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What's going on with Windows Server Virtualization?

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Windows Server Virtualization (WSV) is a pretty cool technology. The ability to transform farms of thousands of servers into a cabinet of hundreds of servers would save not only on energy costs but also provide a solution to make maintaining servers much easier.

So we were told that hardware virtualization is coming with Windows Server Longhorn. Then when it never appeared in any of the beta’s we were told it would be available as a separate product released within 180 days of Longhorn’s release. Today they are saying that the beta will come out with Longhorn’s release. This timeline makes me think it’s getting pushed into the Longhorn R2 release timeline. They also announced that they are cutting some features (hot swap hardware, 16 cores max, and live migration).

the feature that has me most worried is the 16 cores max. The reason that SP1 of Virtual Server 2005 R2 is being delayed is because they wanted to ensure that it could scale to 64 cores. If they aren’t even going to support 64 cores in WSV how are they going to get it into SP1 of VS2005R2? This doesn’t bother me because I have 2 cores on both of my servers running VS2005R2, but the reason this concerns me is that this is the type of thing that would cause Microsoft to not ship. Since shipping the product is the feature I’m most interested in at the moment this has me concerned.

It looks like for the time being that I’ll have to continue using VS2005R2SP1. I was looking forward to switching to the beta of WSV. There are of course other alternatives. I’ve used VMWare in the past and I wasn’t all that thrilled with being charged so much for it. This is especially true when it didn’t even do what I wanted it to do. Then there’s XenSource. This is open source, but I haven’t been exposed to it. Did they get VHD support in there yet? I’ve invested a lot in VHD’s as I have close to 1TB of them laying around I’d like to hang on to that technology.

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