VMware’s Lab Manager has been an integral part of dev/test team workflows and processes for many years. As of May 2014, VMware has decided to end-of-life Lab Manager and this has left many customers scrambling to find a replacement or system to meet the needs currently served by Lab Manager.
Lab Manager was such a popular product for many reasons, and there were several features that stand out above the rest. First, Lab Manager was simply and easy to use. Second, it provided developers and testers with easy on-demand self-service access to simple environments with single VMs to very complex environments with multi-tiered application stacks, multiple networks, and specific storage requirements. Third, Lab Manager provided teams with a platform that made sharing and collaboration simple, quick, and easy. Lastly, Lab Manager enabled dev/test teams to set up complex networking without requiring advanced knowledge of routing, vlans, etc…
When VMware announced its plan to discontinue support for Lab Manager, it offered customers options to ensure teams still retained access to the Lab Manager features they had come to rely on. As such, VMware encouraged customers to adopt vCloud Director, a private, multi-tenant cloud platform intended to provide teams with self-service access to pre-defined resources and virtual datacenters.
Many customers faced challenges when deploying vCD and some teams found the interface to be geared towards IT management, as apposed to lab management. For these reasons, among others, VMwware has now decided to limit vCD to its service provider partners—while encouraging customers to adopt vCloud Automation Center. vCAC is a powerful tool that provides many of the features found in both Lab Manager and vCD. However, like vCD, it is IT-centric and its usability amongst dev/test teams may be hampered by its IT-centered interface and approach. For this reason, customers are now looking elsewhere for possible solutions. Enter Skytap.
Simply stated, Skytap provides lab management in the cloud. Skytap’s powerful software layer provides all of the same core functionality of Lab Manager and allows for the easy import of existing Lab Manager assets. Skytap also offers a rich API and full support for the most popular CI platforms such as Jenkins and TFS. The Skytap platform allows teams self-service access to VMs and environments and enables team members to quickly and easily share access to these environments to improve collaboration and reduce workflow friction.
To learn more about how Skytap provides IT and operations with greater visibility and control, and helps development and test teams build better software faster, we encourage you view our recent webinar: “Preparing for VMware Lab Manager End of Life.”