Google Cloud releases VM Manager to help automate infrastructure management

The tool includes an inventory management service which is integrated with Google’s Cloud Asset Inventory product

Google Cloud has announced a new tool for managing large fleets of virtual machines (VMs).

The VM Manager is a suite of infrastructure management tools which aims to simplify the process of ensuring the security, compliance, and observability of large VM fleets as businesses scale their operations.

The suite supports Windows and Linux operating system environments and comprises a single dashboard to allow real-time tracking of inventory.

It offers services such as configuration management and patch management, with the latter including patch compliance reporting, which provides insights on the patch status of users’ VMs across Windows and Linux distributions. It also includes patch deployment, which automates the OS and software patch update process, the company explained in a blog post on Thursday.

Lastly, VM Manager also includes an inventory management service which is integrated with Google’s Cloud Asset Inventory product, in order to simplify the analysis of customers’ Google Cloud fleet data.

Announcing the new management tool, product manager Ravi Kiran Chintalapudi and product marketing manager Senanu Aggor said that the new suite “reduces complexity, improves security and compliance reporting, and simplifies monitoring resources in a large cloud environment”.

“By taking advantage of automated tools to keep systems up-to-date, reduce the risk of downtime, and improve productivity of internal users, early VM Manager users tell us that it allows their IT administrators to focus on other business critical tasks,” they added.

VM Manager architecture overview

VM Manager architecture overview courtesy of Google Cloud

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VM Manager is available for testing in the customers’ environment using a free tier which provides a monthly usage of 100 VMs per Cloud Billing account. Once the free tier is exhausted, for all VMs that have an active OS Config agent, each active agent is charged at a rate of $0.003 (approximately £0,002) per hour per VM.

IT Pro has contacted Google Cloud about the availability of VM Manager in the UK and will update this article when more information becomes available.

Last year, the company announced Confidential VMs – Google Cloud’s first product in its new confidential computing portfolio which allows companies to process sensitive data while keeping it encrypted in memory. The feature is an evolution of its Shielded VMs, a tool launched in 2018 that companies could deploy to strip out most of the potentially vulnerable startup processes that trigger when attempting to create a new environment.

Until then, like many cloud providers, Google offered encryption on data at rest and while in transit, requiring that data to be decrypted before it could be processed.

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