Microsoft to support Linux with Virtual Server. The product will
include 64-bit support, which allows more virtual machines to run on
By Elizabeth Montalbano, IDG News Service
The next release of Microsoft's Virtual Server product will support
the virtualization of both Linux (Overview, Articles, Company) and Sun
Microsystems Inc.'s Solaris operating systems on servers running the
Microsoft Windows operating system (OS), a company spokesman said in
an interview Wednesday.
Microsoft on Wednesday also announced a new name for the next interim
release of the product, formerly called Virtual Server 2005 Service
Pack 1. Microsoft is now calling it Virtual Server 2005 R2, news
unveiled by Microsoft in a keynote by Pat Gelsinger, senior vice
president and general manager of Intel's Digital Enterprise Group, at
the Intel Developer Forum (IDF) in San Francisco.
Microsoft changed the name because the release will include
significantly more enhancements than a usual service pack, said Zane
Adam, director of marketing in the Windows Server division of
Microsoft. The software giant typically offers service packs and
interim releases called "R2s" between major updates to its server
Included in enhancements to Virtual Server 2005 R2 will be support for
Linux and Solaris, technology that Microsoft is developing with the
help of some of its partners, Adam said. He declined to name those
Virtual Server 2005 R2 also will include 64-bit support, which allows
more virtual machines to run on one server. Additionally, the product
will feature better performance for virtual machines in
memory-intensive applications, as well as higher availability through
new clustering technologies, Adam said.
Microsoft introduced Virtual Server in October 2004. The product
enables virtualization of its Windows Server OS so multiple instances
can run simultaneously on one server as if they are running on
multiple servers. It competes directly with virtualization technology
available from EMC's VMWare division.
Microsoft Chief Executive Officer Steve Ballmer first announced in
April that Microsoft would include third-party support for Linux in
Virtual Server. At the same time, he also unveiled Hypervisor, a
technology that will add the virtualization and management features of
Virtual Server directly to the OS. Hypervisor eventually will be
included in the next major release of Windows Server, code-named
Longhorn. The Longhorn version of Windows Server is expected to be
released in the first half of 2007.
At the time of the Hypervisor announcement, the fate of Virtual Server
as a standalone product was widely questioned, but Microsoft said it
would continue to add enhancements to the product and sell in as a
separate server product.
Zane reconfirmed those plans Wednesday and said a new full release of
Virtual Server will follow its R2 version. The beta of that release
will be available in the first half of 2006, with full availability of
the product scheduled for the second half, he said.
Also in Gelsinger's keynote at IDF Wednesday, Microsoft demonstrated
support for VT, a virtual technology chipset Intel is bringing to
market. This support, along with support for Pacifica, th code name
for similar technology being developed by AMD will be included the
release of Virtual Server due out by the end of 2006, Adam said.