The skirmish between VMware and Microsoft for greater control over the virtualization and cloud markets is only going to get bigger and more intense in 2012. Microsoft has been encroaching on VMware's dominance in the server virtualization platform market for the last few years, with its best opportunity yet to come with Hyper-V 3.0 and Windows Server 8. At the same time, VMware has been refusing to relax with its vSphere domination, and instead has been moving into Microsoft's "territory" in the management space through acquisitions as well as its own in-house created applications.
Last week seemed to be Microsoft's turn to fire a volley, with the announcement of a new System Center 2012 suite offering. The solution provides companies with the ability to build and operate private clouds so they can deliver business applications across both private and public cloud environments. While the software is currently only a release candidate, it does set the tone and make clear where Microsoft intends to take things.
[ Learn about VMware in 2011: The good, the bad, and the cloudy.| Also find out how Red Bend aims to bring mobile virtualization and BYOD to the masses. | Keep up on virtualization by signing up for InfoWorld's Virtualization newsletter. ]
System Center 2012 integrates eight separate components into a single unified solution, incorporating Virtual Machine Manager, Operations Manager, Configuration Manager, Data Protection Manager, Service Manager, EndPoint Protector, App Controller, and Orchestrator. That, according to Microsoft, helps streamline installation and reduces the time it takes to deploy from days down to hours.