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Virtual Server SP1 Released

A key Microsoft virtualization product has gotten an important update.

A key Microsoft virtualization product has gotten an important update. According to the Windows Server blog, Virtual Server 2005 R2 service pack 1 was released yesterday.

The big news in VS2005 R2 SP1 is the addition of Volume Shadow Services. VSS makes a backup copy, called a snapshot, of a file or folder at a certain point in time, which leads to better backup and disaster recovery and less downtime.

VS2005 R2 SP1 also includes host clustering, which allows for failover from a group of guest systems onto another physical server should the host machine fail.

R2 SP1 also gets an increase in supported guest operating systems with the addition of Novell SuSE Linux Enterprise Server (SLES) 10 and Solaris 10, an open-source UNIX OS. That brings to 11 the number of guest OSes supported by Virtual Server.

The R2 SP1 release conforms to the timeframe Microsoft shuffled a few months ago. R2 SP1 was originally scheduled for a Q1 2007 release, but slipped to Q2.

The R2 SP1 release will have to satisfy admins who continue to wait for the release of the product that will replace Virtual Server, Windows Server Virtualization. WSV, codenamed "Viridian," has suffered a number of setbacks recently, including a slip in its shipping date from the first half of this year to the second, and the removal of several key technologies in order to meet the delayed shipping date. Microsoft is trying to coordinate the release of Viridian with the release of Windows Server 2008, expected out late this year or early next.

R2 SP1, which is free, is available here.

About the Author

Keith Ward is the editor in chief of Visual Studio Magazine.

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Wed, Jun 13, 2007 Anonymous Anonymous

They're making progress modifying the old Connectrix product that's for sure. It seems like they're still stuck on the basics of virtualization while VMware has moved on to better management and performance options while improving on their hypervisor.

When MS announced they'd only support Windows OSes, I knew that was a mistake and they are now having to back-pedal.

I'm not sure why an Admin would "...continue to wait for the release of the product that will replace Virtual Server, Windows Server Virtualization. WSV, codenamed "Viridian,..." when VMware has much more mature and valid real products-both free and non-free. You still can't get anywhere near as many VMs on a Windows-based host as you can on either a Linux-based (since you can strip out all but the absolutely essential components) or ESX based server. So why wait? Even when MS releases its next gen product it still will take some time to work out the bugs and on top of that, they also have announced their VMotion type of application will not ship when it does finally ship, so I figure it will be 2009 or 2010 before MS has a remotely comparable product-but then it will still be hosted and not bare medal like ESX so it won't compare to ESX 5.0 or 6.0 which will have some amazing features by then.

Wed, Jun 13, 2007 Walt Crosby Everyday Wireless

It's nice that they finally released this product. We were running the beta in test mode and got a message Friday afternoon that our trial license had expired. And then they released this on Monday. Coincidence? I think not!

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