Microsoft Hyper-V virtualization technology is ready to roll

Microsoft is expected to announce on June 26 that its Hyper-V hypervisor technology has been released to manufacturing, according to testers claiming familiarity with the company's plans.

Microsoft is expected to announce on June 26 that its Hyper-V hypervisor technology has been released to manufacturing, according to testers claiming familiarity with the company's plans.

Microsoft delivered the final release of Windows Server 2008 product on February 4. That release included a non-feature-complete beta of Hyper-V, the virtualization technology formerly codenamed “Viridian.” Microsoft said it would ship the final Hyper-V code within six months after it released Windows Server 2008. If my sources are right, Microsoft handily beat its own RTM goal.

(I've asked Microsoft for confirmation on source reports that Hyper-V is ready to RTM. So far, no word back. Update: Microsoft officials said they had no comment at this time.)

Hyper-V, a component of Windows Server 2008, is designed to allow customers to run multiple virtual machines (VMs) on a single machine. These VMs can run multiple Windows Server 2008 roles and/or multiple operating systems, including Windows and Linux, in parallel. Microsoft is touting Hyper-V as a solution for customers looking for server consolidation, disaster recovery, faster systems migration and a safer environment for testing and development.

When Microsoft rolled out the near-final Hyper-V Release Candidate test build in March, it supported as guest opeating-system clients Windows Server 2003 Service Pack (SP) 2, Windows XP SP3, Windows Vista SP1 and  Novell SuSE Linux Enterprise Server. My sources are saying that Microsoft has expanded the list of supported guests to include Vista SP1 x64 and Windows XP SP2 x64.

Microsoft took some lumps for its decision a year ago to cut some features from Hyper-V in order to get the product out the door. Among those the company decided to cut:

  • Support for live migration
  • The ability to hot-add resources, like storage, networking, memory and processor
  • The number of cores/logical processors supported cut to  16 (with eight dual cores or four quad cores); the previously stated limit was 64.

Microsoft is currently advising customers not to deploy Exchange Server 2007 SP1 on Hyper-V for at least 60 days after Hyper-V is released to manufacturing.

The next version of Microsoft's Hyper-V product is expected to be part of Windows Server 7 in 2010 and be available in hardware-embeddable form.

Any Windows Server customers out there waiting for the final Hyper-V? What's been your experience with the beta versions of Microsoft's hypervisor?

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