Microsoft Upgrades Virtualization Management Tool


Microsoft on Monday released System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2008 R2 to manufacturing and said it plans to offer the software to volume licensing customers Oct. 1.

VMM 2008 R2 is a key virtualization component for Microsoft, which from an early stage has been playing up its ability to manage both Hyper-V and VMware environments. Microsoft recently began trotting out the idea of a 'VMware tax' to depict the virtualization market leader's products as an expensive and unnecessary additional layer of network infrastructure.

In addition to managing virtualized environments, System Center VMM R2 handles "housekeeping" tasks such as monitoring physical server utilization and provisioning new virtual machines.

Microsoft claims that its upcoming release of Windows Server 2008 and Hyper-V R2, which adds support for 68 logical processors, live migration and Cluster Shared Volumes, will allow customers to deploy virtualization at a fraction of the cost of VMware.

Microsoft sees System Center VMM's versatility and flexibility as an important selling point for companies that wish to maintain mixed virtualization environments.

"We do a world-class job of managing VMware, so [customers] can use one pane of glass to manage their legacy VMware environments together with their Hyper-V system," Bob Muglia, president of Microsoft's Server And Tools division, told attendees of Microsoft's Financial Analyst Meeting last month.

VMM 2008 R2 joins a System Center family of products that grew 30 percent in Microsoft's 2009 fiscal year and is now a $1 billion business. System Center is one of the few bright spots in Microsoft's business right now, and VMM 2008 R2 looks poised to help Microsoft continue to highlight the cost advantages it offers in the virtualization space.