Microsoft wants to show the world that it has not entered the virtualization market on a whim. The company is out to prove its seriousness through an enhanced management platform aimed at keeping virtual environments under control.
The System Center Virtual Machine Manager (SCVMM) 2008 has already been released to manufacturing and is expected to hit the shelves on November 1. The system supports both the Hyper-V hypervisor and the VMware virtualization platform, mixing virtual management capabilities with the monitoring tools found in Systems Center Operations Manager 2007.
Microsoft has added a host of new tools to SCVMM, including server cluster support, with the ability to automatically detect if virtual machines are added or removed from the cluster, as well as a string of availability features aimed at ensuring resources are there when requested.
However, a key element when comparing the system to VMware's management stack is the ability to manage both physical and virtual environments. VMware offers integration of its management systems into broader management platforms from IBM and others, but offers no physical capabilities of its own.