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One trend in the last year(s) is that the virtualization ecosystem is growing outside the boundary where was born: historical partner vendor of VMware now are extending their solution to other hypervisors, and also also new products are designed to managed a more complex virtual environment. This was also called “Hypervisor Agnosticism” in a VKernel post.
We do not talk about interoperability across different hypervisors, but simple use same tools, especially for management, monitoring and data protection, for more type of products.
Does it make sense? For a single customer maybe not… have multiple environment could be an extra cost (also if some tools may be the same, VM format, knowledge, admin tasks will be different for each product) that could be a non sense for small and medium company. But for system integrator this could really be useful because you can push on few products and re-use part of your knowledge and practices. And of course it make sense for the vendor of this multi-platform solutions because they can extend their business to new market.
One of the first product in this director probably was the Microsoft System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2008 R2 that has introduced a (limited) support to the VMware platform and it was also a good example on what you can get on most of this multi-platform products: not a really mix or integrated functions (in SC VMM you have still two different environment to manage and you cannot, for example live move a VM between Hyper-V and ESXi or vice-versa), not a replace of other native tools (the vCenter Server was still needed to manage all VMware environment), but at least a “simple” and unique point of view and interface. So just a plus of operators rather than admins.
- Veeam Backup & Replication 6 support both vSphere and Hyper-V
- Symanted Backup Exec has agent for vSphere and Hyper-V
- PHD Virtual Backup and Replication works both with vSphere and Citrix XenServer (probably the first backup product for it)
- Acronis Backup & Recovery 11 Virtual Edition support most of the existing hypervisors
- PHD Virtual Monitor works both with vSphere and Citrix XenServer (probably the first backup product for it)
- Quest vFogligh can monitor both vSphere and Hyper-V enviroments
- System Center VMM 2012 will add Citrix XenServer support to the existing Hyper-V and vSphere support
- VKernel vOperarion suite support vSphere, Hyper-V and RHEV
Finally let’s consider if could be more relevant a multi-hypervisors or a multi-platforms (included physical systems) support? Probably the second could be more useful, but it depends for each case: for example in a backup solution of a fully virtualized environment the support o physical environment is useless. But for management and especially for monitoring there are also different physical part that must be considered (like the virtualization servers, storage, network switches, …) and in this case a “unified” tool can help to manage the entire environment.