Microsoft on Tuesday said development was complete on its Virtual Machine Manager 2008 and that the software, which is used to manage the company's new server-virtualization technology, would be generally available November 1. Microsoft said on September 8 that System Center VMM would be complete in 30 days and available between October 1 and December 31. While the first target was missed, users will get the management tool between those two dates. Until November 1, users can download an evaluation version.
VMM is the company's first tool for managing its recently released Hyper-V platform, along with virtualization environments from VMware and Xen.
Zane Adam, senior director of virtualization strategy for Microsoft said on his blog that hundreds of early-deployment customers are already using "either the beta or release-candidate version of VMM to manage their Hyper-V deployments." VMM was originally slated to ship 30 to 60 days after the release of Hyper-V, which came on June 26.
Microsoft also has said it will offer a stand-alone version of VMM 2008 that is unbundled from the 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 licenses 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.
Microsoft has previously announced that the stand-alone version of VMM 2008 will be on its price list in November at US$675, which is a license per-device and includes rights to the management server.
VMM helps users configure and deploy virtual machines. It also provides centralized management and provisioning tools. The software is a core piece of Microsoft's System Center family of management tools, including integration with 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, which range from the server to the desktop.