Release: VMware vCenter Lab Manager 4.0

At the time of submitting this post, the press release from VMware should be out. It’s July 13th, 12 midnight NY time, and VMware is announcing a bunch of vCenter products including the much awaited Lab Manager 4.0.

Unfortunately I was not in the beta program of LM4.0 to have an early hands-on experience, but I’ve been briefed about it, and I must say that I’m quite happy with the new features of the product. I’m exceptionally interested in this product now more than any time before, for three main reasons:
1) I need to implement LM in a wide scale for our development department. Currently our developers are working independently everyone in his/her own island, using things like VMware server or workstation! No effective collaboration or automation whatsoever.

2) I need to implement LM for our infrastructure team to simulate our entire production environment. Again, I need something that can scale out easily (typically on blades), yet with flexible and fenced network configurations.

3) Lastly, I need to build my own labs for my “virtual private cloud” project, which will typically require building multiple vESX clusters, not to mention the importance of having the templates and libraries for deploying these clusters whenever I need to test something new that would require significant changes (e.g. Nexus1000v for networking, or Reflex vTrust for security)

As soon as I wake up from sleep (yes, technically I’m sleeping now, this is a scheduled post) I will download the bits and start playing with it. I will come back with more details later, but between now and then, here are some highlights on the new features of LM4.0 along with two screenshots from the product team:

– Lab Manager 4.0 now fully supports VMware vSphere 4
– Support for the VMware ESX(i) Form Factor (was not supported in previous versions).
– LM is integrated now with VMware vCenter Stage Manager.
– Host Spanning Private Networks: Host Spanning Private Networks, a new technology in Lab Manager 4, creates isolated private networks without the need for setting up VLANs. This new feature requires the Distributed Switch capability of VMware vSphere Enterprise Plus edition.
Multiple Workspaces: VMware vCenter Lab Manager 4 introduces the concept of multiple workspaces within organizations.
Archive to Library: Lab Manager 4 provides the ability to keep a particular configuration together with its change history for record within the library.
Configuration History: Lab Manager 4 mow provides a new configuration history tab for all configurations. The history of a configuration displays the list of the events related to this configuration.

For the complete and detailed list of new features, you can check out this WP from VMware: http://www.vmware.com/files/pdf/VMW_09Q2_WP_vCenter_LabManager4_10_R1.pdf

Screenshot (1): VMware vCenter Lab Manager 4 streamlines application releases from development to production. The self-service interface provides on-demand access to virtualized application environments while IT remains in administrative control.

Screenshot (2): Advanced networking capabilities in Lab Manager 4 allow application teams to create realistic, production-like test environments for complex system and network configurations.

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