Microsoft Launches Virtualization Management Tool

Virtual Machine

Virtual Machine Manager 2008 handles the all-important virtualization management piece of Microsoft's strategy, and the software giant has spent much of 2008 talking about how the software can manage both Hyper-V and VMware's ESX hypervisor, as well as physical servers, through a single interface.

Microsoft sees its management versatility as a major advantage in the virtualization market, but the company has also been playing up the lower cost of its virtualization technology and its smooth integration into the broader set of Microsoft offerings.

Kevin Baylor, principal at Aequus IT, a solution provider in Bradenton, Fla., says Virtual Machine Manager 2008's ability to manage VMware environments is a key selling point for Microsoft. "When you look at VMware's market share, it makes a lot of sense, because Microsoft has to do something to gain a foothold," he said.

"This is a big release because it's something you really need for the management of multiple Hyper-V servers," said Jaymes Davis, virtualization practice manager at Entisys, a Concord, Calif.-based solution provider.

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System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2008 is now available for evaluation, and starting Nov. 1, SCVMM 2008 will be available for $1,304, which includes two years of Software Assurance, a volume licensing contract during which companies have access to new software and can spread payments over a three-year period.

Microsoft on Nov. 1 will also start selling the Server Management Suite Enterprise (SMSE), a bundle of products that includes SCVMM 2008, for $1,497 including two years of Software Assurance.