That's key, say analysts, as users realize that implementing virtualization tactically to save money can -- without proper management tools to aid them -- create a confusing infrastructure mess.
"It's just like when client-server computing got hot two decades ago," said Stephen Elliot, an analyst with IDC Corp. "There's no need to repeat that mistake again."
As the name of Microsoft's new release implies, System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2007 works closely with Microsoft's other management and provisioning products, such as System Center Configuration Manager (formerly Systems Management Server, or SMS) and System Center Operations Manager (formerly Microsoft Operations Manager, or MOM).
For instance, through its integration with MOM, VMM users such as Rackspace Networks Inc. sysadmin James Bothe can get a quick snapshot rating of each physical server based on a combination of factors. Those include parameters such as CPU utilization, RAM usage, and hard drive space.
That information gives Bothe quick insight into how many more virtual machines he can deploy onto a given physical host, and what kind.
"It's a unique and nice feature," Bothe said.
Rackspace has been testing VMM since the first round of beta. The San Antonio, Tx. hosting provider plans to use VMM to manage its 600-plus Windows servers -- it has another 1,800 Linux servers -- that each host 4-6 virtual machines created by Microsoft Virtual Server 2005.
Having both physical and virtual machines is cool, but are you sure that it won't get too confusing? I think it all depends on how you look at your IT Infrastructure, and we all look at it very differently. The tool is definitely worth a try, no doubt.