VMware (NYSE: VMW) has acquired Log Insight, a cloud and data center monitoring tool provider. Some folks think this is a Big Data move. I think this is really about data center management and optimization. The Log Insight acquisition represents VMware's latest move to push far beyond traditional virtualization -- a message that will be front-and-center at VMworld 2012 (Aug. 26-30, San Francisco).

Pattern Insight, which had owned Log Insight, announced the deal with VMware. In a prepared statement, Pattern Insight said:
"Log Insight is an analytics and log management platform that has the ability to analyze large amounts of machine-generated data in real time. It is used for operational analytics in traditional data center and cloud environments. It has the ability to discover emerging patterns and guide administrators to the root cause of problems."

For MSPs and VARs, Log Insight represents the latest potential tool for managing and troubleshooting physical, virtual and cloud environments. Many small MSPs grew up leveraging so-called RMM (remote monitoring and management) software from companies like Kaseya and Level Platforms for PC and server monitoring. Those tools are now evolving for virtualization and cloud management. Meanwhile, midmarket tools like Nimsoft also are pushing deep into virtualization and cloud management. (Even former Nimsoft CEO Gary Read is back in the game, promoting Boundary as a SaaS service that monitors cloud performance.)

Meanwhile, VMware is working hard to push beyond traditional server virtualization. The company recently acquired Nicira to focus on network virtualization. VMware's goal is to offer a software virtualization layer above the server, network and storage layer -- essentially creating a software layer that optimizes data centers and cloud data centers.

Going forward, Log Insight could help cloud service providers and MSPs to more effectively monitor those services.