Hi - I'm Rakesh Malhotra and I'm the Group Program Manager for SCVMM. My team is responsible for prioritizing features, staying in touch with customers and partners, understanding the competition and driving the overall project forward. With the first release of SCVMM behind us, I thought for the next release I'd start a blog so anyone who is interested can keep up with our progress and thinking in real time.
Version 1 is all about managing Virtual Server based environments and has a pretty extensive feature set - if you haven't played with it, you can download the eval copy at http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/scvmm/bb679927.aspx. If you don't want to spend time installing/configuring a server to test with, I'd recommend downloading the VHD and running it as a VM. There's lots of great content describing all of the things that SCVMM can do for you on the site but let me hit some of the highlights:
- Rapid template-based provisioning of Virtual Machines - I've done many demos of this over the past year and you can push out a new Win2K3 box in about 35 seconds
- Intelligent Placement - You tell us the type of VM you need and we'll find the best spot to put it based on the resources you have. SCVMM uses sophisticated modeling technology (thanks to Microsoft Research) to match performance requirements to the available capacity in the data center.
- Library Management - Put all of the stuff you you need to create virtual machines into the library and have SCVMM manage it for you. You can centralize your library (with a big Windows File Server) or distribute it across the edges of your network like many of our retail customers do.
- Virtual Machine Self Service - Want to use VMs in your dev and test lab? This feature lets you delegate the ability to create and manage VMs to developers/testers or regional administrators. They just need to access the SCVMM self-service web portal and they'll have this ability. Before you freak out, we put lots of controls in place to prevent VM sprawl and general unmitigated chaos (quotas, granular permissions, template limited access etc. etc.)
- PowerShell Automation - When we first started working on SCVMM, I had a large enterprise customer tell me that we needed to build and document our command line interfaces much better (his language was a little bit more colorful and a bit more forceful) - so here you go - everything you can do through the UI you can do through the command line via PowerShell. In fact, our developers first build PowerShell cmdlets and then built our UI directly on top of it so our API is your API. And oh yeah, we have a boatload of documentation and sample scripts.....I know I'm biased but PowerShell makes existing scripting environments look and feel their age (seriously, it's 2007 and it's about time...thank you Jeffrey snover)
We're already heads down working on the next release which will coincide with the Windows Hypervisor (codename Viridian) release. We'll obviously 'light up' all of the new hypervisor features and we also recently announced that we plan to support 3rd party hypervisors including VMWare and Xen. Lots of customers tell me that they want 1 management tool that works across platforms so this is in direct response.
Over the next few posts, I'll dig into individual feature areas in more detail and describe exactly how stuff works under the covers, why we made the decisions we made and the direction that we plan to take our features.