I've just been listening to Steve Ballmer give his keynote session at the MMS (Microsoft Management Summit) and in particular wanted to tell you about some really significant changes to Virtual Server and Virtualisation in general which are happening in the short and medium term here at Microsoft.
The Beta of Service Pack 1 for Virtual Server 2005 has been announced today, due to RTM (Release to Manufacture) in Q4/Autumn/Fall (depending on where you're from). Some of the changes in SP1 are:
- Support for x64 based host operating systems for significant performance boost
- Clustering support with iSCSI for enhanced reliability and availability
- PXE boot support in the guest BIOS
Of course, Steve also talked about the MOM Management Pack for Virtual Server which I blogged about also a few days ago and is available today - you don't have to wait for SP1 for that.
A really important change is that the the file-format for "VHD"s (Virutal Hard Disks) will be licensed royalty free to make VHD files interoperable with other tools and systems. This is really going to open up major opportunities. For example, how does being able to patch virtual guests without starting them up grab you?
Now here's the real one which is a significant change in direction. To date, we have only supported Microsoft Server based operating systems as guests. From SP1, we will extend support for 3rd party guest operating systems to include Linux, Solaris and other x64-based operating systems.
The details still a little sketchy here, but I'll fill in the blanks as I get them over the coming few days.
What this does mean of course, that the content for my webcast I'll be presenting on the 29th April at 14:00 (GMT)about a technical overview Virtual Server 2005 may have to go through the wash a few times between now and then. Hence, please join me if you want to find out more not just about VS2005 as it is, but what the announcments mean for the future. The registration site is https://msevents-eu.microsoft.com/cui/WebCastEventDetails.aspx?culture=en-GB&eventid=118758408 but hurry before all the places fill up. Hope to "see" you there.
The Virtual Server 2005 home page has literally just been refreshed in the past couple of minutes so you're seeing this first. The download link to SP1 Beta is right at the top. You might also want to browse by the official press announcement at http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/press/2005/Apr05/04-20VirtualizationInvestmentsPR.asp