Introduction to System Center 2012 Virtual Machine Manager
System Center Virtual Machine Manager (SCVMM) works with other components of System Center 2012 R2 to let you configure and manage your virtualized datacenter powered by Windows Server. SCVMM 2012 centralizes management of virtualization hosts, network infrastructure, and storage associated with your private clouds. SCVMM 2012 allows you to create, manage, store, place and deploy VMs and services across multiple Hyper-V, VMware vSphere, and Citrix XenServer hosts and pools, and to make your virtualized resources available to private cloud deployments from a common user interface. SCVMM also integrates seamlessly with System Center 2012 Operations Manager (SCOM 2012) to monitor the health and performance of virtual machine hosts and their VMs, and to create standard and custom reports.
Progent can help organizations of any size to follow leading practices to set up SCVMM 2012 hosts and host groups, networking, storage, and library resources; create, implement, and administer private clouds, VMs, and services in SCVMM 2012; and integrate SCVMM 2012 with SCOM 2012 for enterprise-class monitoring and reporting. Progent can help you upgrade from earlier versions of SCVMM or from third-party management platforms, and Progent can help you optimize and troubleshoot your current SCVMM 2012 environment so you get maximum business value. Progent offers advanced online and onsite consulting expertise and can provide as-needed support or full project management services. Progent's consulting team includes certified experts in Microsoft Hyper-V, VMware vSphere, and Citrix XenServer and can help you integrate these technologies with SCVMM 2012 to create a secure, unified solution for managing your virtualized resources. Progent can also provide System Center 2016 Virtual Machine Manager migration consulting to help you plan and carry out an efficient migration from SCVMM 2012 to SCVMM 2016 in order to take advantage of stronger security features, improved VMM storage fabric, and other enhancements.
Components of System Center 2012 Virtual Machine Manager
The core component of SCVMM 2012 is the VMM management server, for which the most functional host operating system is Windows Server 2012 R2. If you install the VMM management server on a physical or virtual machine running Windows Server 2012 R2, you can create Hyper-V host clusters or Scale-Out File Server clusters. Installing the VMM management server on a failover cluster provides high availability for your SCVMM 2012 environment. Progent offers advanced Windows Server 2012 R2 consulting support and can help you design and implement an appropriate clustering strategy to support SCVMM 2012. Progent's Microsoft-certified consultants can help you plan and carry out a cohesive, manageable, and scalable deployment of all the components of SCVMM 2016, which include:
New and Enhanced Features of System Center 2012 R2 Virtual Machine Manager
- VMM Management Server: This is the computer, preferably powered by Windows Server 2012 R2 or later, that runs VMM service. The VMM management server processes commands and controls communications with the VMM database, the VMM library server, and virtual machine hosts.
- VMM Database: This database, powered by Microsoft SQL Server, holds SCVMM configuration data including virtual machine and service templates and profiles.
- VMM Console: The VMM Console provides a centralized interface to a VMM management server for viewing and controlling both physical and virtual resources that include VM hosts, VMs, services, and library resources.
- VMM Library and Library Server: The library catalogs the resources such as VHDs, templates, and profiles used to deploy virtual machines and services. The library server hosts the shared folders that store file-based resources in the VMM library.
- VMM Command Shell: This command shell, based on Windows PowerShell, provides access to the PowerShell cmdlets that control all SCVMM 2012 functions.
- VMM Self-Service Portal: This optional website allows users assigned a self-service user role to deploy and manage their own virtual machines in private clouds.
System Center 2012 R2 Virtual Machine Manager delivers significant improvements over earlier releases in many critical areas including scale, performance, VM and cloud support, networking, storage, server management, recovery, and Windows Server 2012 R2 support. Important new and improved features of SCVMM 2012 include:
- Improved Scale and Performance
SCVMM 2012 supports the scale and performance capabilities of Windows Server 2012 R2 and key Microsoft workloads including SQL Server, Exchange, and SharePoint. With Windows Server 2012 R2, one SCVMM 2012 server can support as many as 1,000 hosts and 25,000 VMs. In addition, Dynamic Memory support for Linux dramatically increases VM density per host. SCVMM also supports the faster live migration features of Windows Server 2012 R2 and the optimized support for VHD and VHDX differencing disks for faster performance and reduced costs for provisioning VMs.
- Multi-hypervisor and Multi-tenant Private Clouds
SCVMM 2012 supports multi-hypervisor private clouds that can span Hyper-V, VMware vSphere and Citrix XenServer. SCVMM 2012 also supports the provisioning of multi-tenant edge gateways to bridge physical and virtual datacenters in hybrid clouds.
- Dynamic Resizing of VHDX Virtual Disks
For Hyper-V hosts running Windows Server 2012 R2, SCVMM 2012 supports online resizing of VHDX virtual disks on SCSI bus while the disks are in use. Dynamic VHDX resize allows you to increase virtualized storage automatically as required by your applications and workloads.
SCVMM 2012 can increase virtualized storage on demand as required by your applications and workloads
- Service Templates
SCVMM 2012 allows you to define the resources needed for key applications or workloads using service templates that specify requirements such as hardware and OS profiles so SCVMM 2012 can provision the appropriate infrastructure resources. Access to service templates can be delegated to application owners so they can self-provision application services, cutting administrative overhead while reducing provisioning errors.
- Simplified Disaster Recovery
To streamline cross-datacenter disaster recovery of VM-based infrastructure services, SCVMM 2012 works with Hyper-V Replica and Microsoft Azure Hyper-V Recovery Manager to provide a private cloud abstraction layer in the source and destination datacenters. This avoids the need for costly SAN-based replication. (Learn about Progent's Microsoft Azure planning and cloud integration consulting services.)
- NVGRE Gateway Network Virtualization Management
SCVMM 2012 allows you to create a virtualized network on top of a service provider's infrastructure, extending your network to span on-premises resources and a service provider cloud.
- Support for Generation 2 Virtual Machines
You can now create generation 2 virtual machines and VM service and role templates based on these VMs. Generation 2 VMs offer new capabilities including Secure Boot, PXE (Pre eXecution Environment) boot via a standard network adapter, and boot from SCSI VHD or virtual DVD.
- Live Cloning of Virtual Machines
SCVMM 2012 supports Hyper-V live cloning, allowing you to export VMs virtual machines without downtime and without the need to create and configure new VMs that match existing ones.
- Expanded Linux Support
SCVMM 2012 adds support for Oracle Linux 5 and 6 and Debian GNU/Linux 7.0 as guest operating systems that can be deployed to Hyper-V hosts from a gallery of templates. SCVMM 2012 supports both x86 and x64 versions of these operating systems.
- Support for Fibre Channel
SCVMM 2012 allows you to manage Fibre Channel fabrics and to provision VMs automatically with connectivity to storage over Fibre Channel fabrics. Virtual Fibre Channel gives Hyper-V VMs on host computers access to Fibre Channel SAN array resources so that applications and workloads requiring direct access to SAN logical unit numbers can be virtualized. In addition, virtual machine failover clusters can access Fibre Channel SAN arrays directly via Virtual Fibre Channel.
- Fast File Copy
When possible, SCVMM 2012 utilizes the Offloaded Data Transfers (ODX) feature of Windows Server 2012 R2 to speed up the process of copying large files between two locations, which significantly reduces the time required for VM deployment and file transfers.
- Update Support for Infrastructure Servers
SCVMM 2012 can manage infrastructure servers running Windows Server 2012 R2 that are not VMM host servers. Infrastructure servers that can be managed by SCVMM 2012 include Active Directory, Domain Name System (DNS), and Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP). A Windows Server Update Services (WSUS) server can be used to manage updates for these infrastructure servers just like other computers in the SCVMM 2012 ecosystem.
How Progent Can Help You with System Center 2012 R2 Virtual Machine Manager
Progent can help organizations of all sizes in every facet of implementing a SCVMM 2012 solution including creating, deploying, and managing private clouds, virtual machines, and SCVMM services. Progent can help you install the VMM management server and VMM Console, set up the VMM Self-service Portal, migrate virtual machines and storage in SCVMM, integrate SCVMM with Active Directory, manage keys to encrypted data, monitor SCVMM's health and performance, and generate reports. Progent's certified hypervisor professionals can provide advanced Hyper-V consulting, VMware vSphere and vCloud support, and Citrix XenServer expertise. Progent can also help you with common tasks associated with deploying and maintaining SCVMM 2012 such as checking that your system prerequisites are in place, recommending a SCVMM/Hyper-V hierarchy, writing PowerShell scripts, creating new virtual machines from templates, physical to virtual (P2V) migration, migrating to virtual servers, creating virtual switches, and resolving issues with overcommitted Hyper-V clusters.
Progent's long background providing advanced remote consulting can help you meet your budget and schedule in deploying System Center 2012 R2 Virtual Machine Manager. Progent's SQL Server consultants can help you install SQL Server to support SCVMM 2012, populate the VMM database, and configure the VMM database with AlwaysOn Availability Groups in Microsoft SQL Server 2012 to ensure maximum uptime. Progent can also provide System Center Operations Manager consulting services to assist you in integrating SCOM 2012 with SCVMM 2012 for enterprise-class monitoring and reporting, and Progent's System Center Data Protection Manager consultants can integrate SCVMM 2012 with SCDPM 2012 so that VM protection continues automatically during live migration. Progent also offers consulting expertise for all the other components of System Center 2012 R2 suite including Configuration Manager, Orchestrator, App Controller, and Endpoint Protection. In addition, Progent's System Center 2016 experts can help you migrate to the latest versions of System Center and SCVMM to manage a hybrid cloud environment that incorporates on-premises resources and cloud services.
To help you design and support your physical and virtualized fabric, Progent offers the remote and on-premises support of Cisco-certified CCIE network consultants to help you plan, implement, and manage a secure network topology that provides the performance you need today and the scalability to grow along with your organization. Progent's certified information security consultants offer a broad range of auditing and remediation services to make sure your virtualized datacenter meets all security and compliance requirements.
An important advantage of virtual machines other than cutting hardware costs is their potential for fast restoration. Progent can help you utilize SCVMM 2012 to create a virtualized ecosystem that offers high availability and rapid recovery by offering disaster recovery planning services and business continuity planning consulting.
To find out more about Progent's planning, consulting and troubleshooting services for Microsoft System Center 2012 R2 Virtual Machine Manager, phone 1-800-993-9400 or visit Contact Progent.
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