Microsoft HyperV RC1 available for testing

Microsoft announced availability of release candidate 1 of its Hyper-V virtualization hypervisor Tuesday.The add-on for Windows Server 2008 is now available for download at http://www.

Microsoft announced availability of release candidate 1 of its Hyper-V virtualization hypervisor Tuesday.

The add-on for Windows Server 2008 is now available for download at http://www.microsoft.com/Hyper-V and it will be available via Windows Update beginning on May 27, Microsoft said. The first release candidate, referred to as RC0, was made available in late March.

The Redmond, Wash, company made it clear that the current beta of System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2008 is not compatible with release candidate 1 and that customers using the management software should stick with RC0.

The hypervisor is feature complete, but RC1 also includes additional guest support for Windows 2000 Server SP4, and Windows 2000 Advanced Server with SP4.

The release brings Microsoft closer to shipping the much anticipated hypervisor, which is designed to compete against VMware and XenServer. Microsoft said it will co-market Citrix's XenDesktop as the front end desktop virtualization solution for Windows Server 2008 HyperV. XenDesktop was announced today.

Software developers say Microsoft has made significant progress with HyperV and the product, once released, will likely elevate its reputation in the virtualization hypervisor market.

"We hear good things about HyperV ... [that it is] fast, stable, [offers] good driver support [and is] cheap. ... now that [Microsoft] has faced reality and got rid of the junk from around the hypervisor," said David Crosbie, CTO of Leostream, Waltham, Mass, who says that "gone is the idea that HyperV is a feature of Windows 2008.

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