Licensing isn't the easiest thing to get your head around at the best of times, hence we release cool tools that enable you to build your virtual infrastructure and price it all up. We also release really long white papers which detail everything, but what if you want a quick glance at a table to see what's what with virtualisation? Well, read on:
So, what does this table mean? Well, you have your desktop OS on the left, and as you can see, with XP Pro, for every Virtual Machine you deploy with Windows XP, you need 1 licence. So, if I have a physical host running XP Pro, and I install Virtual PC, or VMware Workstation, and create 3 more XP Virtual Machines, I need a total of 4 XP licenses. However, if you look at the column on the far right, you can see that if you have Software Assurance, you can have a maximum of 1 'free' (hence the 0) XP Virtual Machine per physical XP Host.
Home Basic and Home Premium come with no virtualisation licensing configurations, so let's nip past those.
Looking at Vista Business, again, without SA, I'm afraid it's 1 licence per install, regardless of it being in a VM or not, however, looking at the right hand column, you can see that you can have up to 4 VM's installed on that physical host. There is a caveat, and that's why it's got a *. If you have Vista Business with SA, you can upgrade to Vista Enterprise for free anyway (plus get things like BitLocker!) and take advantage of the 4 VM's, however if you choose to stay with Vista Business, you can't take advantage of the 4 VM's.
What about the Servers?
OK, so looking at the Server side of things, you can see the number of CPU's that SBS and Server 2003 Standard both support; 2 and 4 respectively, and that they both require a single licence of the Server OS per physical host. For every Virtual Machine Guest that they install, they will require a licence for that guest OS. So essentially, both Server OS's come with no additional virtualisation benefits. If, for example, I installed Windows Server 2003 Standard R2 on my physical box, then installed Virtual Server, and created 3 XP Virtual Machines...yep, that means 3 XP licenses are required.
Moving to Enterprise, you obviously need the licence on the physical box, but, similar to Vista Enterprise, this gives you the option to run up to 4 Windows Server VM's. That gets even better with Datacenter edition. Although you need a licence per physical processor, which could get expensive, you don't need any more licenses for your virtual machines, so essentially, you could save a fortune with this method, and consolidate your infrastructure. Makes sense to me!
If you want to do any more calculating, you'd be hard pressed to find a better way to do it than use the Virtualization Calculator.
The Partner team here in Reading have been working on this for quite some time now, and it's finally live! Even I contributed to some of the content! The Partner Bot is a robot contact that you can add to Windows Live Messenger, using the 'firstname.lastname@example.org' email address. As you can see, I've asked the Partner Bot who I am, and it's returned a very detailed piece of information, along with a call to action. I didn't submit that info, honest...
You'll see that style of response to nearly all the questions; a bit of info, and then a link to more information. I populated the database with information on Vista and Longhorn, so there is quite a bit to get you started. There is also plenty of information relating to the Microsoft Partner Program to get your teeth into.
I've stolen (borrowed) this blurb from Steve's blog:
Partner Bot is your Instant Messenger 'data digger', which quickly retrieves partner-related information and shows you where you can find the answers you need. Simply type in your question and Bot will bring back an instant response. Add Bot as a buddy in your Windows Live Messenger contacts and it will always be available whenever you're logged in. Whether you're looking for support options, searching for competitive information or want to learn more about competencies, ask Partner Bot and it will point you in the right direction.
(Please be aware that Bot may guide you to areas of the Partner Portal which can only be accessed by Registered, Certified or Gold Partners, so you may need to sign-in to view this information.)
Credit to Steve Marsh and Alex Smith here at Microsoft UK for their work on the Partner Bot. Nice one guys!
I blogged 'Developing on Office Live' a few weeks back, and highlighted a great blog by a chap called Darren Johnstone.
Tim, who provided me with Darren's details, has also uncovered another Office Live nugget, which was recorded at this year's MIX07 Web Developers conference.
Having watched the webcast, I can safely say, it's the most convincing and clearest demo I have seen so far to explain to web developers, ISV's etc… what the possibilities are, on Office Live, based on a specific business case (Northwind Bed and Breakfast :-)).
The video also covers aspects such as:
Building custom business applications for Office Live, Collecting & displaying data on website, Workflow, Business rules, SharePoint Designer, Outlook calendar integration, Virtual Earth Web 2.0 mash-up, Web Services API, Working with Windows Live ID & much more....
Moreover, you can optionally watch on the new Silverlight viewer and the quality of broadcast (once you have downloaded and installed Silverlight 1.0 beta) is excellent. Alternatively, you can download in other formats here, such as Zune and iPod.
Definitely worth a watch. It's just over an hour long, with the final 10-15 minutes dedicated to questions.
Video: Longhorn - Windows Server Virtualization
With the wonderful world of Virtualisation hotting up, I wanted to take the chance to explain and clarify a few things around Windows Server Virtualisation, and what was previously shown back at WinHEC in 2006.
In the video, you'll see Jeff Woolsey, Senior Program Manager for Windows Server Virtualisation (WSV), demo a number of different areas of the technology, and in particular, Jeff highlights 8-core Virtual Machines, Hot-Adding of hardware and Live Migration of Virtual Machines, none of which will make it into the first release of WSV.
The key statement in that last paragraph is "none of which will make it into the first release of WSV". Yes, that's right, they won't be there to begin with, but they will come. We've had them working. We've demo'd them live, and they will be back. Just not yet.
With regards to Live Migration - even with 3rd-Party-Live-Migration-Tools, would you ever do a live migration of a Virtual SQL Server at 2pm in the afternoon? What about an Exchange Server? Do you trust it enough, even if that particular piece of 3rd party software was considered the optimum tool for the job? Be honest, would you? I think most of the people out there would rather wait until the end of the day's trading, and then perform the migration just to be on the safe side. However, if you've waited until the end of the day, why does live migration suddenly become so important? Would it really matter if a Virtual Machine was down for 10 seconds? Does it have to be instant? Many of the people we speak to suggest a little bit of downtime would be fine, and the luxury of live migration becomes just that. A luxury.
So, if live migration has been postponed in WSV, what is in it's place? Well, the informatively named 'Quick Migration'. Just like a popular tin of Varnish, it does exactly what it say's on the tin. It migrates VM's quickly. Not live, not instantly, but quickly, and anyone who has watched Jeff Woolsey demo at TechEd, just recently in Orlando, at around the 45:25 minute mark, would have seen Jeff migrate a VM, in around about 6 seconds. Admittedly, even 6 seconds would be too long at 2pm in the afternoon under a heavy workload, but after the day has finished, would 6 seconds be acceptable? Most would say so. Interestingly, you can also have this kind of functionality with Virtual Server 2005 R2 SP1, today, for free.
Aside from live migration, 8-core VM's has gone for now, but 4-core is still there - we think this is still relevant, and scalable for the majority of today's workloads. 8-core, and more, will come.
Everything else in that video is relevant, and still exists in the release that will ship within 180 days of the RTM of Server 2008. I think you have to agree, even if you remove live migration, 8-core support and hot-adding of hardware, WSV and System Center still provide a fantastic platform to help optimise your infrastructure.
If you haven't heard of these two technology areas, where have you been! Windows Server 2008 has just hit Beta 3, and is now available for public download for people to test. Let's make no bones about it, Windows Server 2008, will be the most secure, flexible and easy to manage server operating system that we have ever made, yet aside from these 3 pillars, this release will be the turning point for Microsoft in the virtualisation arena. Can you afford not to watch?
Gareth Hall, Windows Server Product Manager here in the UK, hosts the interview with Ward Ralston, Senior Technical Product Manager for Windows Server, based in Redmond. The guys cover a great deal in the 10 minute (or so!) interview, paying particular attention to aspects of Windows Server 2008 such as Server Core, NAP, Network Utilisation and Virtualisation.
Stream Video (11 min)Download Video (Right Click, Save As) (39Mb)
In terms of resources, the following will be of use around Windows Server 2008 and Virtualisation:
Now, I've had my hands on this for a while, and it is superb. I'm not the only one who thinks that either. At our recent 'Vista: After Hours' event, both James and I were quite taken aback by the enthusiasm and demand that the product generated. However, at the time, Home Server was part of an invite-only beta program, but now, with the RC release, it's open to everyone to start testing, and enjoying :-)
So, what's it all about? Forget that! Register first!
OK, so what is it all about...
Well, think about this. Do you have loads of photo's and music on different PC's? Do you have friends bringing their machines around to your house, joining your home network, yet you are not sure whether they have anti-virus etc? Can you easily access your content from anywhere in the world? Well, Home Server hit's all those nails on the head with a whopping hammer, and then some.
You can read all about the delights of Home Server here.
So, What’s new in RC1? (Thanks to http://www.wegotserved.co.uk/)
It's also important to note: "The Windows Home Server product team would like to ask everybody to opt in to the “Customer Experience Improvement” program during the RC release of Windows Home Server. The anonymous data collected will help us better understand how many servers are up and running as well as some basic data about those servers, number of hard drives, number of PCs connected and whether backups are successful. You will help us make Windows Home Server a better product if you turn on this option."
If that's not enough, you can even download add-ins for Windows Home Server - James has these documented!
Not sure if you've seen this website, but it's a pretty cool way to find out about Windows Server 2008. It's a pretty cool flash-based site (where's the Silverlight!), giving you information on how to download the Beta 3 of Server 2008, how Server 2008 brings you more control, flexibility and greater protection, and there are also a number of video's you can watch on there, which contain interviews with members of the product teams, among others. A valuable resource me thinks :-)
By adding your face, you can join the Windows Server 2008 Developer Community and really help to change the face of the product before it's too late...
On a lighter note, there are some pretty cool video's kicking around the web, featuring the Windows Server team, and on this occasion, they are trying to come up with a great way to distribute the Beta 3 of Server 2008...
Video: It's raining Beta 3!
Are you in control? Do you know how to manage and secure your infrastructure? If not, these events could be a godsend for you!
Basically, back in March of this year, the Microsoft Management Summit took place in San Diego, and is considered the premier technical event of the year for IT professionals, covering the latest management products from Partners and Microsoft including the System Center family of management products. The event was packed with knowledge and experience, both from Industry experts and Microsoft product group members, enabling the attendees to take away key solutions and processes and apply them to their IT environment with confidence. I couldn't go, and I'm sure that many of you in the UK were the same, hence, the UK is now getting it's own, albeit cut-down slightly, version of the event! Cool!
The UK events will involve two keynotes followed by two parallel tracks each of four sessions, enabling you to build your personal agenda. There will still be time to meet your peers, talk to presenters and assimilate the news!
The focus is on:
The events will run on (Click to Register):
OK, so you're tempted, but you still aren't entirely sure what System Center is, and what it's aimed at - well, Microsoft System Center plays a central role in the Microsoft vision to help IT organizations benefit from self-managing, dynamic systems. System Center solutions capture and aggregate knowledge about your infrastructure, policies, processes, and best practices so your IT staff can build manageable systems and automate operations in order to reduce costs, improve application availability, and enhance service delivery.
Read more about System Center.
If you need any further incentive to go along, at the events, you can pick up your copy of the Microsoft ForeFront and Microsoft System Center DVD. The DVD contains trial software for both suites of products plus the betas for System Center Essentials 2007 and System Center Configuration Manager 2007 and a whole host of other content, including whitepapers, case studies and datasheets. A great deal I think!
Tim, a colleague here at Microsoft UK, forwarded on a link to Darren Johnstone's blog, or more specifically, a link to the Office Live section of his blog.
Darren has written a number of excellent posts on Office Live, specifically, developing for Office Live. He's documented working with Windows Mobile and Office Live, Office Live Solution Architectures, Office Live and SharePoint and more. If you are a developer, and are thinking about Office Live as a new platform, can you afford to ignore this kind of information?
If you don't know about Office Live, you can read more here, and if you didn't know, Office Live Basics is FREE.
I first blogged about the Windows Mobile Device Center back in October, when Vista was still in RC2, and the WMDC was in Beta 3. Well, now, Vista's RTM'd (I hope you know that already! :-)), and WMDC has been available for download for ages. For most people, connecting their Windows Mobile to their Vista PC and connecting to Windows Update would allow them to download the Device Center.
So, the point of the post - the WMDC 6.1 for Windows Vista is now available to download, from here and brings improvements such as:
So, where can you read all the info and download it from again? Here:
Also, if you've not seen what Windows Mobile 6 can do, you can download a flash-based demo of that here.