Virtualisation specialist, Veeam Software, has launched a new tool aimed at simplifying the management of virtual machines. Veeam president and CEO, Ratmir Timashev said that the tool, Business View, would help combat the size of VM sprawl by linking every virtual machine to a business service.

The company is not introducing radical new software but building on existing features of VMware. "We're using capabilities that VMware has provide with its software, we just extend those capabilities," said Timashev.

"VMware offers the ability to create customised attributes - like tags," said Timashev. "Unfortunately, they're not very convenient to use and many customers don't use them," he added. He said that Business View, which is free to existing Veeam customers, would change this.

Timashev said that the Business View worked by using the VMware attributes and allowed Veeam customers to assign different criteria for virtual machines. "To show how it can be used in practice," said Timashev, "you could categorise VM by business, by service level agreement (for example, by five levels of service agreement) and by location (for example, US, China, Europe and Japan). We can go up to seven different types of attributes but we don't recommend it as it adds to the degree of complexity - we suggest that it's best sticking with three, or four at the most.

Business View also provides the opportunity for introducing chargeback within an enterprise by allowing VM information to be imported into Excel or integrated with existing billing systems.

Business View has been integrated with Veeam Reporter Enterprise, the Veeam nworks Management Pack and the nworks Smart Plug-in. The company said that in the future it will also be integrated with Veeam Monitor and Veeam Backup & Replication.