Keep in mind, however, that this fling is still an unsupported Technical Preview, and it doesn't offer the full functionality of vSphere vCenter Server management to Microsoft Hyper-V hosts and virtual machines. Instead, the current set of operations are very basic; fortunately, it does support the more commonly used day-to-day management functions. For example, it offers:
- Inventory management. Provides administrators with the ability to add non-vSphere hosts to the vCenter inventory and remove them from the inventory. It also allows for the creation and deletion of new virtual machines on non-vSphere hosts.
- Host management. Provides a configuration summary view and a resource utilization summary view of non-vSphere hosts; provides remote console access to non-vSphere hosts; enables simple power operations on non-vSphere hosts.
- Virtual machine management. Provides a configuration summary view and resource utilization summary view of non-vSphere virtual machines. Provides remote console access to non-vSphere virtual machines. Enables power operations on non-vSphere virtual machines as well as guest operating systems running within them (power off, power on, suspend, shut down the guest and reset). Allows modification of virtual hardware settings associated with non-vSphere virtual machines (such as changing the amount of memory or the number of vCPUs, or adding/removing a floppy drive, CD drive, hard drive or network adapter).
- General infrastructure. Displays tasks initiated on and events associated with non-vSphere hosts and virtual machines within the general tasks and events pane.
Even though VMware appears to be bending a bit by offering management of competitor hypervisors within its own management application, they aren't exactly giving up the hypervisor fight.
This fling does more than heterogeneous hypervisor management. It also adds a virtual-to-virtual (v2v) image conversion technology into the mix that claims to simplify and enable easy migrations of virtual machines from non-vSphere virtualization platforms to VMware vSphere formats. So while VMware provides you with a way to see and interact with your Hyper-V VMs, the company also gives you an easy method of clicking on that same VM and converting it to a vSphere format. Do that enough times, and you're back to a homogeneous VMware environment.
VMware has been downplaying other virtualization platforms like Hyper-V and Xen for years now, never really giving them credence or acknowledging them as any significant threat. But actions often speak louder than words. By adding support for other hypervisors -- even as a fling that may never see the light of day as an official product -- VMware finally seems to be legitimizing the competition.
Analysts may be projecting Microsoft and Citrix hypervisor market share growth, but I don't think these numbers are really what concern VMware. This move seems to be less about hypervisor market share and more about virtualization management market share. If someone wants to dabble with another hypervisor platform within a VMware-dominated virtual data center, the virtualization giant can probably stomach that. But what they don't want to live with is that same administrator spending his management software budget elsewhere on some heterogeneous third-party product.
This article, "VMware has a fling with Microsoft Hyper-V support," was originally published at InfoWorld.com. Follow the latest developments in virtualization and cloud computing at InfoWorld.com. For the latest business technology news, follow InfoWorld.com on Twitter.