I've been telling people for ages that they don't need to install IIS just to run Virtual Server (you only need IIS on the machine where you want to run the Administration Web Site). Well, now we've released VMRCplus (an alternate UI for managing Virtual Server).
We rarely receive complaints about Virtual Server's feature set or its performance, but we do receive complaints about the web administration - well now you really don't need to use it. VMRCplus is a local Windows application that uses the documented Virtual Server COM interface.
Here's a couple of screen shots:
Main VMRCplus window (Guest Manager).
Remote control session (Console Manager) - note tabbed browsing.
VMRCplus will soon be available here: Virtual Server 2005 R2 Resource Kit by Robert Larson, MSPress (targeted for August)
But if you want to get your hands on it now, Keith Combs has put it up on his blog here:
Download x86 version
Download x64 version
It is VERY nice (I like it lots).
Microsoft.com are running IIS7 on all of their servers! (except for a single box which they use to do comparative studies with).
More details here.
System Center Service Manager links IT to the business by enabling IT organizations to respond to changing business needs while delivering reliable and cost-effective IT services. Service Manager is an extensible platform that delivers out-of-box workflows to automate IT operations around incident and problem resolution, IT change control, and asset lifecycle management. Leveraging a model-based CMDB, Service Manager complements Configuration Manager and Operations Manager by serving as the central hub through which all IT assets and processes are tracked, playing a critical role in driving the value of IT services to the business.
To get onto the beta, register your interest here:
Licensing Virtualisation isn't as hard as you'd think. Basically if it's running you have to be licensed.
There's also a lot of FUD out there that would have you believe that Microsoft is 'cheating' to make it more affordable to use our virtualisation stack (this isn't true - the licensing rules are the same). There's a real nice document here that covers VMware ESX Server, VMware VMotion, SWsoft Virtuozzo, and Microsoft System Center Virtualization Machine Manager. This document also Intentionally compares VMotion, System Center Virtual Machine Manager and Microsoft Host Clustering (AKA Quick Migration) to build awareness with VMware customers that we have similar management and “VM movement” capabilities.
We've also launched the Windows Server Virtualization Calculator which provide two ways to estimate the number and cost of Windows Server Standard Edition, Enterprise Edition and Datacenter Edition licenses needed for your virtualization scenarios to help you determine the most cost-effective edition of Windows Server.
Virtual Server 2005 R2 SP1 went live yesterday - you can download it for free now.
There are a ton of great things in SP1 including support for hardware assisted virtualisation technology (both AMD and Intel), support for Volume Shadow Copy Service (snapshot backups of running virtual machines), support for offline mounting of VHD files and support for more than 64 virtual machines on a single physical server.
Someone inside Microsoft managed to get their hands on a server with 256GB of memory and span up 508 virtual machines each with 512MB of memory. Granted it took them the best part of a day to turn then all on and they weren't doing much - but 508 virtual machines on a single box (wow)!
More about Virtual Server 2005 R2 SP1 here.
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I've been telling people how they can download pre-configured, 30 day evaluation copies of Microsoft (and Partner) software from www.microsoft.com/vhd - well, looks like it's finally taking off. You can now download:
All you need to evaluate any of these products is your free copy of Virtual PC or Virtual Server - and a PC with at least a GB of memory.
I did this afternoon (well, I was doing admin tasks) - whilst doing that I watched Bob Muglia's keynote presentation from TechEd in Orlando.
It is/was very good, so if you do have an hour and a half to spare, I'd recommend it.
If you haven't got that long, how about nine and a half minutes? There's a very good set of demos by Jeff Woolsey that starts at 40:30 into the keynote that covers off Virtualisation in action (Quick Migration) with Server Core, Virtual Machine Manager and Operations Manager.
I've been doing a lot of talks on Microsoft and Virtualisation recently.
The topic that seems to get a lot of interest is how we use Virtual Server and Clustering together to provide high availability. Basically Virtual Server is a 'clusterable resource' - which means that any guest virtual machine can fail over between cluster nodes (for both planned and unplanned downtime) - offering the ability to quickly move a virtual machine from physical server to physical server (we currently support eight physical servers in a single cluster).
We've been able to do this since January 2006, but it seems that not a lot of people knew it (or weren't aware of what it meant). To help with the understanding, we've renamed this feature from Host Clustering to Quick Migration. For details on how to set this up, you can find the step-by-step instructions here.
Quick Migration simply saves the state of a running virtual machine (memory to disk), moves the storage connectivity from one physical server to another and then restores the virtual machine (disk to memory). This is quick (seconds) - but it will depend on how much memory needs to be written to disk and the speed of the connectivity to the storage. For your reference, a 512Mb virtual machine can be migrated from one server to another in about six seconds using 1Gb iSCSI.
I hope this helps.
Looks like Microsoft have been listening to our customers (IIS wasn't planned to be a role on a Core installation):
Microsoft Takes Web Hosting to a New Level with Internet Information Services 7.0
Q&A: What Microsoft’s decision to add Internet Information Services 7.0 to the Server Core Installation Option of Windows Server 2008 means for customers and partners.