If you haven’t been thinking about 64 bit computing and virtualization and how it will fit into your environment then now is the time to do it. I know from my experiences that there are so many 32 bit servers on the datacenter floors and with industry reports showing server utilization rates as low as 5% to 15%, the practice of server virtualization and consolidation has to be a core part of any organizations infrastructure strategy. I’m not sure of the exact number but by next fall we should see almost all servers being multi-core and 64 bit capable. My team has been using 64 bit systems and virtualization together for just over a year. We’ve been testing the product and the feedback from all my advisors is that its time to reduce the data centers footprint and take advantage of current technology. Whether, it’s server consolidation, legacy application migration, disaster recovery, and software test and development there is an opportunity for software solutions that can exploit the untapped processor power. The opportunity to use virtualization today to support an array of operating systems and applications on a single piece of hardware is tremendous.
We just made some technology announcement at IT forum, a technology event in Barcelona that highlight as a company we are making big bets on 64-bit technology and I’ve include below several product announcements which Bob Muglia made during his keynote address that I thought would be of interest to all of you.
- As part of its ongoing commitment to 64-bit computing, Microsoft has been delivering products that are optimized for 64-bit, including the newly released SQL Server SQL Server™ 2005, Visual Studio® 2005 and Virtual Server 2005 R2 products. To help customers take full advantage of the power of 64-bit computing, future products including Windows Compute Cluster Server 2003, Exchange Server 12, the “Longhorn” release of Windows Small Business Server, and Microsoft’s infrastructure solution for midsize businesses, code-named “Centro,” will be exclusively 64-bit and require x64 hardware. In a future update release to Microsoft’s upcoming Windows Server “Longhorn” operating system – code named Windows Server “Longhorn” R2 – customers will see the complete transition to 64-bit only hardware, while still benefiting from 32-bit and 64-bit application compatibility. For the highest scale application and database workloads, Windows Server on 64-bit Itanium-based systems will continue to be the premier choice for customers for years to come.
- As part of its broad strategy to help customers realize the benefits of virtualization and progress toward self-managing dynamic systems, Microsoft has released to manufacturing (RTM) Virtual Server 2005 R2, which will be available in Volume Licensing and Retail the first week of December. Virtual Server 2005 R2 delivers improved performance, availability, and scalability for server consolidation, legacy application migration, disaster recovery, and software test and development. Microsoft will be offering Virtual Server R2 Standard Edition for $99 US estimated retail price and Virtual Server R2 Enterprise Edition at $199 US estimated retail price. This new pricing represents Microsoft’s commitment to making server virtualization more accessible to customers at the lowest price point.
- Windows Compute Cluster Server 2003 Beta 2 is now publicly available. Windows Compute Cluster Server 2003 is a 64-bit solution designed to accelerate time-to-insight by offering a High-Performance Computing (HPC) platform that is simple to deploy, operate and integrate with existing infrastructure and tools. Microsoft is working with more than 20 software partners across manufacturing, life sciences and geosciences and other industries to offer a robust set of commercial applications available on Microsoft Windows Compute Cluster Server 2003. In addition, Microsoft is making a multi-year, multi-million dollar investment in the academic community, specifically through the establishment of 10 Institutes for High Performance Computing in conjunction with universities and researchers around the world, including University of Stuttgart (Germany); Southampton University (UK); and Nizhni Novgorod University (Russia) amongst others.
- Driving forward on Microsoft’s promise of self-managing dynamic systems, the company announced the December 2005 RTM of System Center Capacity Planner 2006, which brings an unprecedented level of functionality and flexibility to the process of performance analysis and planning of Exchange Server 2003 and MOM 2005 system deployments. Microsoft also detailed plans for a mid-market offering called Systems Center Essentials. The new product will bring the commitment of the Dynamic Systems Initiative to midsized companies, allowing them to easily and cost effectively secure, update, monitor and track their IT environment and better support end users.