Beta Available for System Center VMM Self-Service Portal 2.0 SP1
A beta test version of Microsoft's latest virtual machine management portal for IT pros and datacenter managers was announced on Monday.
System Center Virtual Machine Manager Self-Service Portal 2.0 Service Pack 1 (SCVMM 2.0 SP1) beta is based on Microsoft's Hyper-V hypervisor technology and Windows Server 2008 R2. It works with Microsoft's System Center Virtual Machine Manager product. IT pros wanting to test the beta can access it by signing up at Microsoft Connect here.
The portal is designed to help with managing virtual machines. While the physical infrastructure resides in a datacenter, VMMSSP 2.0 SP1 beta provides a means for groups within an organization to provision those resources via the Web-based portal. Users can set up automated workflows, for instance. A Microsoft blog describes the beta as "a pre-built, role-based self-service portal for both the datacenter managers and business unit IT consumers to provision infrastructure for their applications and services."
The portal also can be customized by Microsoft's partners. Companies that have used it for that purpose include Citrix, Compellent, F5, HP, Intel, Net Applications and VKernel, according to the blog.
The beta includes some new features, such as an improved virtual machine import capability. IT pros can now import all virtual machines that were managed by System Center Virtual Machine Manager. Virtual machines previously removed from the portal can now be reimported. Users of the portal can set expiration dates for virtual machines. IT pros can now move infrastructure between business units by using the portal's maintenance mode. Finally, Microsoft made it easier for administrators to be notified of system events via e-mail. There's also a management pack that facilitates component monitoring in the VMMSSP 2.0 SP1 beta.
Microsoft provides some additional help. A list of resources for deploying and administering the VMMSSP 2.0 SP1 beta can be found at this TechNet library page.
Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for the 1105 Enterprise Computing Group.