We just announced the Release Candidate for SCVMM 2012 and it brings some great new solutions to the table. You can download the Release Candidate bits here, and we have a good overview of what this Release Candidate brings to the table here. We also have a very comprehensive document here.
After reviewing the Release Candidate, here are the improvements that stand out to me:
- SCVMM 2008 R2 SP1 installations can be upgraded to this build of SCVMM 2012 (RC) and the plan is that your installation can then be upgraded to the RTM version when it ships.
- SCVMM 2012 can deploy Hyper-V to a bare metal server. To me, this really stands out. When I want to add a new server to my Hyper-V farm, SCVMM can build that server automatically (with PXE boot).
- SCVMM 2012 can also create a Hyper-V cluster and patch Hyper-V installations (leveraging WSUS).
- SCVMM 2012 can manage VMware and Citrix installations as well as Hyper-V. Managing Citrix is new. SCVMM 2008 R2 only managed VMware.
- 2012 supports vCenter 4.1 and ESX/ESXi 3.5 and 4.1.
- SCVMM 2012 drops support for Virtual Server 2005. If you haven’t moved away from Virtual Server 2005, now may be the time.
- SCVMM 2012 can power down unneeded hosts in a cluster and power them up again when needed. We support this feature with all three hypervisors (Hyper-V, VMware and Citrix XEN) as long as the servers have a baseboard management controller (BMC) that enables out-of-band management.
- SCVMM 2012 has improved network management. Logical networks, IP pools and load balance integration.
- SCVMM 2012 includes Server App-V. There are some functional differences between App-V and Server App-V, but the concepts are the same. I’ll have another blog post that talks about some of the differences between App-V and Server App-V.
Final thoughts: SCVMM 2012 does a much better job of creating a more integrated solution. SCVMM 2008 R2 is a good “tool”, but you still had to rely on Hyper-V manager and Failover Cluster Manager for a lot of functionality. SCVMM 2012 will reduce the number of times an administrator needs to leverage the Hyper-V manager and the Failover Cluster Manager tools, but I do not see SCVMM 2012 totally replacing their capabilities. I do see that SCVMM continues to drive the service oriented approach to delivering business solutions whether they are in your own data center or a cloud type infrastructure.
Until next time,