VKernel vOPS customers gain Quest integration sooner than anticipated

VKernel vOPS now includes Quest vFoglight and vOptimizer, just months after the merger. Is the knee-jerk integration right for tomorrow’s cloud infrastructures?

VKernel vOPS customers now have Quest virtualisation software integrated into their virtualisation tools, but experts say the hurried conglomeration may be a problem.

Just four months after its acquisition by Quest Software, VKernel Corp. has extended its server management product, vOperations Suite (vOPS), to include parent company Quest’s vFoglight, vFoglight Storage, and vOptimizer.

Although experts expected to see Quest tightly integrate the performance monitoring engine in vFoglight with the capacity reporting engine provided in VKernel vOPS, experts say the move comes too soon.

“These technologies were developed [separate] from each other, and much vaunted integration will take some time to dovetail together,” virtualisation expert Mike Laverick said. “Exactly the same issue VMware has with its cloud suite.”

Others say and the product needs to evolve further to suit the virtualised and cloud infrastructures of the future.

 “As usual, it’s a matter of execution,” said Alessandro Perilli, research director at Gartner Inc. “VOperations Suite needs to evolve a lot, and further integrate with vFoglight to gain application performance management capabilities, before it can enable service assurance capabilities.”

Still, Quest has laid the foundation for service assurance – “a key capability in tomorrow’s private clouds,” Perilli said.

The integration may also help Quest capture a larger market share, Laverick said. At the time of the acquisition, experts had said that the deal gives Quest a capacity planning tool to complement its performance management software and help it compete against VMware, which combines capacity management and performance management in its vCenter Operations tool.

“This is clearly a quick and defensive move from Quest, which sees increasing competition from VMware in the system management and application performance space,” Nathaniel Martinez, program director at IDC said.

Organisations want to invest in a new breed of operation management and automation tools to get more out of virtualisation and cloud investments, he explained. “And VKernel is part of that new bunch of operation management vendors that are set to change the rules of engagement,” Martinez said.

Martinez also believes this may have motivated Quest to regroup its monitoring solutions for virtualisation, and its products for constraint based performance and capacity management.

Quest’s decision to move vFoglight and vOptimizer under VKernel vOPS, and not vice versa, also raised some eyebrows.

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“Quest usually keeps the newly acquired companies as separate subsidiaries (e.g., Vizioncore, Provision Networks) for a while to leverage existing brand awareness and work out the transition,” Perilli said.

Quest clearly thought VKernel’s vOPS had more market visibility than other products – and that's why decided to fold its tools into the VKernel brand, Laverick reasoned. 

“It will be interesting to see if Quest will just go after customers looking at VMware vCenter Operations Management Suite, or if it will also focus on augmenting the upcoming Microsoft System Center 2012,” Perilli concluded.

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