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Virtualization Cuts Capital and Operating Expenses by 75 Percent at Microsoft

Published: May 2010

Windows Server® 2008 R2 Hyper-V™ technology has provided administrators with a flexible toolset for reducing costs related to hardware, energy, and physical space. Microsoft IT is using Hyper-V, Microsoft® System Center Configuration Manager 2007, and Microsoft System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2008 to both save costs and improve server manageability in Microsoft data centers.

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Situation

Solution

Benefits

Products & Technologies

Microsoft IT manages almost 230 System Center Configuration Manager 2007 site servers for managing the worldwide Microsoft desktop environment. Most of these instances reside on dedicated physical hardware and are typically underutilized. Microsoft IT System Center Configuration Manager 2007 architects identified an opportunity to enhance service delivery and reduce expenses by using Windows Server 2008 R2 Hyper-V technology for System Center Configuration Manager 2007 site role virtualization.

Microsoft IT has designed the solution for System Center Configuration Manager 2007 site virtualization to improve server manageability through consolidation, virtualization, and standardization.

  • Reduction in operating and capital expenses by 75 percent
  • Improved business continuity, scalability, and availability
  • Improved environmental sustainability
  • Standardized build for quicker deployment of System Center Configuration Manager 2007 site roles
  • Windows Server 2008 R2
  • Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager 2007
  • Microsoft System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2008

Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager 2007 administrators for Microsoft IT wanted to continue to provide a high-quality systems management service. They also had to consider physical servers that were approaching end of life and increased hosting costs for data centers. In the server virtualization technologies available with Windows Server 2008 R2 Hyper-V, the team saw an opportunity to reduce costs while designing and managing scalable System Center Configuration Manager 2007 installations to provide tools to assess, deploy, and update clients, servers, and devices across physical, virtual, and distributed systems for the following key IT service areas:

  • Software update management

  • Software distribution

  • Operating system deployment

  • Desired configuration management

  • Asset inventory and reporting

This case study describes how System Center Configuration Manager 2007 administrators at Microsoft use Windows Server 2008 R2 Hyper-V to reduce the cost of hardware, energy, and physical space, while adjusting design and site roles to eliminate the performance degradation that virtualization of a System Center Configuration Manager 2007 implementation causes. In addition, this case study focuses on determining which site roles can be virtualized based on Microsoft IT’s production implementation of System Center Configuration Manager 2007 virtualization. The introduction of tools such as System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2008 enables administrators to manage multiple virtual hosts and quickly provision System Center Configuration Manager 2007 servers and roles. This case study is for System Center Configuration Manager 2007 administrators who are considering the use of Microsoft virtualization technologies.

Benefits of Server Virtualization

Historical server architecture models focused on defining how many servers would be required to deploy a specific technology. Depending on availability and redundancy requirements, the number of users, and other factors, multiple servers might be required, even if they were not heavily utilized. This is often the case for System Center Configuration Manager 2007 as well; many deployment models call for multiple redundant Web front-end site roles such as Management Point, Software Update Point, Distribution Point, or other site servers, standby servers, and additional servers for test and pre-production environments. Such requirements may quickly lead to a proliferation of System Center Configuration Manager 2007 servers in an organization, many of which would go unused or underutilized for long periods.

Virtualization enables the consolidation of multiple virtual guests within a single physical server, sharing the physical resources across the virtual machines. For System Center Configuration Manager 2007 administrators, virtualization also provides the flexibility to quickly provision new site roles such as Management Point, Software Update Point, and Distribution Point to handle specific requirements or to provide for redundancy of a specific server role—a key design advantage over physical server models.

Virtualized environments are easier than physical environments to manage. These environments particularly simplify business continuity planning and server manageability and provide more accurate replication of the operating environment.

Lower Hardware Costs

Implementing server virtualization enables organizations to reduce their overall physical System Center Configuration Manager 2007 server count and associated hardware costs. Virtual machine isolation and resource management enable more workloads to coexist on fewer servers, which results in more efficient use of hardware resources and reduces the overall demand for more hardware. This benefit can further reduce the amount of money spent on hardware, particularly in organizations where there is a need for multiple System Center Configuration Manager 2007 site servers for production environments, test environments, and business continuity plans.

Increased Server Utilization

The need for optimized server infrastructure can become critical for an organization as the number of servers continues to increase and data centers reach their capacity for power and space availability. The problem is further aggravated for organizations whose servers run at very low utilization rates. Server utilization rates for many customers typically fall into the 10–15 percent range in physical server implementation models. Up to 70 percent of the processors and memory deployed on physical hardware goes underutilized. Virtualization allows for a much larger percentage of available resources to be more effectively used.

Abridged Costs for Data-Center Hosting

By reducing physical server counts, virtualization solutions provide the associated benefits of lowering fixed data-center costs. These hosting costs may include reduced power consumption, cooling costs, and space requirements, which in turn may reduce the overall environmental impact.

Enhanced Service Levels from IT Organizations

Deployment of virtualization technology enables IT organizations to rapidly deploy new servers and applications under new service levels that previously entailed significant cost and time implications in a physical server implementation. Many of the past challenges associated with the traditional assignment of one server to one operating system to one application is eliminated with the use of virtualization, which enables system administrators to quickly deploy multiple servers. Unlike with physical servers, the deployment of virtualized servers does not require highly skilled IT staff. Staff members can therefore focus on higher-value, strategic activities rather than procuring, racking, stacking, and configuring hardware.

Maximization of Data-Center Resources

The physical to virtual (P2V) and virtual to virtual (V2V) capabilities of System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2008 enable administrators to make exact copies of running servers for server migration purposes. Administrators can carry out P2V and V2V migrations regardless of whether the server is online. Centralized management of physical and virtual environments allows for optimization of data-center workloads. Batch jobs that use Windows PowerShell™ scripts and other familiar scripting and scheduling technologies can easily start or stop workloads. It is simple to pause activities on a server, transfer server files, and then resume work on another server by using the features in System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2008. This functionality enables organizations to quickly scale up a System Center Configuration Manager 2007 hierarchy by dynamically assigning additional Management Point and Distribution Point site roles to the workload and removing them when they are no longer required.

For more information, see the TechNet Magazine article "Dynamically Configure Manager Roles Using VMM and Operations Manager " at http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/magazine/2009.09.dynamicprovisioning.aspx and the TechNet webcast "How Microsoft Does IT: Using Virtualization with Hyper-V to Deploy System Center Configuration Manager 2007 " at https://msevents.microsoft.com/CUI/WebCastEventDetails.aspx?culture=en-US&EventID=1032412445&CountryCode=US.

Simplified Business Continuity Planning

Windows Server 2008 R2 Hyper-V can be used as part of a business continuity plan that requires application portability and flexibility across hardware platforms. For example, by using System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2008 and Windows Server 2008 R2 Hyper-V, an organization can deploy all site roles in System Center Configuration Manager 2007 with high availability to simplify business continuity in the event of any planned or unplanned downtime.

Rapid Virtual Provisioning and Agility

Virtualization enables IT organizations to enhance their administrative productivity and rapidly deploy new servers to address changing business needs. The ability to consolidate workloads in a hardware-agnostic environment and an integrated physical and virtual IT management framework enables administrators to lower operational costs and create infrastructures that are more agile. Performance and Resource Optimization (PRO) features further enhance agility by enabling automation of resolution actions for failure scenarios. Improved manageability features include reducing the downtime required for operating system and application updates, because virtual machines can be tested, updated offline, and then copied when ready.

Enhanced Pre-production and Production Application Development and Change Life Cycle

It is easier to replicate or simulate a virtual production environment than a physical production environment. It is also less expensive to provide virtual development through staging environments. In addition, a virtualized pre-production System Center Configuration Manager 2007 hierarchy enables engineering releases to use a consistent, production-like environment.

Microsoft IT’s Use of System Center Configuration Manager 2007

Microsoft IT uses System Center Configuration Manager 2007 to manage its users’ computers (both desktop and portable computers) efficiently within a highly secure environment. With System Center Configuration Manager 2007, these users do not spend time maintaining their computers; instead, they are focused on using their computers. The result is greater productivity for employees and for the organization. Figure 1 shows the benefits of services that System Center Configuration Manager 2007 offers to Microsoft IT.

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Figure 1. Benefits of System Center Configuration Manager 2007 services

Microsoft IT uses System Center Configuration Manager 2007 for:

  • Security update management.

  • Software distribution.

  • Asset inventory and reporting.

  • Operating system deployment.

  • Driver management (through the Microsoft Driver Sync tool).

Implementation Approach

When Windows Server 2008 Hyper-V technology was released and System Center Configuration Manager 2007 began supporting virtualization, Microsoft IT recognized the value in virtualization as a key factor in its quest to enhance management of the System Center Configuration Manager 2007 hierarchy and reduce IT costs.

In early 2009, Microsoft IT implemented virtualization in a lab environment for pilot deployment and scenario validation. Based on the pilot results, Microsoft IT decided that three site roles—Distribution Point, Management Point, and Software Update Point—would be virtualized for one of the largest primary sites serving its corporate headquarters in Redmond, Washington. Also as part of this phase (phase 1), Microsoft IT started virtualization in regional branch offices, which helped the System Center Configuration Manager 2007 administrators virtualize distribution points and secondary sites in the regions.

As of January 2010, the System Center Configuration Manager 2007 primary site that serves the Redmond campus, which manages approximately 50 percent of the clients at Microsoft, had been completely virtualized for three site roles—Distribution Point, Management Point, and Software Update Point (except for the SMS Provider and Site Database roles). In addition to the Redmond campus primary site, Microsoft IT migrated the Europe region primary site to a virtualized environment. The goal for calendar year 2010 is to continue to implement virtualization for all three site roles in all regional locations.

Using virtualization in phase 1 enabled Microsoft IT to reduce the total number of physical servers from 42 to 10 and host the same number of—or more—System Center Configuration Manager 2007 site roles. In addition, virtualization has provided the enhanced feature of server manageability through System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2008 as well as reduced operating and capital expenses for the data center. Figure 2 compares the physical and virtual site servers.

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Figure 2. Physical versus virtual site server count comparison for (Redmond and international)

Note: After virtualization, the Regional SMS Provider role was virtualized, and the Microsoft SQL Server® provider was hosted on the Hyper-V host server.

Virtualization of Site Roles

Hyper-V technology and Windows Server 2008 R2 virtualization provide a great deal of design flexibility for the System Center Configuration Manager 2007 architect. Designing a scalable System Center Configuration Manager 2007 hierarchy requires a good understanding of the individual server roles that make up a hierarchy and in which scenarios those roles would be installed on multiple servers. Each System Center Configuration Manager 2007 site role has a different impact on server performance. Some have higher disk input/output (I/O) requirements than others, which can affect virtualization performance. Consequently, it is important to review the different memory, processor, and disk requirements of each role and determine whether virtualization is the right strategy for deployment instead of an individual physical server.

It is also important to note that not all System Center Configuration Manager 2007 servers may be perfect candidates for virtualization. Although it is true that any System Center Configuration Manager 2007 role is fully supported with Windows Server 2008 Hyper-V virtualization, some servers—such as site database servers that have high memory requirements—may not be able to take advantage of some key virtualization benefits, and other servers with high disk I/O activity may not perform at ideal levels when virtualized. These considerations make it even more critical to identify what type of deployment exists and how heavily utilized a System Center Configuration Manager 2007 server will be before making the decision to virtualize an individual role. These were key scenarios that Microsoft IT tested for in its pilot.

Virtualization of Roles

The Microsoft Internet Information Services (IIS) roles are the most commonly virtualized roles in a System Center Configuration Manager 2007 hierarchy. The System Center Configuration Manager 2007 site roles based on IIS, such as Management Point or Software Update Point, are responsible for rendering content. These roles are the most ideal virtualization candidates in a System Center Configuration Manager 2007 hierarchy because each front end has comparatively lower memory requirements, and generally, a lower amount of disk activity occurs on Web front ends than on some of the other roles. Subsequently, many organizations are finding it useful to virtualize Web role servers in hierarchies of many sizes and configurations.

Multiple Web front-end servers in a System Center Configuration Manager 2007 hierarchy can be load balanced through built-in Windows® Network Load Balancing (NLB). As a result, multiple Web front ends can easily be provisioned into a System Center Configuration Manager 2007 hierarchy environment and added to a load-balanced pool. This approach provides for both high availability in the event of the failure of an individual server and distribution of the load across the Web front ends. Virtualization adds another benefit, because System Center Configuration Manager 2007 administrators are no longer limited to individual physical machines; instead, they can distribute the load across multiple virtual guests. If the load increases in a System Center Configuration Manager 2007 site, additional Web role servers can be quickly provisioned through dynamic server provisioning on the same host server or another host server, depending on the available capacity on the host server from which System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2008 distributed the load.

For example, where a physical architecture would dictate two or more physical servers with a large amount of memory and processing capabilities, current flexibility with virtualization technologies allows for a larger number of virtual servers that use less memory and fewer processors than their physical counterparts. Recent testing found that throughput on virtual Web roles with 8 gigabytes (GB) of random access memory (RAM) allocated to them performed only 7.2 percent less efficiently than a physical Web role server with 32 GB of RAM allocated to it. In the same testing, page response time was only 4.4 percent slower on the Hyper-V Web front end than on the physical server. This type of testing illustrates how virtualizing the Web role has little impact on overall performance compared to physical Web role servers.

Virtualization of the Management Point Role

System Center Configuration Manager 2007 sites that have clients assigned to them must have a management point to enable client communication. The management point is the primary point of contact between Configuration Manager clients and the site server. Management points can provide clients with installation prerequisites, client installation files, configuration details, advertisements, and locations of source files for software distribution packages. Additionally, management points receive inventory data, software metering information, and status and state messages from clients.

The Management Point site role has lower memory, processor requirements, and disk activity compared to other site roles, making it another ideal candidate for virtualization in the System Center Configuration Manager 2007 hierarchy. In a large organization that has more than 25,000 clients assigned to a single primary site, multiple site systems that host the Management Point site server role are configured with the NLB service to provide high availability and load balancing. Because of Management Point role virtualization, new Management Point roles can be quickly and easily provisioned in the event of the failure of an individual server or increased load.

Virtualization of the Software Update Point Role

The software update point in System Center Configuration Manager 2007 is a required component to deliver software updates on primary sites, is an optional component of software updates on secondary sites, and is installed as a site system role in the Configuration Manager Console. The Software Update Point site system role is always created on a server that has Windows Server Update Services (WSUS) version 3.0 installed. The software update point interacts with the WSUS services to configure update settings, request synchronization from the upstream update source, and—on the central site—synchronize software updates from the WSUS database to the site server database. Client computers connect to software update points when scanning for software update compliance and installing required updates, if needed. This role is similar to the Management Point role in terms of Web role function and server resource utilization, so it can also be easily virtualized for the same benefits of virtualizing the Management Point role.

Virtualization of the Distribution Point Role

System Center Configuration Manager 2007 uses distribution points to store files needed for packages to run on client computers. These distribution points function as distribution centers for the files that a package uses, allowing client computers to download and run these files, programs, and scripts when a package is advertised.

The Distribution Point role is like a Web share and has lower memory and processor requirements compared to other site roles. Thus, it is another ideal candidate for virtualization in a System Center Configuration Manager 2007 hierarchy. The only loads that may be higher on this site role are disk read and network traffic, because the site is used for downloading the content to the client computers when a package is advertised. This issue can easily be eliminated by dedicating a physical network adapter to a virtual distribution point or sharing it with less-used site roles and having a dedicated disk array. The virtualization of the Distribution Point site role also makes provisioning new distribution points easy, because this is one of the roles required in most office locations as a local content provider.

An organization might consider distribution points for remote locations for Microsoft BranchCache™ technology in Windows Server 2008 R2 for reducing bandwidth utilization with the Windows 7 operating system. Microsoft IT has done a pilot for two locations by using BranchCache and System Center Configuration Manager 2007 with Service Pack 2. For details, see the Knowledge Base article "Reducing Bandwidth Utilization with Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 BranchCache" at http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ff384243.aspx.

Virtualization of the Site Database Role

One of the roles least recommended for virtualization in large System Center Configuration Manager 2007 production scenarios is the Site Database role, because this role has the highest amount of disk I/O activity and can have very high memory and processor requirements. In the Microsoft IT System Center Configuration Manager 2007 hierarchy, the Site Database role was not virtualized for large primary sites because of these capacity concerns and business requirements. The Site Database role is hosted on remote physical SQL Server machines for the central site and for the Redmond (corporate headquarters) primary site. However, in the regional primary sites, Microsoft IT decided to host the site database on a Hyper-V host server to eliminate the need for a dedicated site database server, and it virtualized the SMS provider.

Overview of Hierarchy

Figure 3 shows the reference architecture as of April 2010 for Microsoft IT’s System Center Configuration Manager 2007 hierarchy. This architecture also shows the number of site roles each region has been assigned, with physical and virtual servers.

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Figure 3. Microsoft IT's System Center Configuration Manager 2007 hierarchy

Note: Microsoft IT’s System Center Configuration Manager 2007 hierarchy has approximately 130,000 clients assigned at a primary site and 275,000 clients in a hierarchy. The supported System Center Configuration Manager 2007 limit is 100,000 per primary site and 200,000 per hierarchy without a custom support agreement.

Physical Servers vs. Virtual Servers for Site Roles

Microsoft IT made progress with the virtualization of System Center Configuration Manager 2007 site roles in 2009. It continues to migrate all physical servers for Distribution Point, Software Update Point, and Management Point site roles to virtual instances in 2010, as shown in Figure 4.

Figure 4. Physical servers vs. virtual servers for System Center Configuration Manager 2007 site roles at Microsoft IT

Figure 4. Physical servers vs. virtual servers for System Center Configuration Manager 2007 site roles at Microsoft IT

Phase 1 Virtualization Summary for the Redmond Campus Primary Site

In 2009, Microsoft IT completed planned phase 1 virtualization for the primary site roles for the Redmond campus. This site has approximately 130,000 clients assigned to a single primary site with the following site roles:

  • Six virtual management points configured in an NLB cluster to access a site database replica hosted on a separate physical server

  • Six virtual software update points configured in an NLB cluster to access a WSUS database hosted on a remote physical server

  • Twelve virtual distribution points along with two preexisting physical distribution point servers that are designated for migration to virtual instances in 2010

All 24 virtual servers are hosted on three machines running Windows Server 2008 R2 Hyper-V technology with the ratio of 8:1 virtual servers per Hyper-V host. Each host has configurations shown in Figure 5 and Figure 6.

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Figure 5. Production Hyper-V host configuration for the corporate headquarters primary site

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Figure 6. Production Hyper-V host configuration for the regional primary site

Standard Site Configurations for the Redmond Campus Primary Site

Microsoft IT has enabled the components shown in Table 1 in System Center Configuration Manager 2007 with client agent settings.

Table 1. Client Component Agent Settings

Client agent

Client agent settings

Hardware Inventory

Every 3 days

Software Inventory

Every 3 days

Discovery—Heartbeat Discovery

Every 1 day

Computer Client—Policy Interval

Every 60 minutes

Computer Client—State Message Reporting Cycle

Every 120 minutes

Network Access Protection—Evaluation Cycle

Every 4 hours

Software Update Client—Scan Schedule

Every 1 day

Software Update Client—Updates Re-evaluation

Every 1 day

Base Performance Counter Collection for Host and All Virtual Site Roles

To understand the performance of its virtualized System Center Configuration Manager 2007 infrastructure, Microsoft IT captured key performance metrics for the operating system. These metrics included processor, memory, disk read/writes, and network throughput, in addition to core System Center Configuration Manager 2007 site performance counters for the specific site roles that were virtualized at the corporate headquarters primary site. The purpose of the performance analysis was to identify whether any server processing issues occurred after the virtualization of the site roles during December 2009 and January 2010. Microsoft IT also used this information to set a baseline for the System Center Configuration Manager 2007 site performance and processing rate for the remainder of the infrastructure migration to virtualization in calendar year 2010.

Microsoft IT collected the performance data shown in Table 2, Table 3, and Table 4 during the following periods:

  • December 2009 software update deployment:

  • Six security update bulletins.

  • The software update deployment package was approximately 3.5 GB in size and included 10 languages.

  • January 2010 out-of-band security bulletin release:

  • One security update bulletin.

  • The software update deployment package was approximately 3.2 GB in size and included 10 languages.

Microsoft IT forced the deployments to all client computers with a deadline of one week for the December 2009 software update deployment and 24 hours for the January 2010 out-of-band security bulletin release. In addition to software update deployments, routine active software and Windows 7 operating system deployments were in progress.

Table 2. Base Operating System Performance Metrics

Base operating system performance metric

Performance counters

Average

Maximum

Hyper-V host server

Processor % utilized

15%

55%

Memory % utilized

80%

85%

Logical Disk(_Total)\Avg. Disk sec/Read

0.003

0.006

Logical Disk(_Total)\Avg. Disk sec/Write

0.002

0.008

Network – Mbytes Total/second

10

105

Distribution point

Processor % utilized

5%

70%

Memory % utilized

40%

50%

Network – Mbytes Total/second

2

23

Web Service – Avg. Concurrent Connection Count

50

2,000

Management point

Processor % utilized

5%

60%

Memory % utilized

20%

30%

Network – Mbytes Total/second

1

3

Web Service – Avg. Concurrent Connection Count

700

12,000

SMS MP Get Policy request/second

5

80

Processor % utilized

5%

60%

Software update point

Processor % utilized

5%

49%

Memory % utilized

15%

25%

Network – Mbytes Total/second

1

15

Web Service – Avg. Concurrent Connection Count

300

3,000

Table 3. System Center Configuration Manager 2007 Performance Counters at the Primary Site

Performance counter

Average

Maximum

SMS State Messages Files Processed/minute

664

5,700

SMS State Messages Records Processed/minute

10,000

125,000

SMS Inventory Data Loader – MIFs Processed/minute

54

1,064

SMS Discovery Data Manager – DDRs processed/minute

30

1,300

SMS Software Inventory Processor – SINVs processed/minute

52

7,000

SMS Status Messages processed/second

152

2,700

Table 4. System Center Configuration Manager 2007 Site Metrics (Collected Daily)

Description

Average/day

Maximum/day

New clients discovered and assigned*

3,500

5,500

Number of client computers that completed the Windows Update scan successfully

85,000

101,000

Number of client computers successfully communicating with management points (Fallback Status Point data)

70,000

95,000

Number of client computers sending hardware inventory (delta + full)

45,000

60,000

Number of client computers sending software inventory (delta + full)

45,000

60,000

Number of client computers that executed any advertisements

45,000

95,000

*In Microsoft IT, clients inactive for more than 21 days are cleared, and many computers are rebuilt because of the nature of building and testing applications and operating systems.

Best Practices

In the course of designing, implementing, and operating System Center Configuration Manager 2007, Microsoft IT followed these best practices:

  • Although virtualizing System Center Configuration Manager 2007 site roles is simple, ensure that someone experienced in Hyper-V virtualization is available for any complex needs, such as NLB configurations.

  • If an NLB configuration is required, consider using Windows Server 2008 R2, because it contains enhancements for NLB in the Hyper-V environment, such as enabling the media access control (MAC) spoofing option.

  • Use fixed disks for virtual machines to take advantage of performance enhancements.

  • Allow sufficient time to validate end-to-end virtualization in a lab pilot before implementing the solution in production.

  • Consider beginning the implementation of virtualization with the simplest site roles and the smallest sites.

  • Advanced features are available for managing virtual machines in System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2008. Take the time to investigate these features, such as enabling the high-availability option for critical virtual machines.

  • Follow due diligence in assigning additional resources to help ensure the maximum utilization without affecting performance and reliability.

  • Implement the Microsoft System Center Operations Manager 2007 Management Pack for proactively monitoring Hyper-V hosts and guest virtual machines for performance and uptime.

Conclusion

System Center Configuration Manager 2007 virtualization provides and enhances business continuity, availability, and scalability while reducing the footprint of physical servers in the data center. Overall, virtualization and virtualization management are powerful tools, because they allow for greater flexibility in provisioning site roles. The ability to quickly provision virtualized System Center Configuration Manager 2007 site servers provides new capabilities and improves disaster recovery methods. In addition, support for 64-bit guests allows for greater performance and architectural flexibility. System Center Configuration Manager 2007 products are fully supported in a Hyper-V virtualization environment. Additionally, virtualization enables significant improvements in resource utilization and deployment capabilities.

With the proliferation of virtual server hosts and guests, management of the deployed infrastructure becomes a top priority. The Microsoft System Center family of system management products, including System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2008, provides tools to manage virtual environments, allowing for P2V and V2V conversion, rapid provisioning from server templates, and PRO capabilities. All of these capabilities within the System Center family give administrators critical management functionality in a virtualized System Center Configuration Manager 2007 infrastructure.

Although Microsoft IT’s System Center Configuration Manager 2007 virtualization project is in progress, the early results have shown an increased value to Microsoft IT’s services while reducing costs in this challenging economy. Microsoft IT’s goal is to have all worldwide System Center Configuration Manager 2007 site roles virtualized, except for the Site Database role, in calendar year 2010.

For more information and to follow Microsoft IT’s progress in System Center Configuration Manager 2007 virtualization, visit the blog Configuration Manager in Microsoft IT at http://blogs.msdn.com/shitanshu/default.aspx.

For More Information

For more information about Microsoft products or services, call the Microsoft Sales Information Center at (800) 426-9400. In Canada, call the Microsoft Canada Order Centre at (800) 933-4750. Outside the 50 United States and Canada, please contact your local Microsoft subsidiary. To access information via the World Wide Web, go to:

http://www.microsoft.com

http://www.microsoft.com/technet/itshowcase

For System Center Configuration Manager product details, go to:

http://www.microsoft.com/systemcenter/configurationmanager/en/us/default.aspx

For System Center Configuration Manager product technical details, go to:

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/configmgr/default.aspx

For the Microsoft Virtualization site, go to:

http://www.microsoft.com/virtualization/default.mspx

For more information about System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2008, go to:

http://www.microsoft.com/systemcenter/virtualmachinemanager/en/us/default.aspx

For an overview of Windows Server 2008 editions, go to:

http://www.microsoft.com/windowsserver2008/en/us/editions-overview.aspx

For product details about Windows Server 2008 R2 Enterprise, go to:

http://www.microsoft.com/windowsserver2008/en/us/2008-ent.aspx

For more information about Hyper-V, go to:

http://technet2.microsoft.com/windowsserver2008/en/servermanager/virtualization.mspx

© 2010 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.

This document is for informational purposes only. MICROSOFT MAKES NO WARRANTIES, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, IN THIS SUMMARY. Microsoft, BranchCache, Hyper-V, SQL Server, Windows, Windows PowerShell, and Windows Server are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corporation in the United States and/or other countries. The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.

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