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Microsoft delays virtualization betas

Microsoft has officially delayed the betas of both Windows Server Virtualization a.k.a. Viridian, as well as Virtual Server 2005 R2 SP1.

All of you who've anxiously been awaiting for betas of Microsoft's next virtualization technologies are just going to have to keep waiting. The betas of both Windows Server Virtualization (a.k.a. "Viridian") and Virtual Server 2005 R2 SP1 have officially been delayed.

The first Viridian public beta was scheduled to be available, well, just about now – in the first half of 2007. Today, Mike Neil, Microsoft general manager of virtualization strategy announced on the Windows Server Division blog that the beta had been pushed back to the second half of this year.

Viridian will still ship within 180 days of Windows Server "Longhorn" however, which is still slated to be released-to-manufacturing in the second half of 2007.

At the same time, Neil also confirmed that the final version of Virtual Server 2005 service pack 1 will not ship this quarter as previously stated, but in Q2. A release candidate (RC) of the version will however be available later this month.

Scalability, OS support to blame
Neil listed several reasons for the delayed Viridian beta, mainly around the ability to support large SMP systems and heavy workloads.

"We're designing Windows Server virtualization to scale up to 64 processors, which I'm proud to say is something no other vendor's product supports. We are also providing a much more dynamic VM environment with hot-add of processors, memory, disk and networking as well a greater scalability with more SMP support and memory," Neil wrote. "We still have some work to do to have the beta meet the "scale up" bar we have set."

The Virtual Server 2005 R2 SP1 release date was felled by additional operating system support, namely SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 10, Solaris 10 and the recent CTP build of Windows Server "Longhorn."

Other features Virtual Server users can look forward to in R2 SP1 when it ships include support for up to 64 VMs on 32-bit Windows Server hosts; up to 512 VMs on x64 systems with up to 256GB of RAM and more cores; and support for Intel-VT and AMD-v virtualization extensions.

Let us know what you think about the story; email: Alex Barrett, News Director

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