Microsoft Corp. CEO Steve Ballmer spoke to more than 2,600 attendees at the Microsoft Management Summit (MMS) 2005 where he announced new advances in virtualization.
Virtualization allows customers to make more efficient use of hardware resources and reduce IT infrastructure costs. In his keynote speech, Ballmer announced Microsoft's increased investment in both virtualization and virtualization management technology, demonstrating near-term product improvements and laying out a long-term strategy for both areas.
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, with support for Windows Server 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. The final version is scheduled to be available by the end of the year.
Microsoft is working 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.
The company will license royalty-free the Virtual Hard Disk (VHD) to make it easier for partners to develop VHD-based solutions.
In addition to these near-term deliverables, Microsoft is working to 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.