Microsoft firms up its Viridian hypervisor rollout plans

Microsoft firms up its Viridian hypervisor rollout plans

Summary: As Microsoft officials confirmed last week, Microsoft is planning to make a first test version of its hypervisor technology available simultaneously with Windows Server 2008 Release Candidate (RC) 0. This week, Microsoft also confirmed that a beta version of Viridian -- a k a Windows Server Virtualization -- will be built into Windows Server 2008 when that product is released to manufacturing.

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As Microsoft officials confirmed last week, Microsoft is planning to make a first test version of its hypervisor technology available simultaneously with Windows Server 2008 Release Candidate (RC) 0.

This week, David Greschler, Microsoft's Director of Integrated Virtualization Strategy, also confirmed that a beta version of Viridian -- a k a Windows Server Virtualization -- will be built into Windows Server 2008 when that product is released to manufacturing.

Previously, Microsoft officials had been cagey about how they planned to get the Windows Server 2008 hypervisor to customers, given that the final version of that hypervisor isn't due to ship until six months after Windows Server 2008. Some had speculated Microsoft would make the hypervisor a download and deliver it to customers in that form.

Instead, it sounds like the gameplan is to simply push out to customers the update to the Viridian beta bits that will be part of the final Windows Server 2008 release. The first iteration of Viridian, due out with Windows Server RC0, is a Community Technology Preview (CTP) build, not a full-fledged beta build.

Microsoft officials are still declining to provide an exact date as to when they plan to make Windows Server 2008 RC0 and the Viridian CTP 1 available to more than the select group of Technology Adoption Program (TAP) partners who got them last week. But sources say Microsoft is now targeting the week of September 17  to get the Windows Server RC0 build out to a broader group of testers. "The most interesting stuff around virtualization right now centers on the looming price war to come in the next 60 to 90 days," said Yankee Group Analyst Laura DiDio. "Microsoft (believe it or not) though far from being the best of breed offering, has a much less expensive product than VMWare. VMWare, which is the market leader with approximately 60 percent marketshare is by far the most expensive product on the market.

"However, they (VMWare) plan to implement an unspecified price cut by year's end which will coincidentally (or not) coincide with Microsoft's release of the Viridian beta," DiDio continued. "Right now, a list price apples to apples comparison of Microsoft vs. VMWare shows that Microsoft's Virtual Server costs 50 percent less in a Single Server entry level configuration.

"The big irony here is that the reason VMWare is so much more expensive is because anytime a corporate customer purchases VMWare's virtualization offering they also have to buy a Windows Server license (or a Red Hat or Novell server license if using Linux) on top of paying for the VMWare offering," she said. "Microsoft -- and the Linux vendors like Red Hat include virtualization for free as part of the baseline server OS. VMWare's management offering is also priced higher."

Topics: Microsoft, VMware, Windows

About

Mary Jo has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications and Web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, TV and podcasts, speaking about all things Microsoft-related. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).

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5 comments
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  • More expensive because what?????

    What do you mean when you say that VMware is more expensive because you have to buy another OS? VMWare Infrastructure 3 runs on a customized version of Redhat Linux, but you don't pay Redhat for that, it comes with VMWare. For Guest OS's you have to license each invividual guest as if it were a hardware server, but thats true with any virtualization product. If you are going to run windows as a VM, you have to have a windows license (have you got a fricaseeing windows license?) regardless if the the host is VMware, windows, or somthing else.
    cornpie
    • Some versions of Windows do include additional licensing...

      For instance, if you buy Win Ent for your Host OS, you can run Virtual Server (or even VMWare) and have 4 licenses for Guest OS's on that same box. They can also be any mix of Web, Standard, or Enterprise.

      On the other end of the spectrum is Win Datacenter. If you put that as your Host OS, you can run an unlimited number of any type of Windows Servers as your guests on that hardware. However, since Datacenter starts out at around $16,000 for the OS alone, it takes a while for that to make sense.

      I'm assuming she means the same for Red Hat, but I'm not as familiar with their licensing scheme.

      Finally, I haven't seen anything on how they will license their Hypervisor editions. There's been undocumented inferences that the Enterprise licensing of 5-for-1 will continue, but nothing in writing.
      SMFX_
  • Laura DiDio still opening her mouth

    After the SCO fiasco I'd have thought she would be to
    assumed to pop her head up any. And of course no
    surprise she's one about talking up MS.

    VMware has 60% of the market because it works, MS's
    solution doesn't. The single server configuration price
    comparison is ridiculous, VMware primary market is
    data centres and we're not running a single server.

    Yet Laura and ZDNet talk up the release "soon" of a
    community preview. Deja vu;-)
    Richard Flude
  • RE: Microsoft firms up its Viridian hypervisor rollout plans

    Will viridian support any guest OS (like Solaris or RedHat or Debian?)_) I f not then it is NOT what I call a hypervisor
    bitghyu
    • More than likely it will...

      Considering Virtual Server R2 SP1 support Linux and they just announced today that Microsoft will support Solaris as a guest, and Solaris will support Microsoft as a guest, there would be no reason to go back on this trend for the Viridian.

      You could always run those on Virtual Server, they just didn't have additions to allow for the higher speed. Most likely, anything that will run on the base hardware will also run with the hypervisor.
      SMFX_