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Your organization has decided to virtualize all of its physical Windows servers. All the capacity planning went through without a hitch, a new data center was purchased with newly racked, high-density servers, and existing physical servers were converted to virtual hard disk (VHD) format and imported into hypervisors running a combination of Hyper-V Server and Windows Server.

SEE: Network administrators: A guidebook (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

You’ve been approached to manage the hardware resources on these devices and perform patch management alongside the usual server monitoring. But how? Must each server be remotely touched? That’s a solution, but no. Must IT become PowerShell gurus to manage all these hosts and guest virtual machines (VMs)? There’s a thought, but also no. In the spirit of working smarter, not harder, you’ll use Microsoft’s Virtual Machine Manager (VMM)–part of System Center–to centralize management of hosts, guests, and resources used by each.

Comprising a server, database, and library, VMM works by cataloging all hosts and guest VMs and tying them together through a networking and storage fabric to centrally manage everything. The VMM console is used as a window to the fabric, allowing IT to make any changes necessary, from simple provisioning of new VMs to moving VMs across servers to modifying network services so devices remain online and functioning properly.

Recommended specifications

VMM server:

  • Processor: 16-core 2.66 Ghz CPU

  • RAM: 16 GB

  • Hard drive: 10 GB

VMM database:

  • Processor: 16-core 2.66 Ghz CPU

  • RAM: 16 GB

  • Hard drive: 200 GB

VMM library:

  • Processor: 4-core 2.8 Ghz CPU

  • RAM: 4 GB

  • Hard drive: Depends on the size of stored files

VMM console:

  • Processor: 2-core 2.0 Ghz CPU

  • RAM: 4 GB

  • Hard drive: 10 GB

Supported operating systems:

  • Windows Server 2016 or newer for VMM server

  • Windows 10 Enterprise or newer for VMM console


  • SQL Server 2016 or newer

  • Active Directory domain member

  • Windows ADK

  • PowerShell 5.0 or newer

  • .NET Framework 4.6 or newer

SEE: 3 ways to boost virtual machine performance and maximize efficiency (TechRepublic)

Supported servers and virtual machines

Despite being a Microsoft product, VMM supports managing ESXi and vCenter hosts and servers. This includes VMs running on VMware-hosted services, all manageable directly from the VMM server in order to maintain your entire VM infrastructure from just one console window.