It 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 SCVMMâ€™s use – allowing administrators to maintain control over which port groups are used.
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.