A number of questions have come up in recent conversations about Virtualization. So here's a run down of what is happening
System Center Virtual Machine Manager has already been released. Support for Hyper-V will come in the next version (along with support for other virtualization products). The SCVMM team have said they are trying to have a preview version (beta or CTP) to coincide with the Beta of hyper-V, to synchronize the release of the two products. are trying to get their releases as close as they can to the releases of Hyper-V ... when will those be ...
Hyper-V (a.k.a. Windows Server Virtualization, a.k.a Viridian). A Community Technology Preview came out with Release candidate 0 for Server 2008; a full Beta will included with the release of Server 2008, and within 180 days it will be released. At the moment the list of operating system / service pack combinations supported running on top of Hyper-V is still being defined.
Hyper-V itself is only 64 bit (x64, not Itanium). It is quite happy to run 64 bit or 32 bit guest operating systems, but it needs a 64 bit CPU with Virtualization support
There will be no new releases of Virtual Server; (no new server side 32-bit Virtualization). But Virtual Server will be supported to the end of 2014. It became available in 2004, so mainstream support lasts until the end of 2009, and extended support ends in 2014, when the product is 10 years old.
There is a general expectation that there will be a new version of the desktop Virtual PC, at the moment there isn't any concrete information to share.
As well as server 2008, we also have service packs in the pipeline for both Windows XP and Vista. There may be patches / service packs for Virtual PC and Virtual Server to fully support the new OSes, but for general guidance, all three will be supported as guest OSes under both Virtual Server 2005 R2 and Virtual PC (32 bit only).
Virtual PC won't be supported running on Server 2008 as a host, but it will support the new client service packs. Virtual Server 2005 will be supported on Server 2008 and Vista.
(1) One of the SCVMM team contacted me to say my original comments on their ship plans weren't quite right; which is one of the dangers of repeating information I got second hand. His words were "Our plan is to be close to Hyper-V’s schedule but I would avoid using the word synchronized". What I said originally was supposed to mean "Their ideal would be to be synchronized" not "They are working to this date". I wouldn't expect them to have dates that they can announce until the new year.
(2) Just to be clear. No new releases of Virtual Server, doesn't rule out service packs, but we won't be porting new features of Hyper-V to Virtual server
(3) Fixed some typos.
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I'm not a winter person. Things which one would normally take in one's stride become the end-of-everything