Many of you would like to know how Virtual Server is being used at Microsoft. Here's a response from Jeff Woolsey, Lead Program Manager for virtualization. Thanks Jeff!
Virtual Server is being used in a variety of ways at Microsoft, including for test and development and online training, such as Microsoft Learning.
Virtual Server is used by test teams throughout Microsoft, including Exchange, SQL, SBS, MOM, and many others. This is because Virtual Server allows you to rapidly deploy test servers within virtual machines while minimizing hardware requirements. Also, Virtual Server makes debugging easier. Debugging typically requires that a test computer is attached to a developer’s computer via a serial cable. With Virtual Server there's no need for this. The process is as follows:
In the past year, Microsoft Learning has converted the majority of their online training from scripted Flash-type demos to live interactive training using Virtual Server. They started off slowly and have been ramping up with the increase in demand. Users log in and perform step-by-step interactive training with Virtual Server. On the back end, this is all done using virtual machines and Undo disks. When the customer logs in, an Undo disk is created for the session. When the user finished and logs out, the Undo disk is discarded and immediately the virtual machine is ready for the next user.
Microsoft Learning is servicing more customers than ever. This is a production environment in use everyday: 30,143 attendees in January (972 attendees daily) alone with a 206,390 YTD. Because of the huge success of this program, Microsoft Learning is adding more hardware to increase the number of available labs.
Here are a few of the positive results they’ve seen…