Microsoft is delaying the public beta of its Windows Server virtualization hypervisor and first Virtual Server 2005 R2 service pack, company officials acknowledged on April 12.
Microsoft released the information on the delays via the Windows Server team blog. Mike Neil, Microsoft's general manager of virtualization strategy, posted an entry noting that Microsoft will not release the first public beta of Windows Server Virtualization, the technology code-named "Viridian," until some time in the second half of 2007 -- rather than the first half of this year. (Selected partners who are part of a private beta program received a build of Viridian in December 2006.)
Neil also noted that Virtual Server 2005 R2 service pack 1 is now slated to ship in Q2, not Q1, as previously promised, of this year. (Given Q1 is already over, it was evident a Q1 ship date wasn't in the cards.)
Neil said neither of these delays means anything for Longhorn Server, which will still be released to manufacturing before the end of calendar 2007. And Microsoft is still holding to its plan to release the Windows Server Virtualization hypervisor within 180 days of the release of Longhorn Server.
Why the delays in the virtualiztion products? Neil's explanation regardian the Viridian public-beta delay:
"The primary drivers are around meeting our internal goals for performance and scalability. In an IT environment of ever-growing multi-core processor systems, Windows Server virtualization is being designed to scale across a much broader range of systems than the competition. We’re designing Windows Server virtualization to scale up to 64 processors, which I’m proud to say is something no other vendor’s product supports. We are also providing a much more dynamic VM environment with hot-add of processors, memory, disk and networking as well a greater scalability with more SMP support and memory.... We still have some work to do to have the beta meet the “scale up” bar we have set. Also, we’re tuning Windows Server virtualization to run demanding enterprise IT workloads, even I/O intensive workloads, so performance is very important and we still have some work to do here."
And Neil's reasoning for the Virtual Server 2005 R2 push-back:
"(W)e required some additional time to test the new operating systems that will be supported with the service pack of Virtual Server R2. We’ve added support for three additional operating systems – SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 10, Solaris 10 and the recent CTP build of Windows Server 'Longhorn.'"