Mike Neil - GM of Virtualization - Microsoft Mike Neil is the General Manager of Virtualization at Microsoft.  He’s the guy with the job of overseeing where Microsoft is going with Virtualization; looking at the big-picture and how Microsoft can contribute to and lead in the area of Virtualization.

He recently contributed this very good summary of where it’s all headed, with predictions for the coming year.  Check it out.  It’s well worth the read if you’re at all curious about why Virtualization was big news in the past year, and will be even bigger news in 2009.

“What do YOU think, Kevin?”

You’d have to be living under a rock to have missed the fact that the benefits of Virtualization are something every organization needs to consider, and for so many reasons.  Is saving money by reducing power consumption a big deal?  Absolutely.  Are we all trying to “go green”?  You bet.  Do we all want the flexibility of being able to easily move workloads around based on changing demand or business needs?  Are we wishing we had a way to back an entire server up as easily as copying a few files to a safe location?  I think you know where I’m going with this. 

“Will it be VMWare or Microsoft?”

Well.. if you know me at all, you know I’m going to say Microsoft.  But it’s not just because they write my paycheck.  It’s not even because I’m a huge fan of their stuff.  But if you simply take a look at the bigger picture.. not just the virtualization of servers.. I’m talking about how you MANAGE servers and services; VMWare CEO Paul Maritzwhether they’re virtual or not.  System Center has all the right tools for all of this.  Even if we ignore the price difference**, it’s obvious to me that Microsoft has the right idea: Management is where it’s at.  Even the former Microsoftie-turned-VMWare-CEO Paul Maritz says that management is key. (Check out how many times the topic of management comes up in this VMWorld 2008 Keynote “Live Blog” summary of his keynote.)  I’d much rather have a well-integrated suite of tools for managing and maintaining the resources and services I’m responsible for providing; not just the tools to move virtualized servers around.

Oh.. and did you know that the new System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2008 also manages VMWare workloads right along-side Hyper-V and Virtual Server?

So what do I think?  I think I’m glad I work for Microsoft.

What do you think?  Am I right?  Am I “Full of I.T.”, or simply “full if it”

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**And in case you’re wondering, a Microsoft solution using Hyper-V on Windows Server 2008 and buying the System Center Server Management Suite Enterprise (SMSE) costs less than 1/3 of what the virtualization platform and management offerings from VMWare cost.. and that’s without the added management benefit of what the System Center tools like System Center Operations Manager, System Center Configuration Manager, and System Center Data Protection Manager bring to the mix.