Virtualizing the enterprise IT environment is a top goal for our customers, and therefore a top goal for Microsoft. Today, Bob Muglia, president of Microsoft's Server and Tools Business, presented the opening-day keynote at TechEd 2010 being held in New Orleans. The keynote outlined the benefits of cloud computing showing why this is such an important, even game-changing trend on the IT horizon. He then outlined how Microsoft intends to incorporate this important trend into its products and deliver those benefits to customers.

"Our job, simply put, is to deliver what customers need to take advantage of cloud computing on their own terms," Muglia said.

Muglia's cloud vision is already underway full-steam across the Microsoft product stack, and we've got several partners and customers currently using our existing cloud services and technologies speaking at TechEd. Cloud has been a key focus for Microsoft for some time, since we've already had long experience running some of the world's largest cloud-based infrastructures for our own services, a few examples of which include:

  • 600 million unique users on MSN
  • 4 billion Bing search queries monthly
  • 500 million active Windows Live IDs, and
  • 20 million users of a rapidly growing xBox Live gaming service.

TechEd attendees will see examples of this focus on the benefits of cloud computing and virtualization across  many Microsoft products, but nowhere more directly than in the announcement of Windows Server 2008 R2 and Windows 7 Service Pack 1. Today, we also announced the availability of the SP1 beta by the end of July, 2010. When customers evaluate SP1 at that time, they'll find content typical to a service pack release, but they'll also find two important new updates to Microsoft's IT virtualization capability:

Dynamic memory is an enhancement to Hyper-V in R2 and allows IT administrators to pool all the memory available on a physical host and dynamically distribute it to virtual machines running on that host as necessary. That means based on changes in workload, your VMs will be able to receive new memory allocations without a service interruption. For a deeper look at Dynamic Memory check here.

RemoteFX is the latest addition to Microsoft's desktop virtualization stack. Using this new feature in Windows Server 2008 R2, you'll be able to deliver an even richer and more user-transparent desktop virtualization experience. RemoteFX functions independently of any graphics stack and supports any screen content, including rich content like Silverlight or Flash. It also enhances the end-user's hardware experience with support for USB redirection. Because it uses virtualized graphics resources, RemoteFX works on a wide array of target devices, which means you can deploy it over both thick and thin client hosts and a wide variety of network configurations. For some more information on RemoteFX check here.

Both of these new features enhance Microsoft customers' ability to leverage virtualization in the enterprise, enable their own private cloud infrastructures, and lay the groundwork for managing a future IT landscape that spans both on-premise and off-premise computing. RemoteFX especially is a game-changing advance for extending the value of virtualized resources to end-users on a wide array of target devices.

Look for more information on Service Pack 1 in the coming weeks as we draw closer to the beta release. In the meantime, you can follow these links for video demonstrations of Dynamic Memory and RemoteFX. For those interested in the future of cloud computing and Microsoft, visit the newly launched Cloud Guide for IT Leaders.

Oliver Rist

Sr. Product Manager

Windows Server Marketing