Getting Microsoft Hyper-V to Play Nice with Others

Michael Vizard

There's no doubt that the Microsoft Hyper-V virtual machine platform is gaining some momentum, thanks largely to the increased adoption of Microsoft Windows Server 2008. But a lot of IT organizations have already invested in VMware. It's unlikely they will completely ignore Microsoft Hyper-V. But the fact that they have to figure out how to manage both virtual machines creates a management headache.

For some, the only logical choice is to deploy a third-party management framework that manages Hyper-V, VMware and other virtual machine platforms. The other choice, however, is to rely on the Microsoft System Center 2012 systems management platform that many of them are going to wind up using anyway.

Microsoft System Center 2012 includes the ability to manage VMware to a degree. To enhance that capability, Veeam Software, a provider of Hyper-V and VMware backup and replication, and virtualization management tools, has come up with monitoring tools for System Center 2012 that make it easier for IT organizations using System Center 2012 to actually monitor VMware. At the recent Microsoft Management Summit 2012 conference, the company released Veeam Management Pack 10-Pack, a free System Center 2012 monitoring solution for VMware for up to 10 sockets.

Doug Hazelman, vice president of product strategy for Veeam Software, says that while Microsoft System Center 2012 can manage VMware, the tools that Microsoft provides for monitoring VMware virtual machines are fairly limited.

Veeam isn't the only company trying to help Microsoft play nice with others. Hostway Corp., a provider of cloud computing and hosting services, has released an OpenStack-compatible FlexCloud application programming interface (API) for Hyper-V environments. As OpenStack gains momentum, Aaron Hollobaugh, vice president of marketing for Hostway, says customers will want to integrate the OpenStack management frameworks they adopt on premise to manage their private cloud with cloud services based on Hyper-V.

Hollobaugh says the combination of Windows Server 2008 and the forthcoming release of Windows Server 2012, formerly known as Windows Server 8, will lead to a lot of usage of Hyper-V virtual machines because it will be able to handle 90 percent of most customers' needs. Hostway is betting that as Hyper-V adoption increases, demand for cloud computing services based on Hyper-V will increase accordingly.

In the wake of the feuding between Microsoft and the OpenStack consortium, Hollobaugh expects that Microsoft will eventually roll out its own API, but that could take a while.

In the meantime, a cottage industry focused on integrating Microsoft Hyper-V with other environments is definitely starting to spring up. That's good news for IT organizations that are going to wind up having to manage multiple virtual machines platforms either by happenstance or as part of a deliberate strategy to play one virtual machine vendor or the other.

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