What’s new in System Center 2012 R2 – Virtual Machine Manager

System Center 2012 R2 Virtual Machine Manager

I already posted blog post about What’s new in Windows Server 2012 R2 Hyper-V and What’s new in Windows Server 2012 Storage Spaces, now it’s time to focus on System Center 2012 R2 – Virtual Machine Manager.

System Center - Virtual Machine Manager is used to manage your cloud environment, from compute, storage, networking up to virtual machines and services. So the product focus is on the following points:

  • Pool of compute, storage and networking
  • Scale – Allocable on demand to your customers
  • Automated
  • Metered
  • Self-Service

This are the same point I already mentioned in my blog post “The Definition of Cloud Computing“.

Fully Manage Windows File Server – In Virtual Machine Manager 2012 R2 you can now fully manage not only third-party vendor storage over SMI-S you can now manage Windows file shares for a Hyper-V over SMB deployment. You can also manage Storage Pools and Storage Spaces.

Bare-Metal deployment of SOFS clusters – You can now not only deploy new Hyper-V hosts from bare-metal, you can now also deploy new Windows File Servers and create Scale-Out File Server clusters and manage Storage Spaces.

Storage Classification for File Shares - In System Center 2012 Virtual Machine Manager you could create classifications for classic block storage which was managed by VMM. In System Center 2012 R2 – Virtual Machine Manager you can also create classifications for file shares.

Synthetic Fibre Channel – Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V supported virtual Fibre Channel inside the Hyper-V guest virtual machines. Now System Center 2012 R2 Virtual Machine Manager can finally manage this. It also allows you to do even more.

VMM library ODX support – In SP1 VMM used BITS to deploy new Virtual Machines from a template from a VMM library. In System Center 2012 R2 Virtual Machine Manager, VMM now used the SMB to copy templates from the library to the host, which also allows to use ODX (Offload Data Transfer) to offload the copy job to the storage array if this feature is available.

Shared VHDX Support for Guest Clustering – Hyper-V 2012 R2 made a new feature available called Shared VHDX which allows a VHDX to be used by multiple VMs at the same time. This is great for guest clustering inside VMs. VMM does support this features and allows to use this feature in services templates.

Live cloning of Virtual Machines – Since Hyper-V 2012 R2 can finally live clone virtual machines VMM 2012 R2 does support this feature.

Support for differencing VHDs - In 2012 Virtual Machine Manager supported dynamic and fixed VHDs and VHDX files. In 2012 R2 Virtual Machine Manager also supports differencing disks.

Managing top of the rack switch compliance – System Center 2012 R2 Virtual Machine Manager can communicate with switches from different vendors and can be used to monitor the ports and VLANs on the switch. This is great for troubleshooting

IP Address Management – VMM 2012 R2 integrates in IPAM which is comes with Windows Server 2012 R2. This allows you to create new Logical Networks inside VMM from IPAM or to get networks from VMM into IPAM.

Deploy Network Virtualization Gateways via Service Templates – Microsoft added a Service Template which allows you to deploy Network Virtualization Gateways to Hyper-V hosts, which can be used to connect VM Networks via the physical hardware or via VPN to other environments.

Hyper-V Recovery ManagerHyper-V Recovery Manager will allow you to do failover from on datacenter to another using clouds.

System Center Operations Manager Dashboard – Microsoft added a new Cloud Health Dashboard for System Center Operations Manager.

If you want to know more about System Center 2012 R2 Virtual Machine Manager checkout the latest session from Vijay Tewari at TechEd NA on channel9.