AMD Virtualization Technology (AVT) compatibility

Virtual Server 2005 R2 SP1 Beta 2 now includes support for AMD® Virtualization Technology. By default, hardware assisted virtualization is enabled if present. Support for AMD® Virtualization Technology can also be specifically enabled or disabled on a per virtual machine basis by toggling the "Enable hardware-assisted virtualization if available" option in the general properties configuration page.

Volume Shadow Service Support

Volume Shadow Service provides customers with improved support for backup and disaster recovery. Instead of scheduling downtime for backing up each virtual machine individually, customers will now be able to take snapshot backups of physical machines that will in turn take snapshots of all the virtual machines on that physical host.

Offline VHD Mounting

Offline VHD mounting now enables customers to view and manipulate the files in a VHD from the host OS.  This enables administrators to easily deploy scripts and perform virus scans across VHDs without having to start each virtual machine. 

Active Directory integration and management features

Virtual Server service now publishes its binding information in Active Directory as a Service Connection Point (SCP) object.  System administrators can use this information to easily locate all instances of the Virtual Server service within an Active Directory forest.

 

What was new in R2 SP1 Beta 1 (also in Beta 2)

Hardware-assisted virtualization

Virtual Server 2005 R2 SP1 includes support for Intel® Virtualization Technology. By default, hardware assisted virtualization is enabled if present. Support for Intel® Virtualization Technology can also be specifically enabled or disabled on a per virtual machine basis by toggling the "Enable hardware-assisted virtualization if available" option in the general properties configuration page. Users should refer to their system’s documentation on how to enable Intel® Virtualization Technology.

Virtual Server host clustering step-by-step Guide

The host clustering whitepaper is now included with Virtual Server. It is installed at: ~:\Program Files\Microsoft Virtual Server\Host Clustering.

 

Larger default size for dynamically expanding virtual hard disks

The default size for dynamically expanding virtual hard disks has been changed from 16 GB to 127 GB.

 

Virtual SCSI fix for Linux guests

Some users encountered an issue when trying to install certain Linux distributions inside a virtual machine on the emulated SCSI bus. The issue occurred most often with the Linux 2.6.x kernel. This issue has been fixed in R2 SP1 Beta 1.

 

Support for greater than 64 VMs on x64 hosts

Until now, there has been a hard coded limit in Virtual Server allowing for a maximum number of 64 running virtual machines. Starting with R2 SP1 you can run greater than 64 virtua machines ON X64 HOSTS. The 64 VM limit remains when running on 32-bit Windows.