Since we announced a few months back that our next release of VMM (VNext) would manage VMware, I’ve received lots of questions with respect to why we made this decision and what “manage VMware” really means. Let me walk you through some of the reasoning and thinking.
1) Customers – The primary reason that we decided to manage VMware was, quite frankly, because customers were asking for it. Personally I take this as a compliment to our management suite given that most if not all VMware customers are already using VMware’s management tools. The fact that they want our tools to work on top of VMware’s OS platform tells me that there’s a definite opportunity to innovate and do a better job and we’re fully committed to doing this….which leads to my next point.
2) We think we can do a better job – At the end of the day, it’s not about managing virtual machines. It’s about managing applications and services and today, many if not most of those run on Windows. Understanding the application in detail is absolutely critical to making intelligent management decisions. For example, migrating a VM when the CPU spikes to 80% for 10 minutes is not a particularly smart way to make that decision but if the VM is a ‘black box’ to you, it’s the only choice that you have. With our management tools, you’ll be able to set policies and rules based on application specific criteria. For example, if the average amount of time it takes for your order entry system to process an order exceeds 10 seconds and CPU is the reason, add more CPU capacity to the VM. Our customers are telling us that this is much more powerful and relevant. We feel strongly that with Hyper-V, our platform and our management tools provide an excellent end to end solution. With that said, we know that you have investments in VMware but even in that case, our management ‘engine’ can make better decisions on the VMware platform. In addition, the System Center family of products gives you the ability to manage physical servers right alongside your virtual machines with a single set of integrated tools rather than creating a new silo or island within your organization.
3) Flexibility in Hypervisors with a single management solution – As I said above, we feel very confident that our hypervisor provides the best platform in the vast majority of customer use cases (that’s for you to decide of course) but regardless, customers want to use a single management tool in mixed environments. You’ll also be able to automate across hypervisors using a single Powershell interface that we provide. VMM will abstract the difference in hypervisor APIs for you. You simply run the “Stop-VM” cmdlet and we make sure that regardless of the hypervisor platform, the VM is stopped. No more code blocks that read “If (VMware)….elseif (VirtualServer)……elseif (Hyper-V)……”
Finally, I want to emphasize that when we say “manage VMware”, we mean that day to day, you’ll be able to use our console and command line interface to fully manage your Virtual Infrastructure environment (including live migration), Virtual Server and Hyper-V environments seamlessly. In addition, we’ll be able to extend the management capabilities that VMware offers today so you’ll get an enhanced solution even on a non-Windows OS.
We’ll share more details, screenshots and demos very soon….