Due to the Martin Luther King holiday in the U.S. on Monday, it was a fairly quiet day on the roads and in the office. But there was a flurry of server virtualization news, news and news out of Redmond. Here are the lightlights:

  • Acquisition of Calista Technologies, whose virtual desktop platform improves the remote desktop experience for running 3D graphics and multimedia capabilities to RDP. For one thing, Calista's technology reduces network bandwidth requirements and can accelerate data rates by as much as 20X. For those of you who are fans of Terminal Services, this acquisition will make TS use much better. Neal Margulis, the founder of Calista, posted here about his views on joining Microsoft.
  • Do you want to run Windows Vista on a server? If so, now you can do so at a lower price point. Check out Windows Vista Enterprise Centralized Desktop allows you to run Windows in virtual machines on servers and access them from either PCs or thin clients. The annual subscription to Windows Vista Enterprise Centralized Desktop is now roughly $23 per desktop for rich clients covered by Software Assurance for Windows Client. If you want to run thin-clients, you can purchase a subscription for an estimated retail price of $110 per desktop.
  • Citrix is developing software that will easily transfer virtual machines between the Xen hypervisor in Citrix XenServer and Windows Server 2008 Hyper-V to ensure greater interoperability. The tool, which is scheduled to be available to beta test in Q2 2008, will transfer all configuration information and driver set of the virtual machines in the Microsoft Virtual Hard Disk image format to run with Hyper-V.
  • From the news release, “XenDesktop, planned for release in second quarter 2008, will support and extend Windows Server 2008 shortly after the availability of Hyper-V”
  • Citrix will extend support for Windows Server 2008 Hyper-V and Microsoft System Center in all its virtualization products: XenDesktop, Presentation Server and XenServer.
  • a future version of System Center Virtual Machine Manager will support managing Citrix XenServer, and Citrix plans to integrate Hyper-V with Citrix XenServer.
  • And Microsoft has expanded technical support to running MS Office applications via SoftGrid 4.2 or MS Application Virtualization 4.5. Microsoft application virtualization allows customers to pre-configure applications for offline use on a client PC; so end users can be fully productive on their machine, even when they are offline.
  • Four new Solutions Accelerators will help you assess, plan, deploy and secure MS virtualization products [Hyper-V, SoftGrid, Terminal Services]. They’re available in beta form now, and will be GA at the end of February.

All of this news, as well as an email from Bob Muglia and today’s webcast, can be accessed here.

Patrick