Microsoft "Hyper-V" virtualization beta released today

Microsoft's Windows Server Division has announced the public availability of a beta of Hyper-V, the much anticipated hypervisor for Windows Server 2008. The beta release is early. It wasn't expected until Q1, 2008, reports Network World. Mike Neil, Microsoft's GM of virtualization strategy (pictured) has posted a long-winded blog ab

out the future of this product that, as far as we can tell, didn't reveal anything new. But it does recap many recent announcements.

These include:

  • In mid-January, Microsoft plans to unleash System Center Virtual Machine Manager (SCVMM) 2007 Workgroup, a tool that manages up to five physical servers and unlimited virtual machines. Eventually SCVMM will manage both Hyper-V and VMware-ESX/V13.
  • The next version of SoftGrid will be named Application Virtualization 4.5.
  • Microsoft's Server Virtualization Validation Program will involve validating third-party products for Hyper-V. The company promises to provide technical support (for customers who have Windows Server support agreements) for validated wares if they go awry.
  • A reminder that Windows Server 2008 Standard license will allow one virtual instance, and that the SQL Server 2005 Enterprise license will allow unlimited virtual instances.
  • Virtual machines can be moved from the September 2007 Viridian to the December Hyper-V beta.

Worth noting: "Virtual Machine" is a name that didn't originate with Microsoft, so Microsoft replaced the commonly used term with its own jargon - i.e. "Virtual Hard Disks" or VHDs.

Again in what isn't news but is a decent recap, Neil names what he considers to be the cool features of the beta Hyper-V:

  • Quick Migration and cluster high availability - for migration of VMs for planned and unplanned downtime. BTW, don't forget that Windows Server 2008 now includes support for up to 16 nodes! (up from 8 in WS 2k3)
  • Hyper-V is now included by default in Windows Server manager, which means enabling virtualization is as easy as installing any other role.
  • Support for running Hyper-V with Server Core in the parent partition
  • Volume Shadow Services support
  • VHD Tools support (compaction, expansion and inspection)
  • Hyper-V MMC only installation. The Hyper-V MMC can be installed on Windows Server 2008 without installing the complete Hyper-V role enabling remote management of Hyper-V servers
  • Support for up to 4 virtual SCSI controllers per VM, with 255 VHDs per controller; see demo
  • Support for multiple network adapters per VM; see demo
  • Support for up to 64 GB of memory per VM

Here's the link where you can download Hyper-V today with Windows Server 2008 Enterprise (x64) edition.

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