Virtualization technologies are being adopted at a rapid pace. One concern that I often hear about relates to support of the operating systems and applications running in the virtual environment. Microsoft has supported Microsoft operating systems in Microsoft virtualization platforms from the start and the list of supported applications are continually growing. Knowledge Base Article 897615 details Microsoft's support policy around running Microsoft operating systems and applications in non-Microsoft virtualization platforms and here is where things have changed!
Additionally, for vendors with whom Microsoft has established a support relationship that covers virtualization solutions, or for vendors who have Server Virtualization Validation Program (SVVP) validated solutions, Microsoft will support server operating systems subject to the Microsoft Support Lifecycle policy for its customers who have support agreements when the operating system runs virtualized on non-Microsoft hardware virtualization software. This support will include coordinating with the vendor to jointly investigate support issues.
Novell has been a part of SVVP for a while now and the other day VMWare, arguably the current leader in virtualization, announced that they have joined the SVVP program.
The (SVVP)program enables vendors to validate various configurations so that customers of Windows Server can receive technical support in virtualized environments. Customers with validated solutions will benefit from the support provided by Microsoft as a part of the regular Windows Server technical support framework.
So with Novell and VMWare now being part of the SVVP program you can rest easy knowing that Microsoft will support Microsoft operating systems and applications no matter what virtual platform they are running on. Along with these two vendors, there are a number of other virtualization vendors who have entered the program and are being validated including Cisco, Cytrix, Sun, Unisys, and Virtual Iron.
Along with this there is also expanded support for Microsoft applications running in a virtual environment. A total of 31 new applications have been certified to run on Virtual Serve, Hyper-V and SVVP certified virtual platforms including Exchange Server 2007 SP1, SQL Server 2008, Dynamics, SharePoint and System Centre tools. You can see the complete list in Knowledge Base Article 957006
Personally I think this is great news. Now no matter what your virtual platform, Microsoft will be there to support you.