Five apps for managing virtualization systems

Manage virtual environments, desktop virtualization systems, virtualized apps, and even other virtualized host systems.

Virtualization is still one of the top buzz words in IT. It is immediately associated with systems like VMware, Citrix, and even Microsoft Remote Desktop Services. However, these aren't the only systems existing under the umbrella of virtualization. There are, of course, various systems for managing virtual environments, systems for desktop virtualization, applications for building virtualized apps, and even other virtualized host systems. In this edition of Five Apps, we take a look at five systems in these various categories.

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Five Apps

1. Cameyo

Cameyo is a simple app that packages any application that requires installation into an application that can be run with a single EXE. This is accomplished by capturing a system image before and after the application is installed one time. Then, the package can be tweaked using various options, including the ability to add and remove files and registry entries, and distributed to users as a simple EXE. The package runs in a controlled container, not altering the system it is run on. Cameyo is free for up to 50 machines; larger environments can request a quote.

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2. Foglight by Quest Software

Foglight is a highly-configurable system that can monitor and administer various enterprise systems, including virtualization platforms like VMware and Citrix. Foglight's monitors are referred to as "cartridges", each of which is purchasable separately. Foglight's administration capabilities are performed via various applications created for single virtualization systems or tasks. Each Foglight component is detailed and downloadable for evaluation at the Quest Software Virtualization page. Pricing is available by contacting Dell's Quest Software division sales.

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3. PlateSpin Recon by NetIQ

PlateSpin Recon is also a monitoring system but, instead of just allowing you to monitor virtual systems, it actually focuses on assisting administrators in determining which physical servers can be combined into new virtualized environments. PlateSpin Recon tracks nearly every system measure and statistic, allows you to group systems together, and then allows you to produce graphs and charts by system or group to monitor those systems or evaluate them for future virtualization projects. Pricing is available by contacting NetIQ sales.

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4. Ulteo OVD

Ulteo OVD is an open source, enterprise virtual desktop solution. It also allows users to run published apps as if they are installed locally on their dedicated machine via the Portal view. Ulteo OVD is an Ubuntu Linux-based system that is easily installed and configured; it can be up and running in just fifteen minutes. Ulteo comes with many built-in apps and others can be added via the administration console. Ulteo is free for use, however support and training are offered on an annual subscription basis; pricing is available by contacting Ulteo sales.

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5. VirtualBox by Oracle

VirtualBox is a virtual machine host environment that is able to be run on Windows, OS X, Linux, and Solaris. Is has a very easy to use interface to get you up and running with new virtual systems quickly and easily while still offering many advanced configuration options. VirtualBox supports many guest operating systems - as a matter of fact, I was able to install Ulteo as a guest OS in VirtualBox. Depending on the guest OS, you can even turn on and use various integration features like a shared clipboard and drag-and-drop. VirtualBox is a free package, however developers are encouraged to write extensions for it, some of which may have a price.

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Virtualization has swept through the data center in recent years, enabling IT transformation and serving as the secret sauce behind cloud computing. Now it's time to examine what's next for virtualization as the data center options mature and virtualization spreads to desktops, networks, and beyond.

What utilities do you use to host or manage virtual machines? Share them in the comments below.

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