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Microsoft Virtual Server Manager Augurs Partner Opportunities

Microsoft’s planned Virtual Server Manager will spawn much-needed opportunities for its partners.

The server, code-named Carmine, will provide a single graphical interface into host and guest operating systems and allow users to add, move, drag and drop, patch and manage virtual machines on Virtual Server without “too much downtime,” said one source familiar with the project. “Microsoft has to play catch-up to VMware’s management console.”

As the Redmond, Wash, software giant prepares several key upgrades to show at the Microsoft Management Summit, partners hope the slated virtualization management product will prop up Microsoft’s two-year-old Virtual Server platform and help it win share against VMware’s VirtualCenter.

Microsoft declined to comment on Virtual Server Manager, but partners are enthused. “Besides some of the performance constraints, the next biggest downside with the Microsoft product is … a lack of a single management interface to manage all the hosts and virtual machines,” said Ron Oglesby, director of technical architecture at Rapid Application Deployment, a solution provider in Chicago.

Virtual Server Manager will help partners drive more Virtual Server sales in Fortune 500 companies, partners said. If the platform offers programmable interfaces, that also will help partners and ISVs sell higher-margin customization services and build out a virtual infrastructure around Virtual Server, partners add.

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