Microsoft Delivers Windows Server 2008 Hyper-V Virtualization (RTM)
There's no stopping the virtualization race. Microsoft has just released to manufacturing WIndows Server 2008 Hyper-V. The Release Candidate of its virtualization application is found here. Hyper-V is hypervisor-based virtualization software that allows you to run multiple operating systems concurrently, including Linux, on one installation of Windows Server.
According to Microsoft its key areas of focus with Hyper-V are:
- Server Consolidation--including the ability to integrate 32-bit and 64-bit workloads in the same environment;
- Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery--facilitating disaster recovery using geographically dispersed clustering capabilities;
- Testing and Development--allowing developers to test multiple OS and application scenarios in one environment;
- Dynamic Data Center--providing automated virtual machine reconfiguration, flexible resource control, and quick migration.
That last area of focus--on data centers--is a big part of why Microsoft is pursuing wrapping virtualization into Windows Server. The company wants Windows Server to have presence in data centers, even as Citrix, VMWare, Sun, Red Hat and others continue to optimze their virtualization offerings for data centers. (Red Hat just delivered its virtualization application oVirt, this week.) Microsoft has also posted a video interview on Hyper-V.
Hyper-V can support up to four multiple processors in a virtual machine environment, and has a number of scalability and extensibility features, which you can read about here. Because it's wrapped into Windows Server, Hyper-V will no doubt gain some traction.
As Mendel Rosenblum, co-founder of VMWare, pointed out yesterday, virtualization is becoming increasingly commoditized. "You can buy your machines from Dell and just check a box to have this included." That's the kind of move Microsoft is probably focusing on--working in tandem with its hardware partners. It has a long history of automatically delivering software on servers and desktops, and gaining traction through sheer distribution might.
Additionally, Stacey Higginbotham, writing on our sister blog GigaOm, points out that Microsoft and Citrix are close partners. (Citrix's XenSource is a virtualization leader.) Could Hyper-V strain their relationship? Check out her thoughts.