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Microsoft Rolls Out SCVMM 2008 R2 RC

The release candidate (RC) of System Center Virtual Machine Manager (SCVMM) 2008 R2 is now available for public testing, Microsoft announced on Monday.

The application can be downloaded at the Microsoft Connect portal here, using a Windows Live ID. The RC is the last test version before final product availability.

This version of SCVMM 2008 R2 contains about six new features since the beta was released in March. Those features include storage migration, live migration queuing, rapid provisioning, host compatibility checks, support for third-party clustered file systems and support for the Veritas Volume Manager, according to Microsoft's announcement.

Storage migration lets IT pros move the storage of a virtual machine (VM), even while it's running, both within the host and across hosts, according to the announcement. Users have to allocate about two minutes of downtime to make the move. It's not as quick as VMware's Storage VMotion feature, a Microsoft blog admitted. However, it will be widely available. Redmond plans to add the capability across all its SCVMM products, according to that blog.

The live migration queuing feature lets IT pros set up multiple VM migrations, which are then automatically timed. Previously, users could just move one VM at a time. Live migration is Microsoft's term for moving VMs in real time, with little to no downtime experience for the end user.

The host compatibility check feature lets users determine hardware compatibility between the host and destination machines, before moving a VM.

Rapid provisioning is a shortcut that lets users deploy a new VM without a network copy on the virtual hard disk. "You can now create a template which includes the OS answer file and which references a dummy VHD which is not used," Microsoft explained in its announcement.

SCVMM 2008 R2 is part of Microsoft's System Center family of management solutions. The product works with VMware ESX, Microsoft Virtual Server 2005 R2 and Windows Server 2008 with Hyper-V.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is online news editor for the 1105 Enterprise Computing Group.

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