Microsoft Releases Virtual Machine Manager
Microsoft this week released
the second major component of its virtualization strategy, making System
Center Virtual Machine Manager 2008 (VMM 2008) as a download.
The first piece, the Hyper-V
released last June 26. A hypervisor is responsible for creating virtual
machines (VMs), containers that hold operating systems and applications. The
next step is to manage those VMs, and that's where VMM 2008 comes in.
Management is the "hot" space right now in the virtualization industry.
VMM 2008 has a number of features that Microsoft hopes will
distinguish it from chief rival and industry titan VMware's management
product, called vCenter (formerly VirtualCenter). The two key features
Redmond touts are its ability to manage physical as well as virtual
machines, and the capacity to manage ESX, VMware's hypervisor.
features include the ability to convert existing physical machines into VMs,
called P2V conversion, and "Intelligent Placement", in which VMM 2008 makes
recommendations on which servers are good candidates for consolidation. VMM
2008, a subset of its System Center management framework, will also manage
Virtual Server 2005, Microsoft's pre-Hyper-V hypervisor. VMM 2008 can be
purchased separately from System Center, but is included as part of System
VMM 2008 still trails vCenter by a significant margin
technically, but beta testing of the product has been positive. The release
of VMM 2008 demonstrates Microsoft's commitment to the virtualization space,
which continues to grow at a rapid rate. VMware dominates the field in terms
of overall penetration, but it has not had any real competition until this
past year, when Microsoft jumped in with both feet, and Citrix leveraged its
2007 purchase of open source hypervisor developer XenSource to release a
raft of new products, including XenServer and XenDesktop.
vendors have been crowding the field with their own hypervisors and
virtualization solutions, including Virtual Iron, Novell, Red Hat and
Oracle, along with hardware vendors like Sun, HP, IBM and
Microsoft kicked off its "Get
Virtual Now" series of events, intended to raise awareness of the
benefits of virtualization as well as its offerings in the space, last Sept.
Keith Ward is online news editor for the Redmond Media Group. You can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.