Last week I posted about an advance notice of announcement that is was due that this week - it was far from clear.. A few hours later I got advance notice of the Virtual Server news which came out yesterday, which was a model of clarity.
Item 1: On Monday April 3rd, Virtual Server 2005 R2 Enterprise Edition will be available at no charge, free, gratis, complimentary, on the house. This is the full Virtual Server 2005 R2 Enterprise edition available in both 32-bit and 64-bit versions that we shipped in Q4 CY2005. This is not a trial or limited version in any way. This is a fully-supported product, not some unsupported Trojan horse designed to get you to update a multi-thousand dollar per-processor, per-server product. Virtual machines created today with Virtual Server will be able to migrate into our hypervisor based Windows virtualization. This is a risk free proposition and it's the real deal.
That's pretty clear I'd say.
Item 2: On Monday April 3rd, we are also announcing our Linux support (see below) and availability of our VM Additions for Linux. In case you're wondering how these distributions were picked, it's simple. We asked and listened to our valued customers
We're supporting 4 Enterprise and 5 standard distibutions: Red Hat Enterprise Linux 2.1 (update 6), Red Hat Enterprise Linux 3 (update 6), Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4, SuSE Linux Enterprise Server 9; Red Hat Linux 7.3, Red Hat Linux 9.0, SuSE Linux 9.2 , SuSE Linux 9.3 , SuSE Linux 10
To get virtual server goto the download or order page and click the link under "Register" on the right hand side. The Linux components are at Microsoft Connect (click available programs on the left). Both require passport to register.
The mention of hypervisor in that mail is quite important - Service pack 1 for Virtual Server 2005 R2 will support virtualization capabilities in new chips from Intel and AMD, and that's a stepping stone to the new architecture that will be in Longhorn server.
This is good on its own, but combined with
- the changes to licensing for Windows 2003 R2 which allow you to run 4 virtualized Windows server on a single physical Enterprise Edition server.
- The Virtual Server Migration Tool kit and
- Clustering support in R2
it looks like the virtualization group (now including my predecessor in this job ) are really on a roll.