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Key Microsoft Virtualization CTP Coming This Year

Microsoft's new server virtualization product is on schedule -- albeit a delayed schedule -- and the company expects to make a community technology preview (CTP) available with the first release candidate of Windows Server 2008 (Windows 2008).

The announcement was made today at the VMworld 2007 conference in San Francisco. Microsoft said that Windows Server Virtualization (WSV) -- code-named Viridian -- is on target for the CTP release sometime late this year. At this point, the Windows 2008 release candidate is expected in the fourth quarter; its release to manufacturing (RTM) date will be sometime early next year.

Virtualization has numerous benefits for an organization, including the ability to consolidate multiple servers onto fewer physical machines, easier backup and restore, and greater security and stability through virtual test labs, where new products can be tested in a nonlive environment.

Like Windows 2008, WSV has suffered its share of setbacks. In May, Microsoft announced that it was eliminating a number of WSV features to make a ship date.

Microsoft has tied WSV to Windows 2008 for some time now, which is something of a gamble. As Windows 2008's commercial availability date is put off, so is the release of WSV. The last delay announcement came in late August, possibly threatening to push Windows 2008's ship date -- and therefore WSV's -- past the "Launch Wave" announcement scheduled for Feb. 27, 2008.

There is some good news. WSV's management component, System Center Virtual Machine Manager, is forging ahead, and scheduled for general availability in October, Microsoft announced last week. Microsoft's current virtual server product is Virtual Server 2005 R2 SP1.

About the Author

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

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