As I am now piling out from my Holiday break emails I have a chance to get back to this beloved blog - and looking back over the entries - what a year it has been with Windows Server.
 
A quick jog down memory lane - last year we saw the release of Windows Server 2003 R2, Windows Server 2003 SP1 and an expansion of our 64-bit offering from Itanium only to our new x64 edtions.  There is no doubt in my mind - we are now are full steam ahead into a 64-bit only world as we release Compute Cluster Server, Exchange 12, SBS, and our new medium business server codenamed “Centro”......all 64-bit only.   Even the newly released Virtual Server 2005 R2 is x64 capable.  

If you were busy like me over the holidays you may have not heard about what we are doing in the virtualization front.   Virtual Server R2 delivers significantly increased performance, iSCSI support, PXE booting,  high availability clustering support, as well as support for Linux distros....one of my favorites!

At IT-Forum  in Barcelona we demonstrated failover support for virtual server – this is a capability that none of our competitors currently offer. This is all based on our notion of Self-Managing Dynamic Systems. 

If you havent seen this is Virtual Server yet, you can check out a video it here:  http://wardralston.members.winisp.net/3DemosSMDS.wmv (48M)

 We also announced very competitive new pricing for Virtual Server - $99 for standard edition and $199 for enterprise.  This pricing builds on our recent virtualization licensing changes where we announced a new benefit for Windows Server 2003 R2 Enterprise (which is now publically available)  – support for 4 virtual sessions.  All of these announcements demonstrate a clear Microsoft commitment to virtualization and helps establish us as leaders in this important area.


 On the management side, we demonstrated MOM v3 (currently in a limited beta) and announced a new product for mid-market customers; System Center Essentials.  MOM v3 is the first management product to build on SDM as created by Visual Studio 2005 and it moves our management paradigm from component monitoring to the broader focus on service level management.  System Center Essentials builds on the great features of MOM, WSUS, and SMS, but packages this in a form which is easy to use for IT Generalists.

Looking ahead, I am extremely excitied about Longhorn Server - stay tuned here for tons of 1-off information!

Cheers,


Ward Ralston