The long awaited System Centre Virtual Machine manager (SCVMM) vNext beta is now available, according to the Windows Virtualisation team.

Headlines are:

  • Support for VMWare ESX/Virtual Center/VMotion
  • Third of the cost of VMWare solution
  • Unified management infrastructure spanning physical, virtual and applications

This release will of course introduce Windows Server 2008  Hyper-V support, the most newsworthy feature of this release is its leverage of the VMWare Virtual Center web service APIs to drive VMWare admin tasks.

Its possible to have fully automated, repeatable and scripted operations across Virtual Server, ESX and Hyper-V virtual environments from VMMs GUI and powershell interface. Having a "single pane of glass" controlling all your virtual platforms certainly simplifies things for the hard-pressed server admin, but the most significant benefit here is integration with System Center Operations Manager through Performance and Resource Optimisation (PRO).

Where VMWare's platform knows nothing of the state of applications and OS's running on top of the ESX layer, VMM can utilise PRO to efficiently balance workloads across ESX, Hyper-V and Virtual Server platforms. And they can all be automated with powershell scripts.

If you want to take a closer look, see the following links

Windows Virtualization Team Blog : System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2008 beta has arrived