Advancing Microsofts Strategy for Virtualization

Microsoft is leading the effort to improve system functionality, making it more self-managing and dynamic. Microsoft's main goal with virtualization is to provide administrators more control of their IT systems with the release of Windows Server 2008 and Hyper-V.

This includes a faster response time to restore that is head and shoulders above Microsoft's competition. Windows Server 2008 provides a total package of complimentary virtualization products that range in functionality from desktop usage to datacenter hubs. One of their major goals is to provide the ability to manage all IT assets, both physical and virtual, from a single remote machine. Microsoft is also forwarding an effort to cut IT costs with its virtualization programs to better help customers take advantage of the interoperability features its products have to offer as well as data center consolidation. This also includes energy efficiency due to the use of less physical machines. This fact alone reduces the consumption of energy in the data center and helps to save money long term. By contributing to and investing in the areas of management, applications, and licensing, Microsoft hopes to succeed in this effort.

Windows Server 2008 has many of these goals in mind, providing a number of important assets to administrators. The implementation of Hyper-V for virtualization allows for quick migration and high availability. This provides solutions for scheduled and unscheduled downtime, and the possibility of improved restore times. Virtual storage is supported for up to four virtual SCSI controllers per virtual machine, allowing for ample storage capacity. Hyper-V allows for the import and export of virtual machines and is integrated with Windows Server Manager for greater usability options.

In the past compatibility was always an issue of concern. Now the emulated video card has been updated to a more universal VESA compatible card. This will improve video issues, resulting in noncompatibility with operating systems like Linux. In addition Windows Server 2008 also includes integration components (ICs) for virtual machines. When you install Windows Server 2008 as a guest system in a Hyper-V virtual machine, Windows will install the ICs automatically. There is also support for Hyper-V with the Server Core in the parent partition allowing for easier configuration. This as well as numerous fixes for performance, scalability, and compatibility make the end goal for Hyper-V a transparent end user experience.

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