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Windows Server 2008 cuts power costs, claims Microsoft

Compared to Windows Server 2003 that is

Security for virtualized datacentres

Microsoft spat out a white paper earlier this week in which it claimed that its Windows Server 2008 product cuts power consumption by about 10 per cent.

It’s no surprise to see Redmond leaping at the opportunity to proclaim that its new software can help cut customer’s increasingly hefty 'leccy bills. But how did it draw those conclusions? Why, by testing Windows Server 2008 against Windows Server 2003, of course.

The firm compared power consumption between two installations on the same server, but tellingly it didn’t test its software against any Linux-based offerings or rival virtualisation products on the market.

Microsoft bods installed Windows Server 2003 R2 Enterprise x64 Edition with Service Pack two as well as hot fixes onto a system with two dual-core processors and 4GB of RAM. They then formatted the hard drive before loading the server with Windows Server 2008 Enterprise Edition.

They concluded that Windows Server 2003 guzzled 10 per cent more power that Windows Server 2008.

Two significant changes set the platforms apart, said Microsoft. The first being better power management features that have been enabled by default in Server 2008, while the second was all about the dirty virtuous V-word.

Virtualisation is a major component of Windows Server 2008 which was released late February this year. Microsoft stated the obvious about the technology’s benefits:

“If multiple virtual machines can run on a single physical machine without consuming significantly more power than a standalone server while keeping comparable throughput, that means you can add virtual machines at essentially no power cost, as dictated by your hardware and performance needs.”

Microsoft even took the opportunity to put the boot in to its rivals. “Hyper-V can still throttle the amount of voltage to the CPU based on load – which is something VMware and Xen can NOT do today,” it said.

However, most significant of all is the fact that Hyper-V hasn’t landed yet. The software giant was forced to delay the product’s scheduled arrival, which should have been neatly tied-up with Windows Server 2008 at its Heroes Happen Here launch earlier this year.

Microsoft still insists that it's on schedule to pump out a full final version of Hyper-V by mid-August.

In the meantime, customers can play with release candidate versions of the hypervisor to test Redmond's 10 per cent Windows Server 2008 power saving claims. ®

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