Microsoft System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2008

Microsoft System Center Virtual
Machine Manager 2008
General overview white paper
Microsoft Corporation
Published: April 2008
Executive Summary
Server virtualization promises to revolutionize the way IT administrators provision and manage their server
infrastructure. The Microsoft® System Center family of products is a comprehensive solution optimized for
the management of Microsoft Windows Server® operating systems running in the virtual data center.
System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2008 provides centralized administration of virtual machine
infrastructure, helps increase physical server utilization, and enables rapid provisioning of new virtual
machines by the administrator and authorized end users.
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Contents
Contents....................................................................................................................................... i
Introduction................................................................................................................................. 1
Virtualization at a Glance ....................................................................................................................................................................1
Virtualization Issues ..............................................................................................................................................................................1
Microsoft System Center.....................................................................................................................................................................1
Virtual Machine Manager Architecture .......................................................................................... 2
Components .............................................................................................................................................................................................2
Virtual Machine Manager Server ...............................................................................................................................................2
Administrator Console ...................................................................................................................................................................3
Windows PowerShell Command-Line Interface ..................................................................................................................3
Delegated Management and Provisioning Web Portal ...................................................................................................3
Microsoft SQL Server Database .................................................................................................................................................4
Virtual Machine Hosts ....................................................................................................................................................................4
VMM Library Servers ......................................................................................................................................................................5
Topologies ................................................................................................................................................................................................5
Stand-alone Topology ...................................................................................................................................................................5
Corporate Topology .......................................................................................................................................................................5
Enterprise Topology........................................................................................................................................................................6
Key Scenarios .............................................................................................................................. 8
Consolidation ...........................................................................................................................................................................................8
Identification of Consolidation Candidates ..........................................................................................................................8
Physical-to-Virtual Conversion ...................................................................................................................................................8
Virtual-to-Virtual Conversion ......................................................................................................................................................8
Intelligent Placement......................................................................................................................................................................9
Provisioning ........................................................................................................................................................................................... 10
Administrator Provisioning ....................................................................................................................................................... 11
Delegated Administration ......................................................................................................................................................... 12
End User VM Provisioning ......................................................................................................................................................... 12
Business Continuity ............................................................................................................................................................................ 12
Physical Resource Optimization .................................................................................................. 12
Conclusion ................................................................................................................................ 14
For More Information ................................................................................................................. 14
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SYSTEM CENTER VIRTUAL MACHINE MANAGER 2008 GENERAL OVERVIEW WHITE PAPER
Introduction
In today’s business climate, IT environments are becoming more complex, and the people who manage them
are often asked to lower costs and improve operational efficiency. With greater demand on IT to solve
business challenges, data centers quickly fill to capacity, and each new server purchase increases capital and
operating expenditures as well as power and cooling costs. At the same time, servers are underutilized; on
average, only 5 percent of a typical server’s capacity is actually used.
Provisioning new machines is a lengthy process measured in days and months, making it difficult for IT to
keep pace with the rate of business growth and change. In addition, managing servers can be laborintensive, and the need to provision and tear-down test and development environments can consume
valuable resources and time.
Virtual machine technology has great potential to change the cost of IT. Many IT organizations view
virtualization as the disruptive yet promising technology that will help them get more from their servers and
create a more adaptable and agile data center.
Virtualization at a Glance
Traditionally, applications are closely associated with the physical servers they run on. Virtual machine
technology creates an abstraction layer between the physical hardware and software, so that IT
administrators can run multiple virtual machines on a single physical server. This approach offers a host of
benefits:
 Increased asset utilization – Servers running virtual machines can operate at 60 percent utilization or
greater, depending on the availability requirements of their workloads.
 Lower power, space, and cooling costs – Data center operations are more efficient with more applications
on fewer physical machines.
 Faster response to business needs – Instead of having to manually set up a new physical machine, IT
administrators can easily provision new virtual machines for development teams and business units.
Virtualization Issues
Although virtual machine technology offers compelling benefits, it also presents challenges unique to a
virtual data center. Before engaging in a virtualization project and while evaluating virtualization
technologies, IT organizations need to carefully consider the following issues, among others:




How to integrate virtual machine management into other data center management solutions.
How to make use of current investments in Microsoft® Windows Server technologies.
How to ensure efficient, unified management of both virtual and physical data center assets.
How to reduce the risk of operating in a new virtual environment.
Microsoft System Center
For IT professionals responsible for managing their virtual infrastructure, Microsoft® System Center—the
Microsoft family of system management products—is a comprehensive solution optimized for the
management of Microsoft Windows Server operating systems running in the virtualized data center.
 System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2008 (VMM) - Delivers simple and complete support for
consolidating multiple physical servers within a virtual infrastructure, thereby helping to increase overall
utilization of physical servers. Virtual Machine Manager 2008 (VMM) also enables administrators and
authorized users to rapidly provision virtual machines.
 System Center Data Protection Manager 2007 - Provides continuous data protection on physical and
virtual machines for backup and business continuity.
 System Center Operations Manager 2007 - Provides a sophisticated solution for unified health monitoring
of physical and virtual machines.
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 System Center Configuration Manager provides a comprehensive solution for change and configuration
management.
Together, the System Center family of products provides the best solution for using existing IT administrative
skills with physical servers.
This white paper provides a general overview of System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2008 and explains
how VMM addresses the key issues related to consolidating assets and managing a virtualized environment.
Virtual Machine Manager Architecture
VMM is an enterprise-ready management solution for virtual data centers that uses an organization’s
existing expertise and investments in Microsoft Windows Server® technology.
Components
Figure 1 illustrates the elements of the VMM architecture.
Figure 1 - VMM architecture
Virtual Machine Manager Server
The Virtual Machine Manager Server is the core process that communicates with the virtual machine hosts
and maintains the system information in a Microsoft SQL Server ™ 2005 database. The VMM Server runs on
either the 64-bit version of Windows Server 2008. The VMM Server can scale to manage hundreds of Virtual
Machine Hosts running thousands of virtual machines, all concurrently. The SQL Server database can be
hosted on all versions of SQL Server 2005 from Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Express to Microsoft SQL Server
2005 Enterprise Edition for larger deployments. The VMM Server can be accessed through the System Center
Virtual Machine Manager 2008 Administrator Console, Windows PowerShell™ command line, or through the
Delegated Management and Provisioning portal. A connector provides a near real-time connectivity with
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System Center Operations Manager 2007 if it is present, enabling the integrated management of both
physical and virtual hosts.
Administrator Console
The graphical user-interface (GUI) allows administrators to effectively manage an environment of hundreds
of virtual machines. The Virtual Machine Manager Administrator Console is built on the familiar System
Center framework user interface so that administrators can quickly and easily become proficient at managing
their virtual machines. Figure 2 shows the key features of the Administrator Console user interface. The VMM
Administrator Console is designed to manage large deployments with easy sorting, categorization, search,
and navigation features. The Administrator Console is built upon a Windows PowerShell command-line
interface. Any action in the Administrator Console can be done through the Windows PowerShell commandline and each wizard in the user interface can show the associated command-line actions. In addition, the
Administrator Console integrates with System Center Operations Manager 2007 to provide insight into the
physical environment as well as the virtual environment. With the ability to map the relationship of virtual
and physical assets, IT administrators can more effectively plan hardware maintenance, for example.
Figure 2 - The VMM Administrator Console
Windows PowerShell Command-Line Interface
The new Windows PowerShell command line shell and scripting language helps IT administrators more easily
control systems and accelerate automation. Windows PowerShell offers more than 170 standard commandline tools, and consistent syntax and utilities, and is easy to adopt, learn, and use because it works with your
existing IT infrastructure and script investments. Each VMM operation is directly mapped to a Windows
PowerShell cmdlet, allowing for easy command-line actions.
Delegated Management and Provisioning Web Portal
In addition to using the GUI administrator console and the Windows PowerShell command-line interface,
administrator-designated end-users and others can access VMM by way of a Web portal designed for user
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self-service, shown in Figure 3. This portal enables test and development users to quickly provision new
virtual machines for themselves, according to controls set by the administrator.
Figure 3 - The VMM Delegated Management and Provisioning Web Portal
Microsoft SQL Server Database
VMM stores performance and configuration data, virtual machine settings, and other virtual machine
metadata in a local SQL Server 2005 database. For reporting, Virtual Machine Manager takes advantage of
SQL Server 2005 Reporting Services through Operations Manager. Larger organizations can also configure
VMM to work with a remote clustered SQL Server database and a storage-area network (SAN) or networkattached storage (NAS) system, if needed.
Virtual Machine Hosts
VMM manages virtual machine hosts, which are physical servers running the following virtualization
software:

Microsoft Virtual Server 2005 R2 - Virtual Server 2005 R2 is a hosted server virtualization technology
engineered for the Windows Server 2003 platform, and runs most major x86-based operating
systems in a guest environment. Virtual Server 2005 R2 runs on both 32-bit x86 and 64-bit x64
hosts. It provides support for 32-bit virtual machine guests.

Microsoft Windows Server 2008 Hyper-V - Hyper-V is a hypervisor-based virtualization platform
that Microsoft has included with Windows Server 2008. Unlike Virtual Server 2005 R2 which is a
hosted technology running on top of the Windows Server 2003 operating system, Hyper-V is a
hypervisor based technology and it runs directly on the system hardware. Hyper-V can run on a full
Windows Server 2008 installation or it can run on a minimal Server Core installation for maximum
performance with minimal overhead. Hyper-V requires a 64-bit x64 host and provides support for
32-bit and 64-bit guest virtual machines.
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
VMware ESX - In addition to managing the two Microsoft virtualization products System Center
Virtual Machine Manager 2008 is also able to interact with VMware’s Virtual Infrastructure 3 (VI3)
enabling the management of VMware virtual machines running on ESX. VMware’s VirtualCenter for
VMware Server is required for the management of VMware hosts.
Microsoft Windows hosts must have the VMM agent software installed. Communications between the
software agent and the VMM server are encrypted and packaged according to the Web Services for
Management (WS-MAN) protocol.
VMM Library Servers
The virtualized data center relies on the ability to find and maintain very large image files for virtual
machines (known as virtual hard drives, or VHD files). Unlike a physical server, these virtual hard drives can
be unintentionally lost or duplicated.
VMM provides a complete library to help administrators quickly create new virtual machines. The library
organizes and manages all the ―building blocks‖ of the virtual data center in a single interface, including:
 Stored virtual machines
 Virtual hard disks
 CD/DVD software images, also called ISO files
 Post-deployment customization scripts
 Hardware configurations
 PowerShell Scripts
 Templates
For geographically disperse operations, distributed VMM library servers facilitate the quick transmission of
assets to physical hosts at the edge of the organization, enabling rapid creation and deployment of virtual
machines in branch offices.
Topologies
VMM is suitable for a range of virtual environments ranging from single machine installation to a corporate
data center to a distributed enterprise environment.
Stand-alone Topology
In a single machine installation, VMM runs on the same physical hardware as the Windows virtual machine
server. This configuration is ideal for small development teams that need to rapidly build virtual machines for
test purposes. A local SQL Server database hosts library files.
Corporate Topology
For standard data center environments, VMM offers a management solution that monitors and controls
virtual machines running on co-located servers. In these scenarios, VMM is most advantageously paired with
other System Center products, such as System Center Data Protection Manager, System Center
Configuration Manager, and System Center Operations Manager.
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Figure 5 - Corporate data center topology
Enterprise Topology
VMM is enterprise-ready, offering enterprise-class features, especially the ability to manage thousands of
both Microsoft and VMware virtual machines distributed across various network environments. VMM
supports management of hosts on a perimeter network (also known as DMZ, demilitarized zone, and
screened subnet) and also the utilization of a remote clustered SQL Server database.
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Figure 6 - Enterprise topology with remote server environments
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Key Scenarios
VMM was built to specifically enhance the productivity of IT administrators when planning, deploying,
maintaining, and optimizing the virtual data center. The sections below describe how VMM helps
administrators tackle the challenges of consolidating the physical environment and provisioning virtual
machines.
Consolidation
By consolidating their physical servers, organizations realize two significant business benefits: power savings
and increased asset utilization. Organizations can either take an incremental or ―all-at-once‖ approach to
consolidation. The conservative, incremental approach means new applications are added to the virtual
infrastructure while old applications remain on dedicated physical assets until retired. A more aggressive
approach takes the form of a consolidation project where the IT group identifies candidate applications for
virtualization and migrates those workloads to appropriate physical resources.
Identification of Consolidation Candidates
Whether the IT group chooses an incremental approach or an active consolidation project, VMM provides
tools to simplify the process and improve results. For example, the first step in migrating from a physical
data center, in which every workload exists on its own physical server, is to identify appropriate physical
workloads for consolidation into the virtual server infrastructure.
VMM helps administrators identify the right physical servers for consolidation based on direct analysis of the
performance counters of the target machine or if it is available, historical performance data stored in the
Microsoft System Center Operations Manager database. The VMM consolidation candidates report provides
an easy-to-understand summary of an application’s long-term performance. By using this view,
administrators can ensure applications with seasonal surges in demand have adequate resources.
Physical-to-Virtual Conversion
Physical-to-Virtual Conversion
After identifying underutilized servers, IT

P2V is a core feature of System Center Virtual
administrators need to convert their physical
Machine Manager (VMM), no additional costs
machines to virtual ones, a process known as
per conversion
Physical 2 Virtual (P2V) conversion. This process can

VMM P2V includes the ability to create images
be unnecessarily slow and error-prone and
of physical hard disks, prepare them for use in a
conversions can fail or cause disruptions to
virtual machine, and create the final virtual
important live applications. VMM mitigates these
machine for an end-to-end P2V solution
problems by integrating P2V conversions into the

Supports Microsoft Windows® 2000 Server,
management application and providing timeWindows Server 2003, Windows Server 2003 R2,
saving tools.
Windows XP, Windows Vista, and Windows
Server 2008
Converting physical servers into virtual machines is

Simple wizard integrated in the main VMM user
easy with VMM, which provides a task-based
interface is used to perform the conversions
wizard to guide the administrator through the

P2V process is also completely scriptable by way
process. VMM utilizes Windows Server Volume
of Windows PowerShell and can be done in
Shadow Copy Service to create virtual machines
stages (imaging, fix-up, virtual machine creation)
without having to interrupt the source physical
server. Since the P2V process is completely
scriptable, large scale P2V conversions can quickly and easily be done through the Windows PowerShell
command-line.
Virtual-to-Virtual Conversion
In addition to P2V conversions, VMM can also perform Virtual-to-Virtual (V2V) conversions for VMware
virtual machines. V2V conversions can be run from either the administrative console or from the command
line using VMM’s PowerShell commands. Like the P2V conversion, V2Vutilizes a high performance blockbased conversion process. The V2V conversion can convert either an entire VMware virtual machine or its
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disk image file to Microsoft’s virtual machine format. The V2V conversion process performs all required fixups to make the converted virtual machine bootable.
Intelligent Placement
One aspect where Virtual Machine
Manager (VMM) outshines its
competition is in helping administrators
decide on which physical hosts to place
virtual machines. VMM uses the
performance data gathered from the
Virtual Machine hosts. If data is
available from System Center
Operations Manager, VMM will also use
that data for identifying potential
candidate servers for consolidation to
the virtual infrastructure.
Incorporating Historical Data
Companies who are also using System
Center Operations Manager 2007 can
take advantage of that solution’s
comprehensive database of operational
performance statistics. By using this
historical performance data, the VMM
can take into account weekly, monthly,
or seasonal patterns when analyzing
potential consolidation candidates. This
historical perspective is a unique
advantage of System Center, and proves
especially useful when considering how
to place multiple virtual machines on
multiple physical host candidates.
Load-Balancing or ResourceMaximization
Administrators use one of two default
algorithms to tune the Intelligent
Placement results. The load-balancing
algorithm is meant for situations in
which the administrator needs to
equally distribute workloads across a set
number of servers. For situations where
the administrator wants to avoid adding
servers, the resource-maximization
algorithm helps ensure deployed
servers are fully utilized.
Intelligent Placement
VMM assists IT administrators in the important task of placing
virtual machines on appropriate physical server hosts.
Selecting the appropriate virtual server host for a given
workload is the key to maximizing the utilization of physical
assets, whether your organization’s goal is to balance loads
among existing hosts or to maximize resource usage on each
host. The process of selecting the best host for a given virtual
machine is called Intelligent Placement. Intelligent placement
can be used with both Microsoft and VMware servers.
When optimizing physical server hosts for virtual machines, IT
administrators need to pay special attention to small details
such as the processor and memory specifications.
Additionally, the performance of servers is constantly
fluctuating based on usage trends, so IT administrators need
some way of tracking ongoing requirements and historical
performance data. Consequently, Intelligent Placement is one
of the most complicated aspects of virtualization. VMM
provides administrators with a toolset to handle this task.
To help administrators make placement decisions, VMM uses
a holistic approach to selecting appropriate hosts based on
these four factors:
 The workload’s resource consumption characteristics
 Minimum CPU, disk, RAM, and network capacity
requirements
 Performance data from virtual machine hosts
VMM uses Intelligent Placement to provide administrators
with a star-ranked list of hosts, showing the most appropriate
host for the given workload. Figure 7 shows the results of the
Intelligent Placement process.
VMM incorporates these considerations into algorithms that
IT administrators can fine tune to maximize resource
utilization or balance workloads among hosts.
Also, after a virtual machine is deployed, System Center
Operations Manager 2007 can be integrated with VMM,
allowing administrators to continue to analyze performance
data and resource requirements for both the workload and
the host. Thus, administrators can monitor and manage the
virtual machine’s operations as well as further optimize their
system resources.
All actions performed through VMM are tracked with a complete audit history. This information includes
what changes were made, which User ID performed the action, and when the action took place. This allows
the administrator to have a complete history of actions taken with VMM.
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Figure 7- The Intelligent Placement report provides an easy-to-understand ranking of host candidates
Provisioning
Whereas consolidation provides compelling baseline benefits, virtualization with VMM also makes the IT
group more responsive to business needs. The reason is quite simple—with virtualization, IT administrators
no longer have to procure and configure physical servers for new applications, a task that normally takes
weeks or months. Instead, IT administrators can provision new virtual machines in a matter of minutes using
the VMM library and Administrator Console. Better yet, with VMM, administrators can delegate this
provisioning role to authorized users and administrators can create delegated administrators for groups and
departments while maintaining precise control over the management of virtual machines. Authorized users
work from a simple Web page that enables provisioning of virtual machines within preset controls.
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With VMM, IT administrators not only provision new server resources faster, they also maintain strict control
over virtual assets. Unlike in a physical data center, where administrators seldom lose servers, it is
unfortunately all too easy to lose track of analogous virtual assets. The VMM library serves as a centrally
managed repository for templates and other
building-block resources. This service helps keep
Virtual Machine Manager Library
important virtual assets from being duplicated,
Just like in the physical data center, IT administrators
misfiled, or even deleted.
rely on certain tools to help them manage the virtual
data center. The VMM library stores, sorts, and
The VMM library stores virtual assets, including:
catalogs all the important building blocks for the
 Offline virtual machines – The ability to store and
virtual data center.
quickly re-provision virtual machines makes it more
Distributed Libraries
For geographically disperse organizations, VMM
supports the use of distributed libraries. If a New
York-based company has branch offices in London
and Tokyo, for instance, users in those locations
could build virtual machines from local library
resources instead of copying multi-gigabyte files
over the Internet.
Library Creation
Creating VMM libraries is mostly an automated
exercise. Administrators create a file share and then
designate it as the library in VMM. VMM then
detects, sorts, and catalogs all files in the share.
Library Management
The VMM library provides 10 free-form fields for
entering metadata about library assets.
Administrators can use these custom attributes to
track order numbers, associated cost, or author—
whatever information might aid management. In
addition, the library automatically collects basic
information about offline virtual machines, such as
hard drive size and operating system version.
likely that users and administrators will take
applications offline that are used episodically, such
as applications used for demonstrations. This
function saves resources that would otherwise be
wasted.
 Templates – Wizard-based templates help speed
the deployment of new machines, and help ensure
that standard hardware and software
configurations are used.
 Software images – IT administrators use these
disc images as an alternative to physical media for
software distribution. With these disc images,
administrators can distribute software to remote
sites using a wide-area network.
 Post-deployment customization scripts – After
virtual machines are set up, scripts can be deployed
to ensure updated security settings or take care of
other administrator functions.
 Physical hardware settings – With common preset hardware settings readily available, IT
administrators have control similar to that in a
physical environment.
In addition, the VMM provisioning service
automatically detects and utilizes existing SAN
infrastructure where available. This capability,
coupled with VMM’s distributed storage architecture, facilitates the movement of large virtual machine
images at the fastest speeds possible.
Administrator Provisioning
Administrators can quickly build new virtual machines from the Administrator Console. This can be done
through a variety of methods, including using templates and other resources found in the VMM library. For
example, templates are essentially standard virtual machine configurations similar to the mini-setup and
System Preparation Utility (Sysprep) commonly used in Windows® operating system deployments. These
templates encapsulate best practices regarding hardware and guest operating system configuration, helping
IT administrators manage their virtual infrastructure with confidence in the uniformity of the environment.
After selecting the appropriate template, the administrator follows a wizard-based flow that guides them
through configuration then on through activating the virtual machine. At this stage, VMM collects
performance data from potential hosts and suggests the optimal hosts for the new virtual machine based on
a tailored algorithm. Finally, the virtual machine is placed on the physical host.
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Delegated Administration
Administrators also have the ability to delegate administrative functions to other members of the
organization for more efficient virtual machine management. This capability is particularly useful for branch
and departmental deployments in which local personnel can be given rights to manage a scoped
environment. Administrators can control delegated administration through policies which designate the
capabilities of each delegated administrator.
End User VM Provisioning
One of the most commonly used virtualization scenarios is testing newly developed applications on a virtual
infrastructure. In test and development environments, IT professionals are constantly provisioning and
tearing down virtual machines. And while virtualization simplifies this task compared to provisioning physical
hardware, IT administrators typically still play a role because the administrator is needed to create the virtual
machines used in the organization’s test environment.
Windows PowerShell
For even greater automation and control, VMM is
fully scriptable using Windows PowerShell. With this
tool, IT administrators can run remote scripted
services against many virtual machines, thus
avoiding labor-intensive manual processes. For
example, IT administrators can write Windows
PowerShell scripts to perform batch P2V conversions
or batch Virtual 2 Virtual (V2V) conversions of virtual
disks to the VHD format.
The Virtual Machine Manager (VMM) console
interface is layered on top of the Windows
PowerShell objects, so that every Wizard action can
show the associated command-line script. Easy to
adopt, learn, and use, the Windows PowerShell
architecture enables IT administrators to quickly
construct lightweight integration solutions, linking
System Center and established data center tools and
procedures. The VMM PowerShell snap-in provides
170+ cmdlets and all PowerShell operations are
logged and audited.
VMM alleviates this administration burden with a
simply designed self-service Web portal where
authorized test and development staff can
provision their own virtual machine resources under
preset controls. Administrators control access to
physical servers and can designate host groups for
individuals and groups. Authorized users work from
templates and manage only the virtual machines
they, or their group, own. Additionally,
administrators can set quotas on resources
available to users. The delegated provisioning
scenario is accessed using a web browser and
doesn’t require a client on the host. Large numbers
of users can be given delegated-provisioning
privileges.
Business Continuity
Enabling business continuity for virtual server hosts
and their virtual machines is another key scenario
for VMM. VMM works with Windows Server 2008’s
enhanced failover clustering to provide enhanced
availability for virtual machine hosts and guests.
VMM is cluster-aware and will automatically
configure all of the required high availability
settings, adding Windows Server hosts that are part of a failover cluster. VMM performs virtual machine high
availability configuration for discovered virtual machines. In addition, VMM will automatically perform
complete cluster configuration for new virtual machines created in the failover cluster.
Physical Resource Optimization
Physical Resource Optimization (PRO) helps administrators ensure that virtual machine hosts and their virtual
machine guests are operating in the most efficient possible manner. VMM’s PRO leverages System Center
Operations Manager 2007 to monitor a complete end-to-end IT infrastructure including hardware, host and
guest operating systems, and applications. Further, PRO enables you to create operational policies and
automatically take actions based on those policies. When an event occurs that triggers a policy, PRO can be
configured to present the issues to the administrator along with recommended resolutions. PRO can also be
configured to automatically implement the preconfigured corrective actions for lights-out operations.
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Figure 8 -PRO provides comprehensive end-to-end monitoring of VM hosts and guests
Because PRO is a part of System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2008 it can extend these automated
management capabilities to both Microsoft and VMware hosts. When managing VMware hosts, PRO can
take full advantage of VMware’s VMotion capability to move virtual machines between hosts with no
downtime. When managing Microsoft hosts, PRO is able to use Quick Migration to rapidly move virtual
machines between hosts. PRO is built on an open and extensible framework allowing organizations and
third- party developers to develop custom rules and actions for their own environments. These custom rules
are known as PRO packs.
PRO provides an end-to-end management solution and is unique in that it is able to monitor virtual machine
hosts and virtual machine guests, as well as the applications running in those guest operating systems. This
monitoring provides a holistic picture of the health of an organization’s IT infrastructure. PRO can notify
administrators when predefined operational boundaries are exceeded, and can then automatically take
corrective actions. For example, PRO can be configured to monitor the CPU utilization on a virtual machine
host and if the utilization exceeds a predefined threshold PRO can initiate either manual or automatic
corrective actions.
If PRO has been set up to use manual corrective actions a Tip detailing a reported problem and suggesting
corrective actions will display in the VMM console. The administrator can then implement the corrective
actions by clicking a button in the VMM console. The specific corrective actions are set up by the
organization, but can entail using VMM’s Intelligent Placement and Quick Migration capabilities to move a
VM to a more suitable host, thereby reducing the virtualization host’s CPU utilization.
Another scenario could be monitoring web application usage and automatically adding web server capacity.
In this scenario, PRO and System Center Operations Manager 2007 can be used to set up a rule that
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monitors the transaction volume of the organization’s web farm. If the transaction level exceeds the specified
threshold then PRO can be configured to raise a Tip in the VMM console. The administrator can then
implement the Tip and automatically provision a new VM to add to the web farm that contains the
organization’s LOB web application. Bringing the new web server online would then drop the transaction
levels down into the acceptable range.
Conclusion
VMM provides end-to-end management capabilities for planning, deploying, managing, and optimizing
virtual infrastructures. The capabilities range from helping identify prime consolidation candidates to
improving the placement process with sophisticated algorithms. Designed for today’s heterogeneous
environments, System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2008 provides the capability for managing both
Microsoft and VMware hosts. It also helps improve the most vital tasks associated with consolidating
physical servers through Intelligent Placement and PV2 and V2V migration.
VMM’s new PRO functionality enables complete end-to-end management of virtual machines, hosts, guests,
and even the applications running on those virtual machine guests. This gives an administrator a complete
picture of the heath of the IT infrastructure and the tools to dynamically manage that infrastructure. When it
comes to ongoing management of the virtual data center, VMM provides IT administrators productivityboosting tools such as Windows PowerShell scripting, Administrator Console, a centralized library of virtual
machine assets, and self-service provisioning.
The System Center family of products is a comprehensive solution optimized for the management of both
Microsoft and VMware virtual machines running in the virtualized data center. VMM, in conjunction with
System Center Data Protection Manager 2007, System Center Operations Manager 2007, and System Center
Configuration Manager 2007, offers a comprehensive solution for change and configuration management.
Together, the System Center family of products provides the best solution for using existing IT administrative
skills with physical servers.
For More Information
To find out more about Virtual Machine Manager, please visit:
www.microsoft.com/systemcenter/scvmm/default.mspx
For information about the Microsoft System Center family of system management products, visit:
www.microsoft.com/systemcenter/default.aspx
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SYSTEM CENTER VIRTUAL MACHINE MANAGER 2008 GENERAL OVERVIEW WHITE PAPER
The information contained in this document represents the current view of Microsoft Corporation on the issues discussed
as of the date of publication. Because Microsoft must respond to changing market conditions, it should not be interpreted
to be a commitment on the part of Microsoft, and Microsoft cannot guarantee the accuracy of any information presented
after the date of publication. The information represents the product at the time this document was printed and should be
used for planning purposes only. Information subject to change at any time without prior notice. This White Paper is for
informational purposes only. MICROSOFT MAKES NO WARRANTIES, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, IN THIS SUMMARY.
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