Microsoft is getting closer to the competition in offering more functionality in their virtualization products with the release of Service Center Virtual Machine Manager 2008 R2 Release Candidate on the 5th of June 2009.
So what is new in this release?
Enables migration of storage for a running VM. This is especially relevant as customers upgrade to Windows 2008 R2 as it allows them to easily migrate away from their existing one VM per LUN deployments and consolidate their VMs into a single CSV. For Hyper-V, this feature enables migration of a running VM’s storage both within the same host and across hosts with minimum downtime. For VMware, this feature enables storage vMotion.
Rapid VM Provisioning:
Enables rapid creation of VMs without the need to copy VHDs over the network. Customers can now use storage technologies such as snap cloning to clone VHDs and then use the rapid provisioning feature to create VMs while continuing to take advantage of the VMM features to do OS customization and IC installation.
Host compatibility checks:
Enables checks for CPU features and enlightenment parity to ensure compatibility between a VM and a host prior to migration. A related feature to make a VM compatible with a host by limiting the use of certain CPU features is also enabled.
Queuing of Live migrations:
Enables users to do multiple live migrations within a cluster. VMM now detects the condition where live migrations fail due to collisions with in-progress live migrations and automatically performs queuing and retries in the background.
Support for 3rd party CFS:
Enables support for clustered file systems from ISVs that implement functionally similar to CSV (Clustered shared volumes). This feature allows for backwards support for CSV scenarios on Windows 2008.
Support for Custom Disk resource:
Enables support for Veritas volume manager by recognizing Veritas volume manager disks as a cluster disk resources.
Microsoft says it will ship SCVMM 2008 R2 within 60 days after the ship date of Windows Server 2008 R2.