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As the person who oversees the development plans, teams and strategy for Microsoft’s virtualization software on desktops and servers, I want to update everyone on the timing of our server virtualization offerings. I know that many of our customers and partners will hear of these changes from their usual Microsoft contacts, but I wanted to personally explain some of the reasons behind the new schedule for Windows Server virtualization (codename Viridian) and Virtual Server 2005 R2 service pack 1. But first, here’s where we stand today: The public beta of Windows Server virtualization will ship in the second half of 2007, not in the first half as previously disclosed. The final version of Virtual Server 2005 R2 service pack 1 now will be available in Q2, not Q1 as previously stated. In the interim, customers and partners can download a Release Candidate (RC) version later this month - this is code complete and an update to the current beta 2.
Here is your chance to interact with Microsoft experts in an online text based Q&A in real time. On May 8th, 2007, join Bill Laing-General Manager for Windows Server, Iain McDonald-Director of Windows Server Program Management, Alex Hinrichs-Group Program Manager, Joseph Landes-Director of Product Management, David Lowe-Senior Product Manager, and Ward Ralston-Senior Technical Product Manager to discuss what’s new in Windows Server “Longhorn” Beta 3. Learn more about how Windows Server “Longhorn” provides more control, greater flexibility and increased protection.
Please join us for this 8-part series webcast for Windows Server “Longhorn" Beta 3 in May. Webcasts will kick off with an overview of what is new in Windows Server "Longhorn" Beta 3. In addition, this Windows Server “Longhorn” series includes webcasts on Cluster Validation, Internet Information Services 7.0, Network Security, Branch Office, Centralized Application Access, Virtualization & Server Management. Click on calendar to register for one or for all.
For those of you running Virtual Server 2005 R2 -- and I know there's been more than 1 million downloads -- then you'll want to download beta 2 of System Center Virtual Machine Manager. And if you do so before May 24, you'll be automatically entered to win an Xbox 360 console. And that's HUGE, since Master Chief's new adventures in Halo 3 are coming out soon. And Forza Motorsport 2 for those more interested in driving (like me) than shooting. Doug Brown, Microsoft MVP, wrote his thoughts here. Or if you're looking for a TOP 10 list, go here. From a design point of view, the System Center team created SCVMM so that IT pros can manage/provision both physical and virtual resources and systems from the same tool. This is a much different approach than VMware, Virtual Iron and XenSource who are focused on managing just the islands of virtualized systems. Meanwhile, traditional systems management vendors like IBM, HP, CA, BMC have created plug-ins to their management tools in order to manage VMs. But, they have yet to create the deep instrumentation that the SCVMM team has done for this version, and will do with the next version of SCVMM that will manage Windows Server virtualization (code name Viridian).
If you aren't already aware from press articles or the Microsoft Security Advisory, there are reports of an attack exploiting a vulnerability in the DNS Server Service in Windows 2000 Server SP4, Windows Server 2003 SP1, and Windows Server 2003 SP2. The attack could allow remote code execution. Folks in the MSRC say "At this time, the attack does not appear widespread." The FAQ with the Security Advisory says "Microsoft is completing development of a security update for Windows that addresses this vulnerability."
Ben Armstrong, the MS employee who blogs as the Virtual PC Guy, has published book on Microsoft Virtual Server 2005. See the second link for a summary of the chapters and content included in the book.
Members of the Storage product management group still receive lots of inquiries about support and compatibility of Microsoft applications with external storage. The information most often requested is related to Exchange, SQL and file serving. We often hear comments like: “Running applications like SQL, Exchange, or SharePoint are not supported on a SAN”. Applications like SQL and Exchange do support block level storage and as such many deployments of these applications have been on Storage Area Networks that support Fibre Channel or iSCSI for block level access. In these deployments, the application is deployed on a Windows server that is a host for a back-end SAN where the data stores reside. How does one know if a specific storage array from vendor X is supported in these deployments? This is easy to answer: Check the Windows Server Catalog for RAID Storage.
I spent Monday and Tuesday in Austin, TX for meetings with counterparts at Dell and AMD. Doing these meeting back-to-back is much easier now than last year due to these two companies working together. The drive on IH 35 between the two headquarters is only 35 minutes - on a good day I'm told.