Microsoft splits functionality in System Center

Microsoft has created the ability to separate the operating system and the application in SCVMM

Microsoft is set to introduce functionality in System Center Virtual Machine Manager (SCVMM) that will allow users to separate the application from the underlying hardware and operating system.

The company introduced the new functionality at the Microsoft Management Summit in Las Vegas, claiming that the new feature allows customers to address two of the problems for applications in a virtualised environment.

The first is that few applications are so self-contained that they sit inside a single virtual machine (VM), instead their components are spread across the data centre. Without knowing where the components are it is impossible to manage a service level agreement or ensure that an application is fully patched and protected.

The second of these problems is that applying OS patches to a VM impacts an application. This might be when users have to shutdown and restart the VM because it was a critical patch or it might be because the component being patched is being relied upon by the application.

What Microsoft has done is to create a separation between the application and the underlying OS within SCVMM through the use of service templates. Each template will track all the components of a service including the application and any databases or other components the service uses including where they are currently stored. This gives customers  a complete end to end system wide view of your service, something that was very hard to do with Microsoft tools before this.

Once customers have the service template, they can use it to ensure that any patches or changes made to the VM have no impact on the application. This is because of the way that Microsoft is allowing the patches to be applied to the VM. At patch time, the service template effectively lifts the components off of the OS while the patching is done and then replaces them after the patching is complete. While this process takes place, the components are still available, ensuring that there is no impact on application performance.

For those who were at MMS last year, this is the delivery of a feature that was shown and promised but, until now, not delivered.


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