This is a guest post from Larry Dignan of TechRepublic’s sister site ZDNet. You can follow Larry on his ZDNet blog Between the Lines, or subscribe to the RSS feed.

VMware on Monday will roll out a product family dubbed vCenter to automate data center tasks and manage to service level agreements.

The announcements will kick off VMworld 2009 in San Francisco this week.

VMware’s vCenter products are designed to ride shotgun with the company’s vSphere cloud computing operating system.

In a nutshell, vCenter is designed to automate tasks such as data center provisioning, monitoring, change and performance management. VMware added that vCenter is also designed to manage toward policies and service level agreements. Each virtual server that is deployed will operate to a specified service level.

The vCenter family includes:

  • AppSpeed to manage service level reporting for virtualized applications;
  • CapacityIQ to manage capacity levels of virtual machines resources and data centers;
  • ConfigControl, which checks compliance and configuration states;
  • Site Recovery Manager, which automates disaster recovery tasks;
  • LifeCycle Manager, which automates virtual machines from provisioning to retirement;
  • Chargeback, which allocates infrastructure costs;
  • And Lab Manager, which aims to ease development, quality assurance and pre-production environments.

The vCenter apps will be sold a la carte per processor. Most of the vCenter family will ship in 2010.

Separately, VMware will announce VMware Go, a free beta service to get small and midsized businesses using virtualization tools quickly. VMware Go is a Web-based service that will walk customers through the ESXi, the company’s free hypervisor. The VMware Go beta will start Monday and be generally available in the fourth quarter.

More on VMware: TechRepublic: Most CIOs refuse to buy the hype on desktop virtualization