Microsoft Virtual Machine Manager 2 beta due this summer
News January 9th, 2008

By Roger Howorth

Microsoft will release a beta version of System Center Virtual Machine Manager this summer that will manage virtual machines (VMs) running under VMware and XenSource hypervisors, according to Neil Sanderson, Microsoft UK product manager for management and virtualization.

Currently, MS VMM 2007 manages only VMs running on Microsoft Virtual Server, so the new beta’s multi-vendor capability could attract many more users to the Microsoft product.

The beta will also be capable of managing VMs running under Microsoft’s forthcoming Hyper-V hypervisor. A beta version of Hyper-V is already available, and Microsoft has previously said the first supported version of Hyper-V would be launched within six months of Windows Server 2008, which is due on February 28th.

Although prices for the next version of VMM have not yet been set, it is likely to cost less than VMware’s VirtualCenter 2.5, which is a similar virtual machine management suite that can handle VMs running only on VMware’s enterprise class ESX hypervisor. Even in its current form, VMM 2007 can migrate VMs hosted on VMware systems so they run properly using the Microsoft Virtual Server hypervisor. We think the forthcoming VMM update will build on these capabilities and enable firms to move virtual machines between the various supported hypervisors. Currently VMM 2007 does not support the migration of VMs without first powering them down, and it’s not yet clear if the next version will add this capability.

The finished version of the updated VMM will be shipped in the second half of the year, Sanderson added.