Microsoft strikes back with Virtual Machine Manager 2007

Microsoft Virtual Machine ManagerMicrosoft has been working feverishly in the virtualization arena to catch up on its relatively late start. Now, just a week before VMware's VMworld event next week, Microsoft has finally announced the System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2007 (SCVMM).

You can download SCVMM now from the Microsoft system center site with general availability slated for October.

It is obvious that SCVMM is designed to be a head-on competitor to VMware's own Virtual Center product. To bring you quickly up to speed, I have highlighted the succinct points of this product:

  • SCVMM is a stand-alone server application for managing your Microsoft Virtual Server 2005 R2 VMs
  • Allows centralized virtual machine deployment and management
  • Incorporates end-to-end support for the consolidation of physical servers into a virtual environment
  • Supports physical-to-virtual as well as virtual-to-virtual conversion of VMware VMs to Microsoft's VHD format
  • Intelligent workload placement on the most suitable physical host server(s)

Licensing-wise, it is competitive to VMware's own offering. For unlimited physical- and virtual-per-physical device, you can fork out $860 for System Center Server Management Suite Enterprise, which includes SCVMM 2007.

Smaller businesses might want to go for SCVMM 2007 Workgroup edition instead, which allows up to five physical host servers with an unlimited number of virtual machines between them.

System Center Server Management Suite Enterprise will be available starting October 1, while SCVMM 2007 Workgroup edition will be available come January of 2008.

Moving ahead, Microsoft is upping the ante by promising that the next version of SCVMM will feature support for third-party formats, including VMware, Viridian, and Xen.

You can read more about Virtual Machine Manager 2007 at The Register.

Do you reckon that Microsoft's SCVMM will surpass Virtual Center's capabilities within the next couple of years?