Microsoft has recently released Virtual Machine Manager (VMM) as part of System Center 2012. This tool, positioned as a single, unified management system for virtualized environments, lacks support for outdated versions of Microsoft's virtualization platform but supports all versions of Hyper-V that coordinate with Windows Server 2008 R2 and Windows Server 2008 with Service Pack 2. It also functions in cooperation with systems using Hyper-V Server 2008 R2.
Virtual Machine Manager 2012 Offers Several New Features
Administrators can exercise ‘intelligent placement’ for workloads. This enables system managers or managed services personnel to identify those virtual hosts that are most appropriate for a given workload. This helps to balance resource provisioning across the system so that all workloads have full access to the data, storage spaces, and computing power needed to process workflow efficiently.
Additional Hyper-V hosts can be provisioned on a ‘bare metal’ basis.
For the first time, Microsoft's virtualization platform has been rendered fully ‘cluster aware’. This means that Virtual Machine Manager 2012 is more available to systems and networks than was true of prior IT solutions from Microsoft.
Administrators and managers of the system can also take advantage of features designed to optimize electrical power consumption so that businesses can scale down usage as needed and save on electrical costs. In particular, VMM 2012 can turn off those hosts that will not be needed during a particular time interval. This is done on an intelligent basis so that all workloads will still have full access to needed resources.
Requirements for VMM 2012
VMM 2012 is designed to be installed on a computer that will exercise far-reaching functions including processing commands to the on-board database and controlling communications with both it and all the VM hosts that make up the virtualized network.
In cases where companies have up to 150 such hosts in operation, Microsoft's recommendations for the server include a processor that runs at 2.8 GHz or greater. Servers should also be provisioned with a minimum of 4 GB of RAM, with at least 40 GB free on the hard disk. The disk itself is recommended to provide at least 140 GB of space because local installations of SQL server will need additional hard disk resources.
Companies that wish to run more than 150 VM hosts will need to make sure that their server meets higher requirements including 3.6 GHz and 50 GB of hard disk space. Businesses interested in VMM should seek the assistance of IT support firms such as iCorps Technologies for more information about virtualization and how a managed services model can help.