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Microsoft Serious About Virtualization

Quoting from InfoWorld Virtualization Report

If there was anything I took away from Microsoft's Windows Hardware Engineering Conference (WinHEC 2006), it was that Microsoft finally seems to be serious about virtualization. Serious in the sense that Microsoft appears to be bound and determined to make a clear commitment to the technology by making a huge investment in virtualization. First, they plan to ship an advanced new virtualization software for Windows, a hypervisor codenamed "Viridian", within 180 days of the release to manufacturing of the next version of Microsoft Windows Server, codenamed "Longhorn". Continuing on that effort, they also plan to ship a management platform, formerly known as "Carmine" and now dubbed System Center Virtual Machine Manager. And with their final announcement came the acknowledgement that Microsoft intended to purchase the desktop and application virtualization company, Softricity.

During the keynote address, Microsoft's Jeff Woolsey, a lead program manager on the Windows Server team, demonstrated to the audience some of the key features and capabilities that Windows Server Virtualization will provide.

A uniprocessor, 32-bit virtual machine running Windows Server 2003 Standard Edition was brought online. The virtual machine was originally created with the free version of Microsoft Virtual Server 2005 R2. It was then migrated to Windows Server Virtualization to demonstrate the fact that Microsoft virtualization technologies were compatible and portable to newer platforms.

Next, a second virtual machine was brought online. This time, the virtual machine was running Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4, to show the interoperability of Windows Server Virtualization. So what is the big deal about showing a non-Microsoft operating system running within their virtualization platform? The answer, to prove to customers that Microsoft's solution meets both interoperability and standardization when it comes to selecting a virtualization platform. Customers do not want to run multiple platforms, they want to standardize on a single solution.

Woolsey then demonstrated a third virtual machine, this time running a Windows Server 2003, x-64 Edition guest operating system with dual processor. By showing support of both 64-bit guest operating systems and multi-processor virtual machines, Windows Server Virtualization shows it can scale.

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Published Thursday, May 25, 2006 6:38 AM by David Marshall
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