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Embotics V-Scout

Embotics, makers of the V-Commander software, have unveiled a new, free utility that leverages some of the same functionality as V-Commander. The new utility, V-Scout, was announced today and will be available for download from Embotics web site tomorrow, September 3.

As of this publication, the Embotics web site had not yet been updated.

V-Scout has a subset of the features available to its bigger brother, V-Commander, version 2.0 of which Embotics released in June of this year. The idea behind V-Scout is to help organizations that “don’t know what they don’t know.” Many organizations are still coming to grips with exactly what is involved in the management of virtual machines; this is different environment with a different set of requirements and challenges. And yes, while there are many areas where the same tools can be used for both physical and virtual management, there are some areas where virtual machine management requires tools specifically designed for virtual machine management.

Some of the features provided by V-Scout include:

  • Real-time data population due to integration with VirtualCenter (at least one VirtualCenter instance is required, and V-Scout supports up to two separate VirtualCenter instances)

  • A wide range of reporting options, including pre-built reports as well as ad hoc/sort and report functionality

  • Support for up to 10 custom attributes that allow organizations to assign business-centric information, like department, project or owner to virtual machines for enhanced tracking and reporting

  • Capacity trending reports

As mentioned earlier, V-Scout will be available to users at no charge. Customers who find themselves outgrowing V-Scout have the option of migrating into V-Commander. In such cases, their custom attributes and the collected information will transfer intact and will not have to be recreated.

As a free product, Embotics will only offer limited, e-mail based support for V-Scout.

I see V-Scout being very useful in the mid-size enterprise space, where the organization is too large to have centralized VM management or provisioning, yet too small to pay for something like V-Commander or one of its competitors. In this space, organizations looking for something a bit more flexible than VirtualCenter for discovering, tracking, and managing virtual machines will find V-Scout a useful tool. And you can’t beat the price.

UPDATE: V-Scout is now available for download from the Embotics web site, and more information about V-Scout is available here.

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