Now, remember, Microsoft claims its management capabilities are a lot better and broad-based than VMware’s – or will be. Ditto Sun.
Anyway, Stage Manager proposes that you use virtual rather than real servers to roll out software. For one thing it’s cheaper and safer.
VMware says its new GUI-based widgetry is built on the management capabilities in VMware Infrastructure and automates the management of complete multi-tier application environments including servers, storage and networking as they move from integration to testing to staging and approval and then production.
It explains that IT typically maintains a bunch of “shadow instances” of the production configuration as it progresses through theses steps that are prone to drift out-of-synch with the production configuration. Stage Manager is supposed to ensure that all environments are exact replicas.
The beta is available at http://www.vmware.com/go/stage_manager_beta. A production version is due by summer.