The long anticipated release of System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2008 R2 has been released to manufacturing and is now available for evaluation download. VMM 2008 R2 is the latest release in the Microsoft Systems Center family and is used to manage the virtualized enterprise including management of Hyper-V, Virtual Server and VMWare ESX hosts.
VMM 2008 R2 includes support of the new line of Hyper-V virtualization features available in the release of Windows Server 2008 R2. The new version of the Microsoft hypervisor includes some very exciting features that some would suggest provide an equal replacement of VMWare in the enterprise.
Some of the most highlighted new features that are supported by VMM 2008 R2 are Live Migration which provides the administrator the ability to migrate virtual machines between host with no downtime experienced by the end-user. Cluster Shared Volumes (CSV), which provides support for multiple virtual machines to exist on the same LUN. Live Migration Host Compatibility Check, which verifies that a Host is capable of supporting Live Migration of VM's. Additional features include the ability to add additional storage to a VM while it is running, ability to migrate storage of running VM's and template based provisioning.
Microsoft did an good job with the first edition of the Virtual Machine Manager, but really listened to their customers feedback and came back with a excellent second edition. System Center Virtual Machine Manger 2008 R2 has proven to be an excellent virtualization management application, that in my opinion, proves Microsoft deserve to be in the virtual enterprise datacenter.
System Center Virtual Machine Manager R2 Eval, http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=292de23c-845c-4d08-8d65-b4b8cbc8397b&displaylang=en