I’ve been asked by Microsof’ts Central Region Evangelists to participate in a series of blog posts called “30 Days of Cloud”. This is an effort by Microsoft’s Evangelist team to create 30 posts in 30 days all talking about “The Cloud” and of course Microsoft technologies and enabling the private, public and hybrid cloud. The series is created by Matt HesterBrian LewisJohn Weston, and Kevin Remde and I’m happy to put my own 2 cents in on this series.

As Kevin pointed out in part 7, there are resources to help VMware IT Pros understand how to work with Hyper-V. This is extremely helpful, especially if you need to run a mixed environment of both VMware and Microsoft virtualization technologies. If you end up with a mixed environment, the next question is how do you manage it all? SCVMM has been able to connect to your VMware environment since the beginning. With System Center 2012, you’ll also be able to connect to a Citrix XenServer environment. Of course with SCVMM 2012 you’ll have the ability to define your compute “fabric” as detailed in Yung Chou’s post, Fabric, Oh, Fabric. This means that once defined, it shouldn’t matter if your hypervisor is ESX(i), Citrix XenServer or Hyper-V.

Coexistence is key

Getting all these virtualization platforms defined in SCVMM is a great start but then you have to consider how to keep track of it all. How many times has “virtualization” been blamed for issues in your environment when the real cause is something unrelated? Only through comprehensive monitoring of the virtualization fabric can you get true app-to-metal visibility in your environment. For Systems Center Operations Manager, Microsoft already has a Management Pack for Hyper-V and Citrix recommends the ComTrade Citrix XenServer Management Pack. On the VMware side, Veeam has been offering a Management Pack for VMware since the MOM days.

I bring up the importance of monitoring because when you have multiple platforms it’s very important from an operational sense to make sure you have solid metrics for each. Thanks to the extensibility of System Center Operations Manager, there are numerous 3rd party management packs available for a wide range of systems and operating systems. Veeam just happens to make a great Management Pack for VMware. For a good overview, check out a recent Webinar we did with Pete Zerger, MVP – OpsMgr, Cameron Fuller, MVP - OpsMgr and Alec King, product manager for the MP.

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