Virtual Server 2005 Service Pack 1 – features and availability


Here’s what Kurt Schmucker, the program manager for Virtual Server 2005 Service Pack 1 says about the release:


“As with typical service packs from Microsoft, Virtual Server 2005 Service Pack 1 will be primarily a rollup of fixes we have seen since the product was released to improve performance and increase scalability. In addition, with Service Pack 1, Virtual Server 2005 will have host support for Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 1 x64 Edition (note that this does not include IA64), provide PXE support, qualify Windows XP SP2 as a host and as a guest, and include the Virtual Disk Precompactor, a utility that is designed to “zero out” — that is, overwrite with zeros — any available blank space on a virtual hard disk. A public beta is slated for the end of first quarter 2005, with product release planned for the second half of calendar year 2005.”

Comments (62)

  1. Anonymous says:

    The beta might be available at the end of the first quarter in 2005. The most important improvement will probably concern performance and scalability. Read what Kurt Schmucker, the programmer manager for the Service Pack 1 says….

  2. Jonathan Maltz says:

    Wow, very cool!

    Thanks for the update!

    Jonathan

  3. Erik says:

    How about support for clipboard Cut/Paste actions between the host and guest OS?

    It’s absolutely horrible without it: totally unable to create screenshots, or exchange URLs or other plain/text data. An absolute frustration!

    Cut/Paste is an must between the host and the guest OS!!

  4. Megan (the author) says:

    Hi Erik,

    The shared folders and clipboard features that you have in Virtual PC were not implemented for Virtual Server 2005 because they introduce a potential security vulnerability, given the way that Virtual Server is deployed and the typical usage scenarios. The product team is aware that a lot of people want this capability and are investigating ways to mitigate the security issue so these features can be included in future versions. In the meantime, you’ll need to create shared folders/mapped drives on your host and/or guest machines just like you would to share data between two physical machines.

    -Megan

  5. Eric Balk says:

    How about the possibilty to make screenshots from the Virtual Machine Remote Control Client. Now I have to lose focus from the VMRC and make a full screenshot to capture the screen of the VMRC.

  6. Megan (the author) says:

    Hi Eric,

    To take a screen shot —

    At the top of the VMRC window, click Remote Control, point to Special Keys, and then click Send Print Screen. This sends the Print Screen command to the virtual machine. Then open Paint in the guest operating system, click Edit, and then click Paste. Voila!

    Hope this helps!

    Megan

  7. Jas says:

    Is there any word yet on whether or not this service pack will include support for USB hardware (non-HID)? If not, is there a timeframe for USB device support?

  8. Megan (the author) says:

    Hi Jas,

    Support for USB hardware such as smart card readers or scanners isn’t planned for Virtual Server SP1, but is being investigated for a future version. As a workaround, users have reported success using a USB smart card reader via RDP with redirection enabled.

    -Megan

  9. Bones says:

    Hi Megan,

    Security is all well and good – but surely thats an issue for the user to decide. Whats wrong with a "turn off clipboard" option for those who consider their systems insecure? We only use VS for internal puposes and as most of our virtual machines are used to house VPN Clients, mapped drives are not an option (the servers are on a different network).

    Bones

  10. Megan (the author) says:

    Hi Bones, The product team is considering all options and plan to address this issue in a future release. Sorry I can’t be more informative at this point.

    -Megan

  11. Conny löfving says:

    Hi Megan,
    <br>
    <br>I have three questions that I hope you can help me with
    <br>
    <br>1. Is there going to be an ISCI cluster support that makes it possible to cluster more than a 2-node cluster as well as setting up a cluster that spans over multiple virtual server hosts?
    <br>2. I really do miss the undo disk features when I’m accessing the virtual machines trough vmrc, is that something that might show up in SP1 or any later versions?
    <br>3. Is there going to be some improvment in the way that you give diffrent people access to diffrent virtual machines? I would like to be able to give a specific person or group the right to only see the virtual machines they should have access to in vmrc and the administration website, not all the machines.
    <br>
    <br>Conny

  12. Eric Balk says:

    Hi Megan,
    <br>
    <br>Since we use VS for testing purposes we want to make the screenshot on the workstatation where we run VMRC. Because we do error logging on the workstation we need the screenshot on that machine and not on the VS session (guest)
    <br>
    <br>Eric

  13. Megan (the author) says:

    Hi Eric,

    What type of screen capture behavior would you like to see instead of the current behavior?

    Thanks,

    Megan

  14. Peter says:

    How do we become beta testers for this service pack?

  15. Hi Peter,

    As soon as the Beta is available (ETA is later this month), I’ll post particulars about how to participate.

    Thanks for your interest,

    Megan

  16. Erik Wynne Stepp says:

    Megan,

    I was wondering if the Virtual Disk Precompactor is/will be available for Virtual PC 2005, too?

    As a developer just looking for a safe place to run beta products, Virtual Server is overkill for me, but Virtual PC is just right.

    I’d also like to echo earlier comments that enabling Copy/Paste should be a machine setting so that those concerned about security can be secure, and those more concerned with usability can be more productive.

    Finally, I have another suggestion for the Virtual PC/Server Team. I’d like to be able to attach a folder on the host OS as an INTERNAL drive on the virtual machine.

    Currently, you currently can attach a folder as a network drive, but that has several restrictions. For example, if you want to create a virtual directory on the shared folder, IIS will not allow you because it is illogical to create a virtual directory on a network resource that may or may not be there later. This isn’t really an issue for VPC’s, though, since without the host there can’t be the virtual machine.

    You can also attach a full drive, but that comes with lots of risks. I’m happy risking a shared folder, but not a whole shared drive.

    Hopefully this makes sense.

  17. Hi Erik, I’ve passed your comments along to the product team.

    The Virtual Disk Precompactor is also available with Virtual PC SP1. The download link is on the left side of this page, under Links.

    Thanks,

    Megan

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