Microsoft delivers powerful tools for multi-platform virtualization management

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System Center App Controller and Virtual Machine Manager modules work in concert to control virtualized environments

The System Center 2012 modules that we previously tested -- Orchestrator and Configuration Manager -- require forklift upgrades. But the modules we tested this time around - App Controller, Virtual Machine Manager and Data Protection Manager -- are more graceful and, in some cases, more powerful.

The most interesting combination is the new App Controller coupled with Virtual Machine Manager (VMM) 2012. These two modules are peas in a pod. App Controller deploys VMs into fabrics, which can live in private clouds, plain old hypervised locations or public clouds, especially Windows Azure.

Although VMM doesn't deliver the depth of control that you can achieve with the tools that Citrix and VMware provide for their own platforms, you can successfully manage a mixed environment of Microsoft Hyper-V, Citrix XenServer and VMware vSphere with the Microsoft management tools.

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