September 8, 2011 News Thursday: Virtual Machine Manager 2012 RC, Microsoft Virtual Academy, and More Server and Tools News…

Virtual Machine Manager 2012 Release Candidate Available Today

We are excited to announce today that the release candidate of System Center Virtual Machine Manager (VMM) 2012 is available at the Microsoft Download Center as a product download or a pre-configured VHD. VMM is a key component of System Center 2012, which provides a common management toolset for private and public cloud applications and services. Today Microsoft confirmed System Center 2012 will be generally available to customers in the first half of the calendar year 2012.

VMM delivers industry leading fabric, virtual machine and services management in private cloud environments to help customers:

  • Deliver flexible and cost-effective infrastructure as a service
  • Provision and manage standardized application services
  • Optimize virtualization management

Building on the last update released in March 2011, VMM 2012 is now fully featured allowing an organization to use capabilities such as cluster management, heterogeneous hypervisor support, and service template creation.

We encourage customers to try out this new release of VMM as they prepare for the next version System Center 2012.

Additional Resources:

Microsoft Virtual Academy marks 6-month anniversary with a quarter of a million registrations

IT Pros who are looking to enhance their skillset and knowledge around cloud-based technologies will be interested to know that on September 21, 2011, the online Microsoft Virtual Academy (MVA) will celebrate its 6-month anniversary. This offering, which you can access at , continues to draw IT professionals with career-building, new courses around the latest Microsoft technologies.  The MVA is geared towards helping you become a cloud expert in your organization.

The MVA online training program has attracted 260,000 students who have clocked a total of 240,000 hours of training thus far. MVA provides a virtual university experience: You can select the most relevant courses and study the material at your own pace.  By taking the self-paced courses, you learn how to work towards a highly virtualized datacenter by using Microsoft virtualization and how to build and deploy a private cloud. You also acquire new skills that meet the needs of IT directors and managers searching for talented professionals who are knowledgeable about cloud computing technologies.

Self-assessments are presented at the end of each module. These assessments let you compare your rankings to other students by checking a list of top local and worldwide students. As you earn points, you progress through bronze, silver, gold and platinum levels, and improve your ranking in the list of top students. 
As a top favorite course in the MVA is the ‘Microsoft Virtualization for VMware Professionals – The Platform’. This course helps students understand datacenter planning, Hyper-V architecture, virtualized networking and storage, the differences and similarities between Hyper-V and VMWare, as well as high-availability and disaster recovery considerations to keep VMs up and running.

The MVA is currently available in English, Spanish, Chinese, and German, and plans are in place to launch in additional languages in the near future.

Go to to register!