Microsoft on Monday announced that it had finalized its System Center Virtual Machine Manager (VMM) 2008 product, capping off a year of virtualization-related software releases. VMM 2008 will be made broadly available to customers starting November 1, the software giant noted.

"Our virtualization solutions span the desktop to the data center including the management tools required to ensure that virtualization remains an asset and doesn't become an unwieldy burden," Microsoft senior director of virtualization strategy Zane Adam wrote in a blog post announcing the release. "Today's announcement of the \[release to manufacturing\] of VMM 2008 extends the management benefits of System Center even further by enabling not only the management of Microsoft virtualized environments, but also VMware ESX as well."

2008 has been a busy year for Microsoft virtualization products. The company shipped its Windows Server 2008 operating system in February with a beta version of the Hyper-V virtualization platform, but then shipped that platform in final form later in the year. Microsoft also shipped a standalone (and free) Hyper-V Server 2008 product in October, along with a new version of its Application Virtualization tool for enterprises. VMM 2008 completes the picture, in many ways, providing enterprises with centralized virtual machine management functionality.

Customers interested in evaluating VMM 2008 can download a 180-day trial version from the Microsoft Web site.
http://www.microsoft.com/systemcenter/virtualmachinemanager/