Several new exciting features in Virtual Server got publicly announced at Intel Developer Forum:
• An individual virtual machine will be able to run powerful multiprocessor work loads–likely as many as eight processors for a single machine.
• Users will be able to move virtual machines as they run from one computer to another “with no visible downtime.”
• Users will be able to store a virtual machine’s state on a hard drive, letting a user stop and restart a virtual machine or take “snapshots” of a machine at a particular time.
• Microsoft will support both 32-bit and 64-bit virtual machines, though a 64-bit operating system will be required to host the system.
• Microsoft will compensate for different memory access speeds that are increasingly common in mainstream servers. This computer design principle is called nonuniform memory access, or NUMA, and Kieffer said it’s a complicating factor with multicore processors.
Also, integration with Hypervisor (CPU support for virtualization from Intel) and Pacifica (same thing from AMD) is on the way.
Being a snapshot guy, I especially like the “virtual machine snapshot” feature. This will be able to create point-in-time copies of the whole running state of a virtual machine. This has deep impact on backup strategies – we are just seeing the tip of the iceberg here.