Announcing System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2008 R2

System Center Virtual Machine ManagerIt doesn’t seem like five minutes since Microsoft released System Center Virtual Machine Manager (SCVMM) 2008 but it appears that the SCVMM team is on a swift development cycle as, yesterday, Microsoft announced availability of a beta for System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2008 R2.

Details are still a little sketchy but some of the new features and functionality included in SCVMM 2008 R2 are:

  • Support for the new features in Windows Server 2008 R2, including:
    • Live Migration: Enables the movement of running virtual machines from one virtual host to another with no downtime.
    • Hot addition/removal of VHDs: Allows the addition and removal of new virtual hard disks (VHDs) on a running virtual machine.
    • New networking protocols: Virtual Machine Queue (VMQ) and TCP Chimney.
  • Streamlined process for managing host upgrades: Controlling the application of updates or performance of maintenance on a host server by safely evacuating all virtual machines to other hosts on a cluster using live migration or by putting those workloads into a saved state to be safely reactivated when maintenance or upgrades are complete. Maintenance mode is enabled for all supported platforms Hyper-V on Windows Server 2008 R2.
  • Support for Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI): Enables administrators to deploy and manage virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) in their data center environment.
  • Support of disjoint domains: Reduces the complexity of reconciling host servers with differing domain names in Active Directory and DNS. In these situations, SCVMM 2008 R2 automatically creates a custom service principal name (SPN) configured in Active Directory and DNS to allow for successful authentication.
  • Use of defined port groups with VMware Virtual Center: On installation, SCVMM 2008 R2 will present available port groups for SCVMM’s use – allowing administrators to maintain control over which port groups are used.

Rakesh Malhotra has more information on his blog.

Availability of System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2008 R2 is yet to be confirmed; however I would expect this to follow shortly after Hyper-V v2 (which should be in Windows Server 2008 R2). Also missing from the current feature list is the ability to manage Citrix XenServer hosts – something else which we can expect to see following Citrix and Microsoft’s joint announcements last month.

For those interested in taking a look at the beta of SCVMM 2008 R2, it is available via Microsoft Connect.

For organisations that don’t want to run a beta but would like to take a look at the existing release (SCVMM 2008), there is a fully-functional 180-day trial available on the Microsoft website (also available as a pre-configured virtual hard disk) and demos of the various features in SCVMM 2008.

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