VMware GO - Will You GO?

VMware has announced the Beta release of their new management product for ESXi free - VMware GO.

From the short summary of the product

VMware Go is a Cloud based application that enables you get up and running quickly with VMware virtualization in a completely automated fashion.

  • Web Browser Interface
  • Easy-to-use Wizard
  • Quickly create ESXis
  • Easily add VMs
  • Manage ESXis and VMs

Ok I have already gone through the motions of installing. A few points that I have noted.

  1. Supported OS XP SP3, Vista 32bit SP2, Vista 64bit SP2 (No Windows Server OS).
  2. Support Browsers: IE 7 & up, Firefox 3 & up.
  3. I found the the installation finicky - with Firefox - because of the .Net components
  4. The whole application is run from your browser on the web - it is a cloud App.

I posted a few questions on the forum, which immediately came to mind.

  1. All the data is stored where - I gather with VMware somewhere on a DB - correct?
  2. Is the GO interface the only way to interact with the product?
  3. From what I remember - the API’s in ESXi free were read only - so what changed that this now allows changes?
  4. Will there be a possibility to run the GO application on my network - and not with VMware? (Virtual Appliance)
  5. What information is collected by VMware and what is done with this information?

The answers I received

  1. VMware Go stores information that’s discovered from your ESXi servers, VMs, Patch Data, etc in a secure database.
  2. The Go interface is the only way to interact with that data at this time. Although future versions will be able to export data and get more extensive reports.
  3. VMware Go can read and write from your ESXi installation using the VMware PowerCLI. It does not interface to ESXi through APIs.
  4. VMware Go is a SaaS application that runs in the cloud and cannot be run locally on your network. However, since the VMware Go agent runs on your client machine, you can access ESXi and VMs running on your network and they can be used by VMware Go. VMware Go is available for free on the internet, there are no plans for intranet versions for personal use.
  5. The information stored by VMware Go like IP address, ESXi Config data, etc, are stored only to create a good user experience in VMware Go and improve future reporting capabilities.

So from these answers I was left with even more questions? (and Texiwill - forgive me for being the paranoid security guy here in your place)

  • People will have issues “entrusting” their infrastructure to an application that they have absolutely no control over
  • I have no idea of what information is stored in on VMware’s servers.
  • I have no idea what VMware will do with this information?
  • Who can assure that the information will not be compromised?
  • How all of a sudden did the read-only API in the free ESXi become read/write?
  • If the configuration can be triggered from the WWW is this not punching a whole in the corporate LAN?

I know that this is free, I know that is targeted to the SMB market but quoting Wikipedia

EU Member States traditionally have their own definition of what constitutes an SME, for example the traditional definition in Germany had a limit of 250 employees, while, for example, in Belgium it could have been 100. But now the EU has started to standardize the concept. Its current definition categorizes companies with fewer than 10 employees as “micro”, those with fewer than 50 employees as “small”, and those with fewer than 250 as “medium”.[1]

By contrast, in the United States, when small business is defined by the number of employees, it often refers to those with fewer than 100 employees, while medium-sized business often refers to those with fewer than 500 employees.

Will those businesses allow the first 5 points that I mentioned above to endanger their environment?

I as one would suggest that they make this available as a application (Virtual Appliance like almost everything that is being added today) that each customer can run in his own infrastructure.

Would be interested to hear your opinions.

You can follow the thread here