Microsoft's VMM coming in September, exec says

Now in its second round of beta testing, VMM is the management companion to Hyper-V

Microsoft will ship its virtual machine management tool in September, according to Kevin Turner, the company's chief operating officer.

Turner's remarks, made during his presentation Wednesday at Microsoft's annual meeting for financial analysts, are in contrast to comments the company made last week when Diane Prescott, product manager for System Center, announced on the team's blog that Virtual Machine Manager (VMM) 2008 would ship during the fourth quarter. Prescott's comments contradicted what Microsoft said back in April -- that VMM would ship 30-60 days after Microsoft's Hyper-V hypervisor, which was released June 26.

VMM is the management companion to Hyper-V, an add-on to Windows Server 2008. VMM 2008 is now in its second round of beta testing.

Management of virtual machines has emerged as a hot topic in IT as hype has engulfed the virtualization market. Microsoft is battling VMware and others for the hearts and wallets of corporate users.

VMM 2008 is the first management tool from Microsoft that supports Hyper-V. It also will support hypervisor technology from VMware and Xen.

"We will allow those customers who have made that investment in another technology competitor's hardware and software to manage their environment and our environment at the same time," Turner said. "This is going to be very strategic for us in the marketplace."

Microsoft has also said that VMM 2008 would be offered as a standalone product for the first time. It will be unbundled from the System Center Server Management Suite Enterprise (SMSE), which was introduced late last year.

In addition, users will no longer have to purchase Software Assurance maintenance contracts to get VMM 2008.

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