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Virtual Server SP1 Released

A key Microsoft virtualization product has gotten an important update. According to the Windows Server weblog, Virtual Server 2005 R2 service pack 1 was released yesterday.

The big news in VS2005 R2 SP1 is the addition of Volume Shadow Services (VSS). VSS makes a backup copy, called a snapshot, of a file or folder at a certain point in time, which leads to better backup and disaster recovery and less downtime.

VS2005 R2 SP1 also includes host clustering, which allows for failover from a group of guest systems onto another physical server should the host machine fail.

R2 SP1 also gets an increase in supported guest operating systems with the addition of Novell SuSE Linux Enterprise Server 10 and Solaris 10, an open-source UNIX OS. That brings to 11 the number of guest OSes supported by Virtual Server.

The R2 SP1 release conforms to the timeframe Microsoft shuffled a few months ago. R2 SP1 was originally scheduled for a Q1 2007 release, but it slipped to Q2.

The R2 SP1 release will have to satisfy admins who continue to wait for the release of the product that will replace Virtual Server, namely Windows Server Virtualization. Code-named "Viridian," Windows Server Virtualization has suffered a number of setbacks recently, including a slip in its shipping date from the first half of this year to the second and the removal of several key technologies to meet the delayed shipping date. Microsoft is trying to coordinate the release of Viridian with the release of Windows Server 2008, which is expected to arrive late this year or early next year.

R2 SP1, which is free, is available here.

About the Author

Keith Ward is editor of Virtualization Review magazine. You can contact Keith at kward@1105media.com.

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