic Inc. and SWsoft Inc. are developing new ways to meet the increasing demand for better management.

Included in BladeLogic’s Operations Manager 6, released in October, is support for VMware Inc.’s ESX Server virtual machine technology. The Waltham, Mass., company is planning additional virtualization support when Version 6.3 is released next quarter, said Chief Technology Officer Vijay Manwani.

“[Customers] basically want the data center [resources] to be easily moved from one environment to another environment, to be highly multitenant, and they want physical-to-virtual mapping [of applications],” Manwani said.

With Operations Manager 6.3, BladeLogic users will be able to define and manage reference configurations from a single point, whether they are on physical or virtual servers, Manwani said. Distributed applications can run on multiple tiers—such as Web, application and database tiers—and within those, the operating system can be physical or virtual, he said. In addition, users will be able to repair those instances, if necessary, either through quick fixes or by rebuilding the entire system, he said.

For its part, SWsoft is looking to grow the operating systems Virtuozzo, its application virtualization platform, can support and to make it easier for customers to use the software, according to officials with the Herndon, Va., company.

Virtuozzo already supports Linux, and late last month, SWsoft released the beta version for Windows. Release Candidate 1 is due this month, with a general release due early next year.

To read about recent data center virtualization advances by IBM and VMWare, click here.

Hatsize Learning Corp. has been testing the Windows version and plans to bring it into the company’s production environment, said Hatsize President Dean Hardy. Hatsize is an IT distance learning company that, through its TrueLab product, offers a lab environment over the Web. Through virtualization, Hatsize can consolidate more applications onto fewer servers and reduce the cost per student.

“Virtualization becomes an extremely powerful tool,” said Hardy, in Calgary, Alberta. “We can utilize [Virtuozzo] and the efficiencies in it and provide more lab machines for our customers and students.”

SWsoft is turning its attention to Unix platforms, including Hewlett-Packard Co.’s HP-UX, IBM’s AIX and Solaris. Officials said they are building business plans to see which would be the most logical next step.

In addition, in the middle of next year, SWsoft will bring more capabilities to make Virtuozzo easier to use, officials said. The company will roll out an SDK (software development kit) to help users through samples and scripts more tightly integrated with management software from other vendors, such as Microsoft Corp., HP and IBM.

Preset templates will also be used to ease provisioning of the virtual machines, officials said.

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