With the announcement of vCenter Operations a few months ago I was thinking about how vCenter and how useful this interface has become over the last few years. For whatever reason I started to wonder if vCenter could handle the management of non-vSphere virtual machines. As I had a few conversations I was met with some weird expressions and utter confusion. “Why would you want to?” seemed to be a common response, more on that later.
I knew that Microsoft Virtual Machine Manager claims to manage VMware VM’s (I wouldn’t vouch for the performance ) so I was sure VMware had some sort of tool of their own, right? After some research it turns out I was half right.
Lets back up and explain the why. First and my favorite response is always “why not?” If it can be done, why not prove it. Second and a more responsible and applicable reason is because hyper-v is free.* I am not saying replace your VMware environment, I am saying from a cost perspective if you wanted to spin up a few fully functioning VM’s for test/dev or branch office tier 3 applications hyper-v is a good and inexpensive choice.
The part why I was only partially correct. So it turns out there is a program called vCenter XVP Manager and Converter, and it does just that. As stated from their website.
VMware vCenter XVP Manager and Converter provides basic virtualization management capabilities for non-vSphere hypervisor platforms towards enabling centralized visibility and control across heterogeneous virtual infrastructures. It also simplifies and enables easy migrations of virtual machines from non-vSphere virtualization platforms to VMware vSphere.
But, and it’s a big but, it is part of VMware Lab’s department and isn’t fully supported. So while it is a tool that exists, I can’t claim it is a full-fledged product. With that said use at your own risk.
It is new and doesn’t look like it was tested very much as the forums are looking a bit full. The technical requirements are a little strict. For example you actually need Virtual Machine Manager running and the host must also have Windows Remote Management (WinRM) v1.1. Performance and features are limited with its primary purpose bridge to managing a mixed environment.
*I don’t want to get bogged down on true cost of Hyper-V, it has been overly communicated if you want more information feel free to Google it, but just know nothing is free and you do end up paying something for Hyper-V.
Below is some more details and I have provided some links.
- Management of the following Microsoft Hyper-V platforms:
- Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2008
- Microsoft Windows Server 2008 (64-bit) with Hyper-V role enabled
- Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2008 R2
- Microsoft Windows Server 2008 R2 with Hyper-V role enabled
- Familiar vCenter Server graphical user interface for navigating through and managing non-vSphere inventory
- Ease of virtual machine migrations from non-vSphere hosts to vSphere inventory
- Compatible with VMware vCenter Server 4.0 & 4.1
- Scalable up to management of 50 non-vSphere hosts
If you find it interesting:
-Here is a link on a guide to Hyper-V Features for the VMware administrator.