With general availability of Windows Server 2008 Microsoft ships the beta 1 release of Windows Virtualization or Hyper-V (aka. Viridian).
Customers, partners, developers, IT Professionals, everyone buying a copy of Windows Server 2008 will have the opportunity to test drive the Microsoft hypervisor Hyper-V.
The version of Hyper-V included in the RTM build of Windows Server 2008 is identical to the build made available as part of the RC1 release of the server OS. The final release of Hyper-V will be available with 180 days from now. Microsoft’s hypervisor will only be available for x64 hardware platforms supporting hardware virtualization (Intel VT or AMD-V technologies). It will not be available for IA64 (Itanium) platforms. See resources for more information or here for general information about virtualization.
Hyper-V is still in beta. Support for Hyper-V is only available via online forums and newsgroups. See resources section.
The beta release of Hyper-V has limited guest operating support:
Windows Server 2008 32-bit and 64-bit (x64)
Windows Server 2003 32-bit and 64-bit (x64)
SUSE LINUX Enterprise Server 10 with SP1
Other OS installations might run as well but are not “supported” in the beta. The full list of supported operating systems in will be announced prior to RTM.
Virtualization solutions from Microsoft are:
Presentation Virtualization via Terminal Services
Application Virtualization via SoftGrid
Hyper-V Server Virtualization
The Virtual Server product will continue to be available. Hyper-V is only supported on 64-bit platforms, Virtual Server is the Microsoft offering for 32-bit platforms and other systems not providing the necessary hardware infrastructure for Hyper-V.
How does the general availability Hyper-V beta impact IT PROs? For some of the partners this is the first time they will be exposed to Hyper-V. They may be experienced with Virtual Server and/or Virtual PC. Hyper-V is a novel concept: a layer between the hardware and a variety of operating systems handling scheduling and memory allocation (amongst other things). It is the foundation of a dynamic infrastructure, making resource optimization and re-configuration far simpler than before and simplifying operations. Depending on the type of application there might be areas where its performance might be impacted. Heavily I/O bound and graphics-intensive applications are among those. Deciding where, what and how to virtualize infrastructure requires careful thought. Our Infrastructure Planning and Design series of documents will help guide that process.
Some resources you might find useful:
Intel VT (aka. Vanderpool)
AMD-V (aka. Pacifica)