I often get the question if you can use System Center Essentials 2010 (SCE) to manage your Virtual Infrastructure. The answer depends on how many virtual machines you want to manage today and in the future. SCE 2010 includes Virtual Machine management but only a subset of the capabilities of System Center Virtual Machine Manager. Let’s have a look at the differences:
Physical to Virtual Conversion
Virtual to Virtual Conversion
Migration across physical machines
Physical resource optimization (PRO)
VM configuration & properties
64 bit guest OS
Hardware Assisted Virtualization
Synthetic Network Support
Import VM (multiple VHD + snapshot)
Configure advanced network settings
If you don’t need VMWare management and the self service portal you will be able to use SC2010.
There is also the licensing aspect that you need to take into consideration:
Licensing for Managed Virtual Machines in Essentials 2010 Essentials 2010 is licensed per device. Only physical computers consume server or client management licenses and are required to have a license. However, Essentials is limited to managing up to 50 server operating system environments and 500 client operating system environments. For example, you might have purchased licenses to manage 20 physical servers, are managing all 20 physical servers, and are also managing 30 virtual servers. Because you are managing 50 server operating system environments, you cannot manage any additional physical or virtual servers.
In conclusion you can manage 50 servers being Virtual or Physical and you only need to license your physical servers.
Watch the What's New with System Center Essentials 2010 webcast for more information.
According to your list, Essential 2010 has the VM cloning feature, but I don't see this on the console or on the operation guide. Please clarify.