VMware Flirting With Management Of Microsoft Hyper-V

VMware last month released a technology preview for a plug-in called vCenter XVP Manager and Converter, which offers basic virtualization management for non-vSphere hypervisors. It also offers a unified management pane for heterogeneous virtual environments and speeds virtual machine migrations from other virtualization platforms.

VMware calls these plug-ins "flings" and describes them as tools that are "intended to be played with and explored," so this doesn't necessarily represent a change in VMware's position on competing hypervisors. However, it could show that in spite of its server virtualization dominance, VMware is aware that other hypervisors are always going to be part of the equation.

"VMware is recognizing that organizations are letting Hyper-V in the door in various areas, and rather than ignore it, VMware is embracing it," said Steve Kaplan, vice president of data center virtualization practices at INX, a Houston, Texas-based solution provider.

Keith Norbie, vice president of sales at Nexus Information Systems, a Minnetonka, Minn.-based solution provider, says the move reflects VMware's increasing focus on management of virtual and cloud computing environments. "It's necessary because the world isn't going to be 100 percent virtualized on VMware. There will always be some level of fragmentation," he said.

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VMware last February acquired technology and expertise from EMC's Ionix IT management business, which focused on management and deployment of servers and applications in virtualized data centers. Ionix also gives more visibility into virtual infrastructure and whether it's configured in a way that meets compliance requirements.

Shane Vinup, president and CEO of CyberAdvisors, a Maple Grove, Minn.-based VAR, would like to see VMware continue developing vCenter XVP Manager and Converter. "Administrators want one place to manage their virtual environments. Provided it's in a format that is already familiar, the more central and visible the management, the less cost there will be for companies," he said.

VMware could also be moving to fill what Microsoft has called out as a gap in its virtualization technology lineup. For the past few years, Microsoft has offered management of VMware guests through System Center Virtual Machine Manager, and the software giant often cites this as a competitive advantage.