ServiceNow (NYSE:NOW), a leading provider of cloud-based services to automate enterprise IT operations, today announced it has added end-to-end lifecycle automation for managing VMware virtual machines (VMs)—from creation to retirement—to its cloud-based software for enterprise IT. The new capabilities help prevent inefficient or wasteful use of VMs, a condition commonly known as VM sprawl, and saves time and cost in the use of VMs. The new VMware lifecycle automation capabilities also drastically reduce the amount of time and effort required to initially provision a VM, transforming a process that might typically take several weeks to one completed in only minutes. “While virtualization brings radical change to data center environments, one great deficiency has been the lack of automated lifecycle management to prevent the squandering of virtual resources,” said Beth White, vice president of marketing, ServiceNow. “With our VMWare lifecycle automation, companies can more fully embrace virtualization at a lower cost and with far greater deployment speed.” For a detailed demonstration, a podcast from ServiceNow founder and chief product officer, Fred Luddy and more information, please click on this link: http://info.service-now.com/LP=690. Automated VM Provisioning While creating a VM is relatively quick and easy, the entire provisioning process can be lengthy and expensive. Without automation, a user needs to place a request with IT for a new VM. The request has to go through an approval process and then be routed for the actual provisioning work. Many companies report that this process can take as long as three weeks. With the automation provided by the ServiceNow platform, business users can select from pre-determined options in a service catalog, and then the approval and provisioning process is fully automated. Aside from the benefit of speeding up this typically manual process, this automated approach lowers risk by limiting credential access, standardizing execution and providing a complete audit trail.