Feeds

Microsoft begins virtualization software delays

Don't! Panic!

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

Microsoft has delayed the beta release of its future server virtualization software. But fear not, intrepid server administrators, the final release of the software – code-named “Viridian” - remains on schedule for release in an update to Longhorn Server.

Mike Neil, Microsoft's GM in charge of virtualization, has disclosed that the public beta for Viridian will now ship in the second half of this year rather than the first half, as previously planned. You're all no doubt shocked to learn that a Windows package will arrive late.

In addition, the final release of Virtual Server 2005 R2 (SP1) has fallen to the second quarter rather than the first quarter. Virtual Server stands as Microsoft's current server virtualization product, which competes against similar code from VMware, XenSource, SWsoft and others.

Many of you must be thinking that there's no way in Redmond that Longhorn Server or Viridian will actually arrive on time given past and current trends. Well, have no fear, says Neil.

“Up front, it’s important to know that Windows Server 'Longhorn' remains on schedule for beta 3, (which) will be this half (of 2007) and RTM in the second half,” he writes in a blog post - the missing words were your globule tipoff.

After Longhorn ships, the Viridian package should arrive within 180 days. Viridian will finally provide Microsoft with a real hypervisor-based competitor to VMware and Xen.

Neil provides some explanation for the Viridian beta delay.

“The primary drivers (for the delay) are around meeting our internal goals for performance and scalability,” he writes. “In an IT environment of ever-growing multi-core processor systems, Windows Server virtualization is being designed to scale across a much broader range of systems than the competition.

“We’re designing Windows Server virtualization to scale up to 64 processors, which I’m proud to say is something no other vendor’s product supports. We are also providing a much more dynamic VM environment with hot-add of processors, memory, disk and networking as well a greater scalability with more SMP support and memory.

“We still have some work to do to have the beta meet the 'scale up' bar we have set. Also, we’re tuning Windows Server virtualization to run demanding enterprise IT workloads, even I/O intensive workloads, so performance is very important and we still have some work to do here.”

Those following this market closely know that the virtualization wars have only just begun.

Microsoft's muddled acquisition of the Virtual Server software and tardiness shipping a hypervisor-based product has placed it years and thousands of customers behind Vmware. As a result, Microsoft has been thrust into the awkward position of partnering with open source, cancer-filled companies such as XenSource.

After years of biting its tongue, VMware has started to grumble about Microsoft's tactics in the virtualization game, saying Redmond makes VMware support tough on customers. Microsoft now gives away Virtual Server for free and will do the same with Viridian. See the Browser Wars and DoJ anti-trust lawsuit for more information on how such a strategy has played out in the past.

Of course, flipping your server virtualization vendor proves far more painful than installing a new browser. Microsoft should be allowed a large amount of leeway in this market where it's the true underdog. ®

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
It's Big, it's Blue... it's simply FABLESS! IBM's chip-free future
Or why the reversal of globalisation ain't gonna 'appen
'Hmm, why CAN'T I run a water pipe through that rack of media servers?'
Leaving Las Vegas for Armenia kludging and Dubai dune bashing
Bitcasa bins $10-a-month Infinite storage offer
Firm cites 'low demand' plus 'abusers'
Facebook slurps 'paste sites' for STOLEN passwords, sprinkles on hash and salt
Zuck's ad empire DOESN'T see details in plain text. Phew!
Pssst. Want to buy a timeshare in the clouds?
The Google dilemma — controller or spreader of knowledge?
CAGE MATCH: Microsoft, Dell open co-located bit barns in Oz
Whole new species of XaaS spawning in the antipodes
Microsoft and Dell’s cloud in a box: Instant Azure for the data centre
A less painful way to run Microsoft’s private cloud
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
New hybrid storage solutions
Tackling data challenges through emerging hybrid storage solutions that enable optimum database performance whilst managing costs and increasingly large data stores.