Configuresoft has announced plans to support a range of virtual-machine platforms in its systems management software.

According to Configuresoft CTO Dennis Moreau, the company plans to support VMware's ESX Server by the end of the third quarter, with support for open source Xen and Microsoft's Virtualisation Services expected in 2008.

"Virtualisation increases complexity for compliance management and security management," Moreau said. "It's a new and intervening layer of technology."

Configuresoft's first stab at what it calls Configuration Intelligence for Virtualisation will include agent software for VMware software guests as well as an agent-less approach to scanning VMware host and hypervisor elements.

"It's a poll strategy where we set a schedule to collect data and log it," Moreau said.

Configuresoft will seek to follow VMware's "best practices" and hardening guidelines as well as recommendations on virtualisation security from the Centre for Internet Security and the anticipated US Defense Department Security Technical Implementation Guide for virtual computing.

The planned Enterprise Configuration Management product extensions for virtual machines will include patch assessment, delivery and verification.

Moreau said he expects to see Microsoft's virtualisation services solidify around the third quarter, when Configuresoft plans to provide further details about its virtual-machine systems-management product to support Microsoft virtual machines.

He added that a Configuresoft product to support open source Xen, which is backed by Virtual Iron, HP and IBM, is also proceeding, with a likely release in the first quarter of next year.