Debut of Hyper-V, departure of Gates usher in new era for Microsoft

Debut of Hyper-V, departure of Gates usher in new era for Microsoft

Summary: Given the importance of virtualization to the future of the operating system, it seems fitting that Hyper-V shipped on the the same day Bill Gates exited the Windows company. It is truly a new era for Microsoft.

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Given the importance of virtualization to the future of the operating system, it seems fitting that Hyper-V shipped on the the same day Bill Gates exited the Windows company. It is truly a new era for Microsoft. 

Who could have envisioned five years ago that a Microsoft platform would openly support Linux?

No doubt, Microsoft's delivery of its much anticipated virtualization hypervisor has kicked off what is to be a truly intense battle in the virtualization software market. But more importantly, it represents the future of Microsoft -- interoperable with rival offerings, supportive of open source, and available on somewhat more flexible licensing terms.

The launch of the the Xen open source hypervisor, XenSource and Citrix's subsequent buy of XenSource notwithstanding, Microsoft's launch of Hyper-V marks what I would argue is the pivotal turning point for the virtualization software industry, and indeed for the respective futures of VMware and Microsoft, and the operating system as we know it.

I agree wholeheartedly with Dan Kusnetzky's take that Microsoft has a long way to go to catch up to the incumbents, notably VMware and XenSource. 

Another glitch: while Hyper-V code is available for partners to download today, and to all other users from Windows Update on July 8, the Redmond, Wash company has yet to ship the other half of the platform: System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2008.

Still, that's coming soon. And by all accounts, Microsoft's hypervisor, which will interoperate with Citrix's Xen-based VMs,  is poised to  commoditize what is now a lucrative market for VMware, Virtual Iron and SWSoft. Given its tight pact with Microsoft, I'd expect Citrix's XenSource to pick up steam in the aftermath of Hyper-V's arrival.  

When Microsoft first announced plans for its own hypervisor two years ago, rivals snickered. Hyper-V may not be ESX but its no laughing stock.

"We hear good things about HyperV , [that it is]fast, stable with good driver support and cheap," said David Crosbie, an executive at Leostream, an ISV in Waltham, mass. "Now that they have faced reality and got rid of the junk from around the hypervisor, for example, the idea that this is a feature of Windows 2008. Whatever they say, this is a pure hypervisor – managed by [SCVMM]."

Microsoft claims it is eating its own dogfood -- and the taste is sweet. According to an operations manager who helps manage the massive Microsoft.com web site, Hyper-V has enabled Microsoft to consolidate from 80 physical servers down to 64 virtual machines running on 40 servers.  http://blogs.technet.com/windowsserver/archive/2008/06/25/microsoft-com-powered-by-hyper-v.aspx

Microsoft's future lies in the cloud and software-as-a-service vision. But gaining a foothold in the virtualization space, that is, respect at the base of the stack, is an essential ingredient to making that happen.  

Let the games begin.

Topics: Cloud, CXO, Hardware, Microsoft, Storage, Virtualization

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7 comments
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  • Microsoft's future lies in trying to control whatever is happening

    in computing, as that's all that they have ever done, or will ever do.
    fr0thy2
    • Thats right, so get back

      in line and shut up.
      No_Ax_to_Grind
  • Avoiding mistakes

    Everyone wants his or her world to behave according to expectation. But recognizing when that's not possible and changing the expectations are important to being successful.

    Here's a quote from the Comment mixing the realistic and the unrealistic:

    Microsoft???s future lies in the cloud and software-as-a-service vision. But gaining a foothold in the virtualization space, that is, respect at the base of the stack, is an essential ingredient to making that happen.

    [End quote.]

    On cloud and SaaS, of course that's not computing's future, and especially not Microsoft's. A supplement, a complement to core functionality, yes, but not the base for computing. Microsoft has recognized that this dream is only a hope that the company's software will cease to be central, and appears to be doing a good job providing the real advantages qwithout the inadequacies.

    On virtualization, yes, it's another product to be sold or at least to advantage Microsoft's other products. Microsoft's business is products many people and organizations are willing to pay for.

    As Steve Ballmer observed to a group of children visiting the Microsoft "campus", selling software is the way Microsoft can afford to give employees all the free soda they want. Free soda, not software.
    Anton Philidor
    • Not even Bill gates is happy with Microsoft

      Strange that you should incessantly spin them as compelling..... or are you being adequately compensated (free money, not software)?

      Bill Gates Sends Angry Email to Microsoft
      http://www.lockergnome.com/digged/2008/06/25/bill-gates-sends-angry-email-to-microsoft/

      Wednesday, June 25th, 2008
      by matt (from 2003)
      an old email from Bill Gates to the Microsoft Usability team about trying to download Movie Maker

      From: Bill Gates
      Sent: Wednesday, January 15, 2003 10:05 AM
      To: Jim Allchin
      Cc: Chris Jones (WINDOWS); Bharat Shah (NT); Joe Peterson; Will Poole; Brian Valentine; Anoop Gupta (RESEARCH)
      Subject: Windows Usability Systematic degradation flame

      "I am quite disappointed at how Windows Usability has been going backwards and the program management groups don???t drive usability issues."

      <MORE> (click link above)
      Ole Man
      • The e-mail is from 2003.

        The style is remarkably clear and direct and ... undistracted compared to some of his public statements. It's also long. Imagine writing a complaint to Microsoft like that, with that list of recipients and that expectation of having it be read.

        Another satisfaction: Mr. Krigsman quoted the e-mail on ZDNet and a response which described the problem as falling between the cracks, everyone's responsibility, but no one having authority sufficient to solve it. Except the person who was complaining. At least, that's how I read it.

        The next step up from a long, angry memo is calling someone during the evening to hear the indignant tone directly.

        Shows why having power has inspired people for millennia, doesn't it?!
        Anton Philidor
  • Debut of Hyper-V, departure of Gate/Microsoft

    I wonder though whether this is the beginning of the end for M$ ... and possibly INTEL have something to worry about too. For as the hypervisor removes the dependence on hardware and OS ... so users will find it increasingly easy to choose. Once the WINTEL chain is broken then all sorts of interesting possibilities open up.

    Anyone for SNOW LEOPARD with Grand Central, OPENCL and ZFS running on dual SUN T2 processors?
    jacksonjohn
    • No

      "Anyone for SNOW LEOPARD with Grand Central, OPENCL and ZFS running on dual SUN T2 processors?"

      Go talk to Murph - he seems to be the prophet for this configuration.

      The rest of us use what works without jumping through hoops or spending major chachingage to switch what just works now for what is the buzz among the f/oss-unix only folks.
      Confused by religion