Wider World For Virtual Server

Microsoft laid out plans for the next iteration of its server virtualization technology on Wednesday.

In the fourth quarter of this year, it will offer an R2 version of Virtual Server 2005, rather than issuing a service pack as it had originally planned. A new version of the server software will appear in beta in the first half of 2006, with the final release scheduled for the second half of the year. That release will use Microsoft’s hypervisor technology to support AMD’s Pacifica. Pacifica chip technology is designed to forge virtual partitions that allow multiple operating systems and applications on one computer.

In April, Microsoft announced it would make its Virtual Server 2005 software run on non-Windows machines due to customer demand. That includes support for Linux servers.

Virtual server technology helps customers cut down on the number of boxes they need to power their businesses by allowing multiple instances of a piece of software, such as an operating system, to run on a single machine.

Microsoft released Virtual Server 2005 in September 2004.

The Longhorn Virtual Server release will support the hardware virtualization capabilities of Intel’s VT virtualization technology. Intel The chipmaking giant committed to adding virtualization technology to its PC processors in 2006, to coincide with Longhorn. But Intel decided to fast track the process after tests wowed customers.

The Virtual Server announcement, made at Intel’s Developer Forum, followed the release last week of a community technology preview of Exchange Server 2003 Service Pack 2. The company also announced it would extent support for Software Update Services (SUS) 1.0 until December 6, 2006 for customers who have already deployed it. Microsoft wants customers to move to Windows Server Update Services to get automatic security updates.

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