Microsoft is rolling out new beta builds of various virtualization, management and mid-size server wares.
System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2008: On April 29, Microsoft delivered a public beta of System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2008 (creatively code-named "Virtual Machine Manager vNext"). The new SCVMM release will allow admins to centrally manage their physical and virtual assets from a single application. Virtual assets which will be manageable by the new release include Windows Server 2008 Hyper-V (which is still in beta); Microsoft Virtual Server 2005 R2 and/or VMware ESX Server, according to Microsoft.
System Center Operations Manager 2007 Cross Platform Extensions: Also on April 29, Microsoft unveiled a public beta of System Center Operation Manager 2007 Cross Platform Extensions. Microsoft is providing "out-of-the-box support) for some platforms (like HP-UX, Red Hat Enterprise Linux, Novell's SuSE Enterprise Linux and Sun Solaris) and is relying on third-party providers to do management packs for other platforms (like Apache's wares, MySQL and Oracle).
System Center Operations Manager 2007 Connectors: A beta of the updated System Center Ops Manager 2007 Connectors went out on April 29. These connectors are for exchanging System Center monitoring data with third-party management wares, like HP OpenView and IBM Tivoli Enterprise Console, Microsoft officials said.
All three of these betas are available via Microsoft's Connect test site, according to the company.
Meanwhile, on the Windows Server front, Microsoft hit last week the Release Candidate (RC) 0 milestone of its Windows Essential Business Server ("Centro" mid-market server) product, according to testers, who requested anonymity.
Microsoft officials said earlier this year to expect Centro and "Cougar" (its small-business complement) to go to public beta some time in the first half of this year and both launch together in the second half of 2008.
The private test version of Essential Business Server includes a management server, security server, messaging server and schema-upgrade tool. It is available to pre-selected testers only on the Microsoft Connect test site.