Microsoft has announced several new developments in the area of virtualization during the LinuxWorld Conference & Expo. Virtualization is a technology that can help customers reduce their information technology (IT) infrastructure costs, by enabling organizations to cut their IT costs through server consolidation, disaster recovery, re-hosting of legacy applications, and software test and development.
One of the initiative is making the Virtual Server 2005 R2 product a no-charge download (registration required).
Also announced was the availability of no-charge virtual machine add-ins to run select Linux distributions, along with a technical support model to assist customers as they consolidate their Linux-based applications on Virtual Server 2005 R2.
Microsoft sees virtualization technology as a stepping stone toward self-managing dynamic systems. Self-managing dynamic systems are abstracted IT infrastructures that will ultimately give customers greater flexibility, automation and control. These systems will be completely independent of physical resources, so IT groups will have more time to devote to solutions that increase business value. Toward that end, we want to make virtualization more broadly accessible and affordable so our customers can realize benefits in areas like server consolidation, disaster recovery, application re-hosting, and software test and development.
In the Windows Server “Longhorn”, virtualization will become part of the Windows platform via Windows hypervisor technology, and Microsoft customers will be able to run an unlimited number of virtual operating systems on one physical server running Windows Server “Longhorn” Datacenter Edition.
Linux is now supported as a guest in Microsoft Virtual Server 2005 R2 from both a technology perspective and a 24-hour technical support perspective. The company says this will help customers consolidate Linux-based applications on Virtual Server. Initially, Microsoft Virtual Server R2 supports multiple Linux distributions from Red Hat and Novell, which represent two of the most widely used commercial Linux distributions.