SCVMM to VMware: You will be assimilated

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:

  1. The template is unregistered from VirtualCenter
  2. SCVMM uses SFTP to copy the relevant files from ESX to the image library (Windows file server)
  3. SCVMM deletes the original files from the ESX datastore (and spits out a couple errors in the process)
  4. 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.

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8 comments

  1. Duncan’s avatar

    Amazing, why do they do that… They could just use the SDK to roll out a template and making use of our quick methodoly.

  2. Eric Gray’s avatar

    “Embrace and extend” 🙂

  3. Derek Crawford’s avatar

    Wow.. I can’t believe it nuked the template in VI without even warning you!? and then it makes the deploy from template process 200% worse than it was before, talk about lame 🙁

    I have been doing a little testing of this myself (SCVMM managing VI3) but lost interest after finding more than a few odd quirks (not this one though.. this one would have had me ripping SCVMM out with a vengance)..

    1. Eric Gray’s avatar

      I am using SCVMM so you don’t have to. 🙂

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