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Microsoft Virtualization Ecosphere Takes Shape

Regardless of where we sit on the VMware/Citrix/Microsoft virtualization debate, there is one indisputable fact: Microsoft has the largest partner ecosystem. It's size will give the company a certain amount of market share once virtualization solutions start to emerge. In episode 13 of the Virtumania podcast, Gartner research director Chris Wolf stated that betting against Microsoft in the long run has not usually proven successful.

Recently, I had a chance to have a briefing by VM6 Software on their VMex solution that can be used to deliver a complete infrastructure solution in simple fashion. VMex does this by utilizing commodity servers and networking equipment to deliver virtualization hosts, management tools, a VDI solution and shared storage solution, all through a single interface. The VMex solution combines all of these roles via two standard Windows Server 2008 R2 servers and manages them centrally.

VMex Interface

Figure 1. The VMex Interface, showing features in the Enterprise edition. (Click image to view larger version.)

What caught my eye in the demo is that the tree view is incredibly intuitive. I'll admit it that I am a details guy, favoring the ability to turn knobs and dials across the components of the infrastructure. VMex takes all that away and for the small business or remote branch, I see this as a perfect solution. It's easy to set up all of the necessary components of a virtualized infrastructure: shared storage, virtual machines, virtual desktops, management and networking. For the high-featured editions of VMex, administrators can easily pool servers together. There is a host-to-host management network that coordinates the activities between the two servers, as well as a storage network between the hosts.

The Enterprise edition of VMex has additional features (see Fig. 1). The VMex Light product is a single server solution that starts at $1,000 and goes up from there. VM6 wouldn't provide a pricing structure for the enterprise solution that offers migration and multiple site configurations. More information on VMex can be found here.

Would you go for Microsoft virtualization in a box? Share your comments here.

Posted by Rick Vanover on 07/29/2010 at 12:47 PM


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