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Microsoft Redraws Its Virtual Server Roadmap

August 29th, 2005 by Patrick S

Microsoft has decided to christen Virtual Server 2005 Service Pack 1 as Virtual Server 2005 R2. But the follow-on release is still due out in the latter half of 2006.

Microsoft is adding another member to its growing family of R2 servers.

The latest addition is Virtual Server 2005 R2. Microsoft officials announced at the Intel Developer Forum this week that they had decided to christen the first service pack (SP) update for Microsoft’s Virtual Server 2005 product as an R2 release instead of SP1. The renamed product is still due to ship in the fourth quarter of this year.

Other products for which Microsoft is releasing R2 interim updates include Windows Server 2003 R2; Small Business Server 2003 R2; and Speech Server 2004 R2.

Virtual Server, which is based on technology Microsoft acquired from Connectix Corp. in 2003, allows customers to run multiple operating systems, including Linux and Unix, concurrently on a single x86 hardware server.

Microsoft officials have talked up plans for Virtual Server 2005 SP1 for months. The primary enhancements were the addition of x64-based system support and support for Linux as a guest operating system. Microsoft released a first SP1 beta in April.

Microsoft officials also said the company was planning to release a Virtual Server “Version 2” product in 2006. On Wednesday of this week, officials reiterated Microsoft’s plans to field a follow-on to Virtual Server 2005 R2 (which has yet to be named) in the latter half of 2006.

Microsoft officials detailed other new features set to be included in Virtual Server R2. Among these are: ease-of-use enhancements for Virtual Server running on hyperthreaded systems; general system improvements; and improvements in running and installing “guests.”

Microsoft Senior Program Manager Michael Howard blogged about some of the reasons behind Microsoft’s changes in its Virtual Server roadmap. Howard noted that Microsoft is still planning to release integrated “hypervisor” virtualization support for Longhorn Server, some time after the operating system ships in 2007.

“Many of you felt there was a long way between SP1/R2 of Virtual Server 2005 and that (hypervisor) future release,” Howard blogged. “Hence, there will be a future release/update to Virtual Server due out which is due to beta in the first half of next year and release in the second half of next year. Un-named currently, and also at this stage, without detailed public specifics on what will be in this release, significantly it will take advantage of the VT (Virtualization Technology) and Pacifica technologies present in Intel/AMD processors. This will make the transition towards windows virtualization in the future much easier.”

At the Intel Developer Forum, Intel Senior Vice President Pat Gelsinger demonstrated a future version of Microsoft’s Virtual Server running Intel’s VT, according to Microsoft officials. The version demonstrated was an early preview of the post- Virtual Server 2005 R2 product due in 2006.

Intel’s VT will first appear on Pentium desktop chips later this year. It will be integrated into Itanium chips in early 2006 and Xeon processors later next year, Microsoft officials said.

News Source: Microsoft Watch

Posted in Windows Server System | 2 Comments »

This entry was posted on Monday, August 29th, 2005 at 1:32 am and is filed under Windows Server System. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

2 Responses

  1. Patrick E Says:

    I was very suprised at this news release as I sat in on the chat when they announced it. I’m very excited about virtualization being built into the mobo!! I wrote a paper about the potential of this a year and a half ago, its great to see it actually happening!

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