Over the last few days there have been rumours of the imminent release of Hyper-V, and now the news is officially on PressPass. In the next few minutes the following links will go live.
Windows Server 2008 x64 Hyper-V Parent Partition This package is permanent. Once installed, it cannot be uninstalled.
Windows Server 2008 x86 Management package. This package provides the management tools only for Windows Server 2008 x86. This package is also permanent. Once installed, it cannot be uninstalled.
And in a few days the update will go onto Windows update.
I have been saying privately since the Beta of Hyper-V broke cover before the RTM of Windows Server 2008 that the team was looking good to beat their "within 180 days" deadline and that my hunch was they would want to get it done by the time our financial year ended on June 30th. Between the first Alpha builds that I saw and the beta, features were "deferred" - meaning they can be expected to return; there is a saying "to ship is to shave"; not everything you think will be in when you start work is there when the product is released. I knew they wouldn't want to keep cutting and would only ship if the quality was right. My experience with the quality and performance has great even in the early versions - which isn't to say the early builds were of shipping quality, simply that the flaws in them didn't affect me. I know there are some performance numbers in the works, I'm not going to quote them here (partly because it's someone else's work for them to announce, and partly without explaining how the test was done "hyper-v achieves X" isn't meaningful)*
I've only been to one "Ship party" in Redmond and I have this vision of product teams picking their way through the debris the following day, sitting down with a very strong, very black cup of coffee and a packet of Asprin, taking a deep breath and saying "OK then, the next version ....". I've got some idea what's on the wish-list for the next release (indeed Bob Muglia has commented on it), though when that will come is not something anyone is ready to talk about yet. The next big step is the release of System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2 - which will not only manage Hyper-V, but also VMware.
We had a discussion among Microsoft's evangelists recently: between those who felt we were bought and paid for - and so were duty bound to evangelist anything Microsoft; and those who evangelise from the heart. I'm in the latter camp - I take doing things from the heart to the level of a personality defect. Anyone looking back over the last year of posts will be in no doubt that I think Hyper-V is a fantastic product, it's one I'm thoroughly pleased to be evangelising.
* Update QLogic are talking performance numbers on Hyper-V, between 90 and 97% of native performance. Update 2: (for those who don't see comments) a better Q Logic Link http://www.qlogic.com/promos/products/hyper-v.aspx (thanks Vina)