June 14, 2011, 11:34 AM — VMware took two big swings at the cost of running its products by loosening license restrictions on its app virtualization development suite and announcing it would buy a company that specializes in tools that track, define and allocate the cost of IT services.
The acquisition is Digital Fuel Technologies, which builds SAAS-based IT financial-monitoring and optimization apps designed to provide detailed usage-level reports on servers, storage and other resources, layered with the cost of buying, maintaining or replacing them.
The approach is designed to give IT managers detailed cost analysis for virtual infrastructures that allows them to decide according to the cost of a piece of hardware what workloads or storage blocks should live in it, which can be consolidated into a smaller number of machines, and the specific percentage of total capacity on each machine is being taken up by VMs or business processes from particular business units, according to Digital Fuel materials.
Application and data-center management tools designed to track the use of IT resources by monitoring application usage levels on physical servers, storage and network devices have trouble keeping track of the resources used by the same applications running within virtual machines that move from server to server or disappear completely if a problem forces users to provision a new one.
Being able to monitor and provide detailed reports of the total resource use of particular business units is more than just a convenience for companies that bother to charge back IT costs to the business units, according to Ramin Sayar, VP of marketing at VMware.
They allow CIOs to defend themselves and their spending decisions, demonstrate they're complying with service level agreements and that their expensive cloud- and virtualization projects actually save money in the long run, he wrote in a blog post yesterday about the acquisition.
Because processes, workloads and costs are so slippery that half of IT budget managers surveyed for a March report only give generalized, all-in-one cost reports to their bosses, not details that could show how effective the projects are.