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We’ve made good progress with Windows Server virtualization: we’re taking customer nominations for the technology adoption program (TAP); we have interop agreements with both XenSource and Novell; partners have provided productive input on the platform APIs; VHD image format available via the Open Specification Promise; a beta version will be available with the RTM version of Windows Server “Longhorn.” I believe Windows Server virtualization will be appealing for the core virtualization scenarios, from the mid-market and large organizations to the enterprise. Especially for mid-market customers, they have the greatest need for a virtualization solution that is reliable, offers integrated management tools, has world class technical support, and allows employees and partners to leverage their existing skill sets. But with all this progress comes the occasional tradeoff. So we are making the following changes, and postponing these features to a future release of Windows Server virtualization: No Live migration; No hot-add resources; Support limit of 16 cores/logical processors. I wanted to share this information this week with partners and customers so that no one is surprised at WinHEC when we demo all the other innovations in Windows Server virtualization.
I was stuck back in Redmond this week, unable to attend WinHEC 2007. But one cool, new feature of Windows Server 2008 on display at WinHEC is dynamic hardware partitioning. This was shown during Bill Laing's keynote today. The demo also showcased new features of the NEC Express5800/1320Xf server (Itanium) ... further proof that Microsoft does in fact innovate on the Itanium platform. Here's a couple relevant passages from the NEC news release and the Computerworld article: The dynamic hardware partitioning functionality available in Windows Server 2008, currently available as a public beta, provides the ability to actively add memory, processor and I/O devices while the system is running for enhanced scalability. At the same time, the functionality also improves reliability, availability and serviceability (RAS) by allowing "hot replace" on systems to avoid scheduled maintenance downtime. Microsoft is partnering with suppliers to vertical markets including financial services, or for applications including databases or e-mail, where server availability is critical. Microsoft is making available an application programming interface (API) to allow server vendors to implement the hot-swap feature with their respective systems management software and firmware, Jewett said.
At some point along the way, you've probably been given this advice about public speaking: (1) tell them what you're going to say; (2) tell them; and (3) tell them what you've said. I've always found that to be good guidance, yet so easy to overlook or disgard because there's so much we want to communicate. Similarly, in November 2005, we told customers and partners about the Windows Server roadmap and the transition to 64-bit. In short, Windows Server 2008 will be the last 32-bit server OS from Microsoft. So this week's WinHEC served as a time to remind customers and partners what we're going to do. Bill Laing showed a roadmap of server products that are already 64-bit only, such as Exchange 2007, Windows CCS, Windows Server virtualization, others, and approximate timeframe for other server products. Unfortunately, Joe Wilcox and a few others got it wrong and heard that Windows Server 2008 would be the last 32-bit OS from Microsoft ... server and client. Cue Bob Harris pitching Suntory whiskey in "Lost in Translation." While the server team is bullish on 64-bit, the embedded and desktop world isn't near ready for x64 only. So the Vista team cleared up reporter's confusion today.
Well, it won't be in book stores until the end of May, but you can now pre-order "Introducing Windows Server 2008" from Amazon.com. MVP and technical author Mitch Tulloch wrote the book with the help of a whole bunch of experts from the Windows Server division. This book is the perfect complement to much of the activity starting to pop up from outside Microsoft. We have web hosters using the go-live license of IIS 7.0 on beta 3 to run their operations; ISV partners have customers testing their apps on Windows Server beta 3; there's news of interoperability with key features, like Network Access Protection; we're starting to see new apps from partners that leverage new features of Windows Server 2008; and we'll have the first public hands-on lab of Windows Server virtualization at TechEd-Orlando.
For those of you amongst the 14,000 attending TechEd 2007 next week in Orlando, expect to see and learn alot about virtualization. It all starts with Bob Muglia's keynote on Monday where Jeff Woolsey will reprise his role of virtualization demo dude. Jeff will demo Windows Server 2008 server core installation running an IDS build of Windows Server virtualization, managed by both MOM and System Center Virtual Machine Manager. I'd expect to see VM creation, interop and network load balancing with limited disruption of service. I'm hoping to see V-to-V conversion, from ESX Server to Windows Server virtualization. I'll be watching on Monday, and I expect the webcast to be available from here. Looking for something a bit more technical? Well I'd recommend the following sessions: SVR239 - Virtualization 360: Microsoft's vision and strategy for virtualization SVR342 - High Availability for Physical and Virtual Environments with Windows Server 2008 SVR344 - Running Paravirtualized Linux Guests with Microsoft Windows Virtualization SVR241 - Debunking virtualization market myths and misperceptions If you're looking for 300-level fun, I'd recommend attending the first-ever, public hands-on lab for Windows Server virtualization. You won't walk away with code (it's not public yet) from this HOL, but you'll walk away with the ability to: configure Windows Server virtualization, create and manage VHDs, create and manage virtual network switches and VMs.