You won't see Microsoft's newest virtualization tool at VMworld

Microsoft Virtual Machine Manager R2 won't be demonstrated at VMworld


Microsoft on Monday put the last bit of polish on the newest edition of its System Center Virtual Machine Manager, but said Tuesday users won't see it next week in the software giant's booth at VMworld.

"Next week at VMworld 2009 we can't show SCVMM [System Center Virtual Machine Manager] 2008 R2, or any other products, in our booth. … In short, it's their show, it's not an industry show, and they set the rules. So we'll make the best of it; always lots of Microsoft customers and partners on the floor. Stop by the booth to meet some of the best/brightest minds at Microsoft," Microsoft's Patrick O'Rourke wrote Tuesday on the company's Virtualization Team Blog. "Ordinarily it'd be great news that we RTM'd System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2008 R2 ahead of schedule, so close to the RTM of WS08 [Windows Server 2008] R2 Hyper-V and one week before VMworld conference. You can't beat the timing of it all."

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The timing centers on Microsoft finally adding Live Migration support to its virtualization management tools and the fact it lines up with the Live Migration capabilities in the just released Windows Server 2008 R2.

The marquee feature in SCVMM 2008 R2 is support for the new Microsoft server platform.

But Microsoft's inability to show its SCVMM might be as much the company's own doing as a VMware requirement.

VMware did alter its contract for exhibitors earlier this year to include language that prohibits exhibitors from demonstrating services that "overlap/substitute with VMware's products/capabilities."

The new contract touched off such a fierce firestorm of commentary that VMware felt compelled to clarify its position.

VMware says the language is only a standard part of tradeshow contracts and that it has no plans to enforce the restriction.Network World in May, saying, "Yes, competing vendors are allowed to exhibit, including exhibiting competing products."

A VMware spokeswoman reiterated that position in an e-mail to

Microsoft either did not get the message, or it has clearly decided to follow the terms of the contract.

Given the nature of the competition between the two vendors, it could be that Microsoft is using the contract dustup in order to exhibit a little competition by painting VMware as a company that fears competition.

Microsoft plans to focus heavily in 2010 on its management and virtualization platforms.

Late last month, Bob Muglia, president of the server and tools division, told financial analysts that virtualization and management are keys to the division's long-term strategy in regards to cloud computing.

"I do anticipate that management and virtualization will continue to be our strongest performing, as a percentage-wise part of our business, during fiscal year 2010," he said.

"It is our expectation that our [virtualization] growth will accelerate substantially this fiscal year, largely, and almost completely at the expense of VMware," Muglia said.

Muglia said its System Center management tools portfolio has been growing 30% per year and producing more than $1 billion in revenue.

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