Virtualization announcement at MMS

And now we know one of the reasons why Ben is in ‘Vegas.  This years Microsoft Management Summit saw the arrival of some significant announcements around Microsoft’s plans for virtualization.  To summarize:

In the short term, Microsoft is responding to customers’ needs by improving the performance and interoperability of Virtual Server 2005 and improving manageability through integration with Microsoft® Operations Manager (MOM) 2005:

  • The Virtual Server 2005 Service Pack 1 (SP1) beta version is available today, delivering 64-bit compatibility and improved performance and availability. Virtual Server 2005 SP1 will enable support for Windows Server (TM) 2003 x64 editions as host operating systems and, along with performance improvements in the virtual machine software, will enable customers to further increase the efficiency of their hardware environments. Virtual Server 2005 SP1 beta is available at The final version is scheduled to be available by the end of the year.
  • Microsoft is working with industry partners to expand the support of third-party guest operating systems running on Virtual Server 2005 SP1. This expanded support is designed to make Windows Server 2003 and Virtual Server 2005 a powerful platform for heterogeneous server consolidation.
  • A new MOM 2005 management pack for Virtual Server 2005 provides administrators with a central console for managing the health and performance of both physical and virtual machines seamlessly, allowing customers to leverage their existing server management tools to manage their virtual environments.
  • Microsoft will license royalty-free the Virtual Hard Disk (VHD) to make it easier for partners to develop VHD-based solutions and continue to enhance the capabilities and extensibility of the VHD file format. A common file format helps improve security, reliability and cost-efficiency for customers. Microsoft is committed to enhancing and extending the capabilities of this format over time.

In addition to these near-term product deliverables, Microsoft is working with the industry and increasing its investments to provide customers with more robust virtualization and virtualization management solutions for the Windows® platform:

  • Microsoft will build virtualization capabilities into the Windows platform based on Windows hypervisor technology, planned for availability in the next product wave of the Windows operating system, code-named Windows “Longhorn.” This integrated hypervisor technology in the Windows operating system will be designed to provide customers with a high-performance virtualization solution for Windows and heterogeneous environments.
  • Microsoft Windows hypervisor technology will support enhanced hardware technologies, such as Intel Virtualization Technology and AMD’s Pacifica specification. The combination of these software and hardware technologies will open the door to widespread use of computer virtualization in the future.
  • Increased investments in Microsoft’s System Center family of products will result in management products that are optimized to take advantage of the unique capabilities that virtualization brings to the Windows platform.

A full press release can be found here:


(Who will be partying tonight! 🙂