Today VMware Released VMware Stage Manager 1.0 Beta. Stage Manager automates preproduction infrastructures and processes. VMware Stage Manager helps transition services and applications through the stages of the release process and into production. Out of the box it supports 4 stages as displayed in the picture below (Development, Test, Staging and Production).
If you look at the installed product it looks a lot like VMware Lab Manager. VMware Stage Manager runs on top of VI3 and Virtual Center which differs from Lab Manager which runs side by side Virtual Center which can cause conflicts if you don’t pay attention. Just as Lab Manager, Stage Manager uses the ip-fencing and snapshot technology.
Vmware Stage Manager has the following prerequisites:
- Windows 2003 server (at least SP1!)
- Microsoft .Net Framework 2.0
- Microsoft IIS with ASP.net v2.0.50727
- Virtual Center 2.5
- ESX3.5 (at least one host)
- Firefox or Microsoft Internet Explorer
- 512MB Ram and 200MB disk space
- A static ip-adress
The installation takes about 20 minutes. In this Beta release a custom install is not supported, only typical is supported. Please note that when choosing custom even when you know that is not supported, you have no choice but to accept that Stage Manager will use SQL2005 Express (which is installed during setup).
Looking at Virtual Center after clicking around in Stage Manager, the stage-structure you see in Stage Manager is also created (represented as a folderstructure) in Virtual Center see snapshot below.
As you can see in this snapshot-image, there are two releases active (intranet_v2 and intranet_v3) in two different stages (development and production). In each different stage you will see a xxxx-VirtualRouter_xxxxx_DontModify machine. This machine is automatically created by Stage Manager and holds the router which is created from a template and is responsible for the ip-fencing mechanism.