Microsoft postpones 'Viridian' virtualization features

Summary:Microsoft has postponed a handful of its "Viridian" hypervisor features in order to maintain its goal of delivering the technology as an add-on to Longhorn Server within 180 days of Longhorn Server's shipment.

Microsoft has postponed a handful of its "Viridian" hypervisor features in order to maintain its goal of delivering the technology as an add-on to Longhorn Server within 180 days of Longhorn Server's shipment.

In a May 10 blog post, General Manager of Virtualization Strategy Mike Neil, acknowledged that Microsoft planned to defer several features of Viridian, which is now known as "Windows Server virtualization." But Neil maintained that the changes will have no impact on the ship date of Longhorn Server itself, which is still due to be released to manufacturing before the end of 2007.

Microsoft is offering no new timetable for when the cut features will be added into Windows Server Virtualization.

In April, Microsoft officials acknowledged that the planned public beta of Windows Server Virtualization was running behind schedule, and would hit in the latter half of 2007, rather than the first half. On May 10, Neil further narrowed the timing and said that the public beta would be available at the same time that Longhorn Server goes to manufacturing. That exact date is still not known, but is expected to be quite late in the year.

Neil also listed a number of features that Microsoft has decided to postpone from its hypervisor in order to get the technology out the door. Under the new plan, the first release of the hypervisor will have:

* No support for live migration

* No ability to hot-add resources, like storage, networking, memory and processor

* A limit on the number of cores/logical processors supported. The new limit is 16 (with eight dual cores or four quad cores); the previously stated limit was 64

"Earlier this week we had to come to grips with some universal truths about product development," Neil blogged. Among those realizations was that "shipping is a feature, too."

"The quality bar, the time you have, and the feature set are directly correlated," Neil added. And "resources are not infinite and even if you could add more it does not help get more done faster."

Do any of these changes impact your plans (if any) to use Microsoft's hypervisor?

It looks like the announcement didn't sit well with some of Microsoft's backers. Interscape Technologies President Robert McLaws, for one, said he doesn't consider Microsoft to be playing to win in virtualization any more. Windows Connected's Josh Phillips adds that
"while Microsoft is making some headway in the virtualization market they certainly aren't keeping up with anyone on this front."

Topics: Microsoft, Servers, Virtualization

About

Mary Jo Foley has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications, including ZDNet, eWeek and Baseline. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008). She also is the cohost of the "Windows Weekly" podcast on the TWiT network. Got a tip? Se... Full Bio

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