Sorry that it seems as though I dropped off the planet…my world has been all things Virtualisation for the last week. Here is what’s been going on:

1) TechNet Changing Technologies event

Steve Ballmer came over to present at a TechNet event for IT managers yesterday in London and announced Hyper-V Server. Hyper-V Server is a dedicated stand-alone product, which contains only the Windows Hypervisor, Windows Server driver model and virtualisation components i.e. you don’t need Windows Server 2008 OS. It is recommended to do these simpler roles:

  • Test and Development
  • Basic Server Consolidation
  • Branch Office Consolidation
  • Hosted Desktop Virtualization (VDI)
  • You can download a free trial

    Steve was asked to do an IT Pro version of the ‘I love Developers’ chant and finished the session with "IT Pros, IT Pros IT Pros.....and I say I love IT Pros!" – one attendee captured Steve’s speech, Q&A and ‘I Love IT Pros’ chant, you watch it here (37:45 mins in)

    image

    2) VM08, London

    We decided to be present at this conference only a few weeks ago and geez are we happy we did!

    Before I go on, I just wanted to say a huge thank you to James for being the man in the know and setting all the kit up so that we could show what I am about to talk about.

    And also a huge thanks to Clive, Andrew, Mike and Matt for all their efforts

    I can easily say that if you judge the success of a show by the number of people that you speak to, then this show was off the richter scale. It was great to speak to so many IT professionals that were there to find out more about Virtualisation and where to go with it from the 40 or so vendors, education sessions and keynote

    A few observations from me:

    1) Although Virtualisation isn’t new, there are a lot of organisations that are just starting to looking into it

    2) Virtualisation is becoming complex in itself because of all the different areas and where you can take it……desktop, applications, server…..

    3) We still have a huge job to do to get our message out there – some people didn’t know Microsoft had anything to offer when it came to Virtualisation

    4) We have an even bigger job to do to convey the breadth of not only our Virtualisation, but management story. Key products that came up over the 2 days were:

    - Windows Server 2008 Hyper-V
    - Microsoft Terminal Services
    - Microsoft Application Virtualization (App-V)
    - Microsoft Enterprise Desktop Virtualization (MED-V, formerly Kidaro) 
    - Microsoft System Center 

    In particular on the System Centre front, there were 2 main products that sparked interest:

    System Center Virtual Machine Manager

    • Support for VMs Running on Windows Server 2008
    • Multi-Vendor Virtualization Platform Support
    • Performance and Resource Optimization (PRO)
    • Host Cluster Support for “High Availability” Virtual Machines

    Download the beta

    System Center Data Protection Manager
    Microsoft System Center Data Protection Manager (DPM) 2007 provides advanced disk-to-disk-to-tape protection for infrastructures that depend on Microsoft virtualization technology. DPM can protect virtual machines without hibernation downtime. Using shadow copy-based block-level protection of your virtual disks, DPM delivers fast backup and very efficient retention that does not consume inordinate disk space.

    DPM’s agent model supports protecting all virtual machines within a single host with only one agent on the host platform, or agents within each virtual instance, for a range of protection and recovery options. And, unlike other backup technologies from alternative virtualization vendors, DPM also protects physical servers running Windows Server, SQL Server, Microsoft Exchange, or SharePoint products and technologies.

    System Center Operations Manager
    Easy-to-use monitoring environment for thousands of servers, applications and clients, providing a complete view of the health of your IT environment and enabling rapid response to disruptive events.  Computing environments contain many different components: client and server machines, operating systems, databases, mail servers, and much more. To deal with this diversity, Operations Manager relies on management packs (MPs). Each MP encapsulates knowledge about how to manage a particular component. By installing the appropriate MPs, an organization can exploit the knowledge of their creators to manage its environment more effectively.

    Operations Manager relies on an agent that runs on each machine it manages, and so every machine—physical or virtual—has one. From the perspective of an operator at the Operations Manager console, both virtual and physical machines look and are managed in the same way, applying the same user interface and the same MPs. Operations Manager also includes specific MPs for managing virtualization technologies. The MP for Virtual Server, for example, allows an operator to enumerate the VMs that are running on a particular physical machine, monitor the state of those VMs, and more.

    System Center Configuration Manager
    Vastly simplifies system deployment, task automation, compliance management and policy-based security management, making businesses much more agile.

    Configuration Manager treats a VM provided by Virtual Server as if it were a physical machine. Software can be installed on this machine, updated as needed, and appear as part of the asset inventory maintained by Configuration Manager. Similarly, this tool works with applications running on a terminal server just like any others.

    5) Last point (I promise)…we had Citrix on the stand with us and there were lots of questions as to why. The key is what our partnership delivers, and that is an improved customer experience with desktop and application virtualisation