Canadian virtualisation specialist Embotics has released the latest version of its V-Commander product in three modules, offering claimed greater flexibility to its users.

The automation company, which started life as a developer of plug-ins for physical servers, has, in the past couple of years, been concentrating its resources on the virtual world with the aim of reducing the human element within virtualisation and automating the warning process.

David Lynch, Embotics' VP of marketing said that the company was aiming to offer "red flags" to the virtual world - something that has been lacking among virtualisation products.

He gave as an example, the way that information is removed within vCenter. "It's a two-stage process; you remove from server and remove from disc. However, this means that sometimes you have an image sitting on disc somewhere in the environment that you don't even know is there. In an extreme case, this could be credit card information sitting on a disc that's not bound by PCI."

This sounds far-fetched but Lynch gave an example of a Canadian bank which was adamant that this couldn't happen - even thought the company admitted that this two-stage delete could have been a problem. "The bank said it was hard-wired to ensure that these phantom images wouldn't happen - yet when we ran the test, we discovered three percent of invisible inventory."

It wasn't just security that could be a problem, Lynch said, there was also a resource issue. "Where customers have never deleted a virtual machine - they're using resources that could be available for reuse," he said.

He added that V-Commander would help allocate resources better as IT managers would be alerted as to when there had been over-provisioning.

"One customer we saw had been allowing 30 gigs for 1 gig virtual machines." He said that he expected some companies to err on the side of conservatism but companies had to take circumstances into account. "There's the power issue to look at. If you're a company based in Canary Wharf, you can't get more power, that means taking control of your virtualisation," he said.

The new version of V-Commander includes three modules: federated inventory management; a resource and cost management module and an operational and risk management module.

Lynch said that within inventory module the company was also including a QuickStart programme to link the software to the asset management systems. "Although the company offered this previously, it had been done in a manual way - and paid for separately. It's now being included as part of the V-Commander software," he said.

The resource module will offer a lot of additional reporting on sorftware support, while the operational and risk management module would include the ability to control virtual machine creations. "We will look for unauthorised VMs. Our software will allow one person to create them, while another person authorises them - VMs will be not allowed until properly authorised."

Other new features include: historical analysis of events, the ability to suspend VMs as well as assign policy attributes, groups and extensions at any level in a virtual infrastructure, and receive updates via email alerts.