As most people will be aware, Microsoft supports a number of Windows OS’s virtualised on Hyper-V. ‘Tell us something we don’t know’ I hear you shout! Well, Microsoft have also worked with Novell, and Red Hat to ensure that distributions of Linux are supported, and optimised to run virtualised on Hyper-V. Microsoft also worked with the Linux community to release the Linux Integration Components, LinuxIC, so they can be included within the Linux kernel.
Up to now however, things have been going pretty well, yet there is one request that keeps coming back, time and time again, and that’s for SMP support, or, to you and me, the ability to have Linux guests with multiple virtual processors. It’s not to say that you couldn’t do this prior to this point in time, but, it wasn’t supported.
A few days back, that changed. Well, kind of. I say kind of, because Microsoft have again worked with Partners to produce the Linux Integration Components, or Services, v2.1, but right now, they’re in beta, so technically, you’re still unsupported until they finally release, but new features and functionality are included to start your testing!
To some of you, SMP aside, the updates may seem trivial or unimportant, yet these are just small examples of incremental improvements over time, and responses to genuine Customer and Partner requests for improvements, and all help to ensure that Linux is becoming a welcome first class citizen on Hyper-V, and Hyper-V is establishing itself as a heterogeneous platform for the datacenter.
Currently, these Integration Services support Novell SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 10 SP3, 11, and Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.2, 5.3, and 5.4
If you’re interested in testing these out, you can grab the download from here.