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VMworld to focus on "management tools"; Hypervisor-less Microsoft the bigger talker

The event will be the largest gathering of virtualization devotees of the year. The theme appears to be: how to manage virtualization. Microsoft, without a hypervisor product of its own just yet, will be one of the biggest talkers. In addition, Avocent, Trusted Network Technologies, Virtual Iron, Vizioncore, XenSource (which is being bought by Citrix), and VMware itself will add their voices to the discussion.

Microsoft is finally stirring on the virtualization front, having released Virtual Machine Manager, part of its System Center suite, to manufacturing last week. Virtual Machine Manager is intended to assess physical servers for virtualization; convert physical servers to virtual ones; launch, manage, and tear down Microsoft Virtual Server virtual machines; and migrate VMware-based virtual machines into Virtual Server's VHD file format. That makes Virtual Machine Manager highly Windows-centric--for the time being.

VMware may dominate today's server virtualization market, but Microsoft expects to dominate the next phase--desktop and server virtualization combined. "This is a much broader thing--application virtualization, presentation virtualization, and desktop virtualization," says Mike Neil, general manager of Microsoft virtualization. "Microsoft can bring these together under a common umbrella with its management tools."


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