For those of you buying the latest generation Intel or AMD chipset, you'll notice they now include virtual technologies. AMD Virtualization (AMD-V) and Intel Virtualization Technology (IVT) technologies are both supported in Windows Virtual Server R2 SP1 Beta 2 for both x86 and x64 Windows host operating systems.

Virtual Server Beta 2 allows you to turn on IVT or AMD-V on a per VM basis.  But, how do you tell if virtualization is actually being recognized and used by Virtual Server 2005 R2 SP1 Beta 2?  At the moment, there isn't any UI in the Virtual Server admin website that shows you the status of such things.  However, you can use perfmon to query the Virtual Processor object (when a VM is started) to check.  Here's how:

  1. Make sure you've enabled hardware virtualization in the BIOS.  My Lenovo ThinkPad T60p setting is in the BIOS CPU area.  If is not turned on, turn it on, save the change and power down your machine.  Power it back up to pick up the change.
  2. Install Virtual Server 2005 R2 SP1 Beta 2.  You can get it from http://connect.microsoft.com.
  3. Add or create a virtual a machine using the admin website.  Don't forget if using Windows Vista RC1 (as I am) that you need to run an elevated instance of IE7 to access the admin website.  Elevation is easy.  Right click the IE7 icon and select the "Run as Administrator" from the menu items.
  4. In the configuration settings for the VM, go to the General Properties.
  5. Turn on the checkbox for "Enable hardware-assisted virtualization if available".
  6. Save the changes to the VM and start it.
  7. Now that the VM is running, start perfmon.
  8. Click the add counters plus sign button.
  9. Scroll down and look to see if you see the Virtual Processors object and select it.  One note on this, the counters don't always show up correctly the first time you launch perfmon so exit and launch it again if it is missing.  If you are using the Performance and Reliability Monitor in Windows Vista RC1, you'll want to click the down arrow to expand the available counters. 
  10. Select and add the "HVM-VP is in HVM mode" object. 
  11. Click ok and save the counter to the active monitoring.  If you see the value is 1 (true), the hardware assisted virtualization is active and working.  0 is bad news.

Hopefully we'll add some nice UI to the Virtual Server 2005 admin website before we complete the R2 SP1 development cycle.  I have already suggested it but it would also be helpful for you to provide that type of feedback as a beta tester.  We'll have to wait and see if the Virtual PC team decides to add IVT or AMD-V support to the next version.

Enjoy your hot new multi core server, desktop or laptop!!!