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Matt McSpirit on Virtualisation, Management and Core Infrastructure

System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2008 – Now Released to Manufacture!!!!

System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2008 – Now Released to Manufacture!!!!

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Update – Eval Link Now Live - Click Here!

It’s released.

Just 13 months after SCVMM 2007, SCVMM 2008 has shipped, and brings a hell of lot of new capability to your virtualisation infrastructure.  To quote Zane Adam, from the Virtualisation Blog:

“We’re excited to see the partner and customer adoption of System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2008.  We’ve already seen hundreds of our early deployment customers use either the beta or release candidate version of VMM to manage their Hyper-V deployments.  They are seeing the many cost reduction and management simplification benefits of Hyper-V and the SCVMM 2008 integration with the rest of System Center.   Now that RTM is official, I fully expect the rate of Hyper-V deployments to further accelerate.  Through the SCVMM 2008 console, administrators can see the entirety of their datacenter infrastructure – physical or virtual.  SCVMM 2008 facilitates key functions like P2V (physical to virtual) migration, Intelligent Placement (selecting the best virtual host for a VM), and managing Hyper-V host clusters, to name just a few. SCVMM 2008 works closely with its siblings – particularly SC Ops Mgr – in identifying consolidation candidates and in Performance and Resource Optimization (PRO), a new feature in which SCVMM 2008 can alert and recommend solutions to administrators about failing virtual machines or hardware. As I mentioned above, this comprehensive view extends throughout the data center as SCVMM 2008 is capable of seeing and managing VMware ESX infrastructure through Virtual Center. I hope you download SCVMM 2008 today and give it a try. Additional information, including a link to download an evaluation version is available here and it will be generally available for purchase as of November 1”

The link isn’t quite live yet, so you can’t grab the eval right this minute, but keep visiting this page, and I’m sure it will be updated ASAP.

So, what does SCVMM 2008 do, that SCVMM 2007 didn’t?

  • Support for VMs Running on Windows Server 2008 – Previously, SCVMM 2007 only supported Virtual Machines running on Virtual Server 2005 R2 SP1, but now, with the 2008 version, we can not only manage Virtual Server VMs, but we can also manage VMs running on:
    • Windows Server 2008 Hyper-V GUI
    • Windows Server 2008 Hyper-V Server Core
    • Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2008 
    • VMware ESX
  • The last point, VMware ESX, is a very significant one.  We still require VirtualCenter, so it’s not a rip and replace of any sort – what VMM is offering is strong heterogeneous management of different infrastructures, but the real feather in SCVMM 2008’s cap when it comes to management of VMware’s infrastructure, is that we’ll manage multiple VirtualCenter’s from one place.  This is still something VMware haven’t done yet, but are addressing in the near future.  Sad thing is, it’s still only a web console, and won’t have the real rich interface that VMM has.
  • Performance and Resource Optimization (PRO) - PRO is a new feature of VMM that can dynamically respond to failure scenarios or poorly configured components that are identified in hardware, operating systems, or applications.  This is a combination of both SCVMM, and SC Operations Manager 2007.  PRO’s capabilities are also available to VMware ESX or Virtual Server hosts, thus allowing administrators to manage their entire virtualized environment regardless of the virtualization platform they are using.  This is where we can add real value around an ESX estate, as PRO, is, in effect, a more intelligent form of DRS, or Dynamic Resource Scheduling, from VMware, yet the ‘movement’ of VMs running on ESX using DRS is based on resource utilisation, rather than other areas that may be more specific to your organisation.  Take an example of a virtualised Exchange Server.  If a service crashes inside that VM, and that service is an Exchange related service, and that service crash results in a CPU spike.  The VM is still running, but now, it’s consuming more resource, so DRS chooses to move it.  It does the same on it’s new host, so DRS moves it again.  SC Operations Manager would identify the crash as being an Exchange issue, and fix the crash, rather than move the VM, even if that VM is running on a VMware infrastructure, and not a MS one.
  • Host Cluster Support for “High Availability” Virtual Machines - With greatly expanded support for failover clusters, VMM 2008 improves its “high availability” capabilities for managing mission-critical virtual machines. VMM 2008 is now fully cluster-aware, meaning it can detect and manage Hyper-V host clusters as a single unit. New user-friendly features, such as automatic detection of added or removed virtual hosts and designating high-availability virtual machine with one click, facilitate the administrator’s work.

There are loads more features that may be of interest too, and you can grab them in this document.  There will be even more documentation released over the next week or so, now that we’ve hit RTM.

Even more resources can be found here:

  • Overview - Learn about the features and benefits of System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2008.
  • Features - Learn about the features of System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2008.
  • What’s New - Find out what's new in this version of System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2008.
  • FAQ - Find answers to frequently asked questions about System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2008.
  • System Requirements - Review this System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2008 information to make sure you have the required hardware and software.
  • Top 10 Benefits
  • White Paper

Get the eval ASAP and try it for yourself!

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