Today at WinHEC Bill Gates formally announced the arrival of the Virtual Machine Manager and Bob Muglia followed up with details and a live demonstration of this new product.  There is a large amount of functionality in this product so I wanted to blog on some of the details to help folks get a better idea of what this is and how it can help them.

System Center Virtual Machine Manager is a standalone product that is the latest announced addition to the System Center product family.  For those of you who don’t know, System Center is the management product family or brand which has Operations Manager (MOM), Configuration Manager (SMS), Data Protection Manager (DPM), ….  While being a separate product it is well integrated with the other products in the System Center family.  This integration is purposeful and in response to customer demand to leverage the investments they have already made in tools, skills and data stores to manage their physical environments.  To summarize our approach, we plan to extend our existing management products to address virtualization requirements where that helps customers manage physical and virtual environments as one while bringing new solutions to customers where there are truly unique requirements of a virtual machine environment.  An example of extending current tools is the recently announced Virtual Server 2005 R2 MOM Pack.  This provides monitoring that is aware of virtualization and understands the relationship between the physical hardware and virtual machines.  Virtual Machine Manager is an example of us bringing new tools to bear on some specific new scenarios that customers need help with.  Example scenarios include P2V, virtual machine cloning, migration and new provisioning models.