Review: VMM 2016 stiffs Azure, older Hyper-V

System Center 2016 Virtual Machine Manager shines for Windows Server 2016, but does little for prior versions of Hyper-V

Review: VMM 2016 stiffs Azure, older Hyper-V
KeithJJ (CC0)
At a Glance

As you read through the list of new features in System Center 2016 Virtual Machine Manager (VMM), you will be hard-pressed to find any new features not directly related to Windows Server 2016 Hyper-V. As I worked with VMM 2016, I couldn’t help but get the feeling that VMM 2016 was good ol’ VMM 2012 R2 with bolted-on support for features introduced in Windows Server 2016.

Don’t get me wrong—VMM 2016’s support for Hyper-V 2016 is a good thing. Microsoft would be doing us a huge disservice if it didn’t provide a way to manage Nano Servers, rolling cluster upgrades, shielded VMs, and other new Windows Server 2016 capabilities through VMM. But there is nothing here to entice those organizations that are sticking with older versions of Hyper-V into upgrading to VMM 2016.

Installing VMM

The process of installing System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2016 (VMM) was completely predictable (that’s good). Aside from the requirement to run VMM 2016 on Windows Server 2016, the setup process is nearly identical to that of the previous version. Administrators are sure to appreciate the familiar approach.

During my evaluation, the VMM setup processes completed without incident. I also performed an in-place upgrade of an existing VMM server. This proved to be tricky, because it required me to perform an in-place upgrade of the Windows Server operating system (which Microsoft does not recommend) and an in-place upgrade of VMM. Although the upgrade was time-consuming, it completed without any problems.

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