I have been kicking the tires of Microsoft’s new System Center Virtual Machine Manager (SCVMM). One of the most heavily-promoted features is that it can “manage VMware.” How well? Let’s just say it’s more than a little disappointing.
Allow me to quote from the online help:
After you add a VMware VirtualCenter server to VMM, use the Import templates action in Administration view to import your VMware templates to the Virtual Machine Manager library so that you can use the templates in VMM.
Sounds innocent enough, doesn’t it? However, you might have a different opinion once you realize what really happens after you click that button:
- The template is unregistered from VirtualCenter
- SCVMM uses SFTP to copy the relevant files from ESX to the image library (Windows file server)
- SCVMM deletes the original files from the ESX datastore (and spits out a couple errors in the process)
- All your base are belong to us
Oh, great. Now my trusty Windows 2003 VirtualCenter template is gone and its evil twin is under control of SCVMM. I do admit feeling a bit violated after this experiment. Now what?
Might as well see what happens if I deploy the template now from SCVMM. Hmm. I quickly find out that the template cannot be deployed to a Hyper-V host at all, which is fine by me. I try again, telling SCVMM to deploy a new VM back to the same ESX host from which the template came. After a long, long, long, long, time, the files are copied (again using SFTP) and a new VM is created. Copying this template used to take 5 minutes, now it takes over 45!
That is not much of an improvement to my overall virtual infrastructure management experience. It would have been nice if Microsoft would have simply imported a copy of the template. Deleting the original seems unnecessary, and actually, kind of rude.
I’m sure this is not the first irritating discovery I will make as my investigation continues. Stay tuned.