System Center Virtual Machine Manager Beta 2 Released

System Center Virtual Machine Manager (SCVMM) 2007 Beta 2 is here! SCVMM provides centralized administration of Virtual Server installations. It also supports provisioning new instances across multiple virtual servers both by administrators and authorized end-users.


Here are the top 10 benefits of SCVMM:


Maximize datacenter resources through consolidation

A typical physical server in the datacenter operates at only 5 to 15 percent CPU capacity. System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2007 can assess and then consolidate suitable server workloads onto virtual machine host infrastructure thus freeing up physical resources for repurposing or hardware retirement. Through physical server consolidation, continued datacenter growth are less constrained by space, electrical and cooling requirements.


Physical-to-Virtual conversions are a snap!

Converting a physical machine to a virtual one can be a daunting undertaking – slow, problematic and typically requiring you to halt the physical server. But thanks to the enhanced P2V conversion in Virtual Machine Manager Beta 2, P2V conversions will become routine. Because of this improved P2V technology, IT administrators will be able to convert a running server to a virtual machine at disk speed -- saving time and reducing complexity.


Quick provisioning of new machines

In response for new server requests, a truly agile IT Department delivers new servers to its business clients anywhere in the network infrastructure with a very quick turnaround. Virtual Machine Manager enables this agility by providing IT administrators with the ability to deploy virtual machines in hours or days instead of weeks or even months. Through one console, Virtual Machine Manager allows administrators to manage and monitor virtual machines and hosts to ensure they are meeting the needs of the corresponding business groups.


Intelligent Placement minimizes virtual machine guesswork in deployment

Virtual Machine Manager does extensive data analysis of a number of factors before recommending which physical server should host a given virtual workload. This is especially critical when administrators are determining how to place several virtual workloads on the same host machine. With access to historical data -- provided by System Center Operations Manager 2007 – the Intelligent Placement process is able to factor in past performance characteristics to ensure the best possible match between the virtual machine and its host hardware.


The Library helps keep virtual machine components organized

To keep a datacenter’s virtual house in order, Virtual Machine Manager provides a centralized library to store various virtual machine “building blocks”, off-line machines and other virtualization components. With the library’s easy-to-use, structured format, IT administrators can quickly find and reuse specific components thus remaining highly productive and responsive to new server requests and modifications.


Templates speed the creation of new virtual machines

Virtual Machine Manager allows IT administrators to create templates of commonly deployed virtual machines. Thus once a virtual machine is optimized and performance tuned, an administrator can use it as the basis of a template. From there, the template can be used over and over again, increasing the speed with which administrators deploy similar virtual machines and eliminate much of the post-installation adjustments that are required after building a machine from scratch.


Virtual Machine Manager looks familiar and is easy to use

Virtual Machine Manager’s interface provides IT Administrators with a reassuringly familiar interface which is intuitively easy to use and requires little retraining. This is particularly true for those who use System Center Operations Manager 2007. Similarly, IT administrators familiar with producing reports in SQL Server can continue without missing a step as Virtual Machine Manager uses an instance of SQL for performance and configuration data.


Works with the rest of the datacenter

Because of its Windows Server and System Center pedigree, Virtual Machine Manager works well with the rest of the datacenter. Virtual Machine Manager takes advantage of foundational Windows Server services like Active Directory and Distributed File System, among others. Virtual Machine Manager does not require the introduction of non-native services or applications which can increase infrastructure complexity and require additional IT resources to manage and maintain.


Leverages datacenter investments in SAN storage

Virtual machine images can be large and therefore slow to move across the network. Virtual Machine Manager enables virtual machines to be moved quickly over the SAN thus enabling even faster provisioning of new virtual machines and migration of existing virtual machines.


Windows PowerShell provides rich management and scripting environment

The ability to automate common operations using a command line interface is core to the Virtual Machine Manager. The entire solution is built on the new command line and scripting environment, Windows PowerShell. This enables GUI operations to be quickly exported to PowerShell scripts for customization and automation.


You can find SCVMM beta 2 here