Windows Server Virtualization round-up

A few days ago I blogged about a Longhorn Server Virtualization video featuring Jeff Woolsey. I said then that Jeff is great at being clear about what should be public and what shouldn't, "Please forward this to friends/family/customers and children of all ages."

Jeff has sent mails today which also pretty clear. "You may provide this information to customers. However, the only request that I have is that you please do not copy and paste this onto a BLOG" 

So here's a precis rather a cut and paste job: some sharp eye'd viewers noticed some things in the video. One question which sprang up from seeing multiple "cores" was "Does the guest OS see Multiple Processors or a single multi-core processor", and the answer is "either". You can present an 8 core CPU, 4 twin-core CPUs, or 8 single core CPU, and this may impact the licensing for the guest. Some things we have Virtual Server 2005 go away in Windows Server virtualization:

  • No support for Parallel ports and physical floppy disks-  though you can use the image of a floppy.
  • A change of remoting protocol from VMRC to RDP (so the client will be "remote desktop"). I always thought it was daft to have 2 protocols doing the same job, and customers hold the product team the same.
    It is not the guest OS but the Virtualization layer which provides support for RDP, so there's no more problem getting to the machine's BIOS or guest OSes that don't support RDP than there is today with VMRC
  • The Web console interface has been replaced with an MMC interface.

Some basic questions keep being asked: so please forgive me for repeating that Windows Server Virtualization:

  • Will require 64 processors.
  • Won't cost anything (like Virtual Server 2005, and Virtual PC)
  • Will support 64 bit guests
  • Won't be back-ported to Server 2003 (even 64 bit)
  • Will support the same VHD images as you are using today


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Comments (2)
  1. Mark Wilson says:

    Hi James – thanks for posting this.

    I can really see Windows Server Virtualization competing against VMware ESX Server (at last) – especially with the new management products which offer much of the VMware Virtual Center capabilities but without needing to learn a new set of skills.

    However, one feature that VMware ESX Server provides is the ability to overcommit resources, therefore increasing consolidation ratios.  In the past Microsoft has been fairly reticent to endorse this approach but will Windows Server Virtualization offer something similar?

    Cheers, Mark

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