VMware has launched the latest version of its Lab Manager tool.
The 3.0 incarnation of Lab Manager allows administrators to setup, maintain and take down lab systems for product testing.
The tool is designed to ease the burden on IT departments when a company needs to test new software. Rather than construct a makeshift lab system from extra hardware, Lab Manager allows IT staff to distribute the test systems and manage the process with a single, virtualized system.
Melinda Wilken, senior marketing director for VMware, told vnunet.com that Lab Manager frees IT from the tedius job of constantly setting up and tearing down test servers.
"Typically, what you find is a bunch of users that need access to hardware resources that then need to be configured," she explained.
"They rely on IT to do that configuration and setup, and it creates a lot of server sprawl. IT was being bombarded with requests for the provisioning of these machines."
Users can access the Lab Manager system through an online portal. The user then downloads the test system as a disk image along with any settings set by the administrator.
The latest version of Lab Manager adds the ability to support multiple locations. This allows an administrator to use one system to control a testing program in a number of sites.
3.0 also adds the ability to test for various network conditions and a new system to set pre-set roles with various settings and permissions for different users.
Wilken also stressed the improved integration with VMware's Foundation virtualization offering, allowing the test system to function in harmony with other virtualized network systems.
"The benefit is now not only can you take advantage of resource pools," she explained.
"Now all of these capabilities that you enjoy in the production environment, you can have in the lab."
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