Hello – I wanted to provide a quick update on some changes we have coming regarding the System Center Server Management Suite Enterprise (SMSE) and System Center Virtual Machine Manager (VMM) later this year. In Q4 of 2008, we’re excited to be providing customers with additional value and functionality in the SMSE by releasing the next version of our VMM software, VMM 2008. One thing that’s new with the release of VMM 2008, is that we’ll be making it available to customers and partners as a standalone product; VMM 2007 was only available as part of the SMSE. While the feedback from customers on the synergy of the products in the SMSE has been exciting over the last 8 months, we also wanted to offer customers the choice of VMM 2008 standalone as well, as we do with the other products in the System Center family including Configuration Manager 2007, Operations Manager 2007 and Data Protection Manager 2007.
As far as how we’ll offer VMM 2008 standalone in Q4 of 2008, it will follow the licensing model set forward by the SMSE. It will be sold as a per-device enterprise server management license (ML) and will include rights to the management server. Because we’ll be selling the VMM 2008 enterprise server ML on a per-device basis, which makes sense in the context of virtualization, we’ll be targeting a price which will be approximately 10-15% less than the SMSE at that time it’s generally available. Additionally, because of the new value and functionality being added to the various System Center offerings over the next year, including VMM, Operations Manager and Configuration Manager, we will be implementing a price increase to the SMSE of approximately 10-15% in the same time frame. We’re still working on the specifics regarding the pricing and licensing of VMM 2008 and the SMSE and we’ll have further details to share in early August.
It should be noted that while we fully support customers’ and partners’ desire for choice, we expect strong continued momentum with SMSE. Customers who choose the SMSE receive the benefits of a holistic management experience across their physical and virtual IT infrastructures. Some of the benefits customers will experience with the wholly managed virtualized environment include managing virtual machines, with capabilities such as intelligent placement and monitoring; automated VM patching; and data protection/ disaster recovery. For example, VMM2008 has a powerful new feature called Performance and Resource Optimization (PRO) which is only available when implemented in conjunction with Operations Manager 2007 and provides deep insight into all up virtual environment performance.
Using deep knowledge of the IT environment including operating systems, applications and hardware, Operations Manager identifies opportunities for more efficient physical and virtual resource allocation and generates “PRO tips” within the Virtual Machine Manager console. Administrators can implement these PRO tips and dynamically optimize their data center based upon pre-defined policies and the real-time, changing demands of users. When used in conjunction with the broad System Center management suite, System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2008 enables customers to effectively manage both their virtualized and physical servers and applications across their desktops and data centers with a single set of consistent, compatible tools.
We look forward to providing our customers and partners with expanded choices. We’re also thrilled with the enthusiastic reaction to the SMSE that we’ve seen since it was released 8 months ago. In the end we believe that as customers look for a broad solution for managing their physical and virtual IT infrastructure and assets the System Center Server Management Suite Enterprise will be the solution of choice.
Thanks – Diane Prescott, Product Manager, System Center