VMM by year’s end, Microsoft says

Microsoft said development of its virtualization management tool would be complete by early October and reiterated that it would ship sometime during the last three months of this year as promised.

System Center Virtual Machine Manager (VMM) is the company’s first tool for managing its recently released Hyper-V platform, along with virtualization environments from VMware.

“We will allow those customers who have made that investment in another technology competitor’s hardware and software to manage their environment and our environment at the same time,” said Kevin Turner, the company’s COO, in July. VMM was originally slated to ship 30 to 60 days after the release of Hyper-V, which came on June 26.

The company also revealed that the stand-alone version of VMM announced in July will be on Microsoft’s price list in November at $675, which is a licence per-device and includes rights to the management server.

The licence for the stand-alone VMM version will be listed as the System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2008 Enterprise Server Management License.

Microsoft made the announcement at a marketing event in Redmond, Wash., called “Get Virtual Now,” designed to show off its virtualization wares to IT. The event is one in a series that Microsoft plans to put on around the globe.

VMM helps users configure and deploy virtual machines. It also provides central management and provisioning tools. The software is a core piece of Microsoft’s System Center family of management tools, in which VMM is integrated with other pieces such as Configuration Manager and Operations Manager.

Management has emerged as a core issue in virtualization deployments and experts are saying that Microsoft’s set of tools may be the strength of its virtualization offerings that range from the server to the desktop.

Microsoft said in July that VMM for the first time would be offered as a stand-alone product unbundled from System Center Server Management Suite Enterprise (SMSE), which was introduced late last year.

The 2007 version of VMM is only available with SMSE, which includes enterprise server management licences for System Center Operations Manager, Configuration Manager, Data Protection Manager and Virtual Machine Manager.

Customers complained that in order to get VMM they had to buy into the entire System Center suite. In addition, they had to cover it with a Software Assurance maintenance contract.

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