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Virtual Server 2005 R2 SP1 Beta 2 Released

Try saying this three times quickly: Microsoft is shipping Beta 2 of Virtual Server 2005 Release 2 Service Pack 1.

The company made the Beta 2 code available for download on Thursday.

According to statements on Microsoft's Web site, Virtual Server 2005 R2 SP1 Beta 2 includes compatibility with both AMD Virtualization (AMD-V) and Intel Virtualization Technology (IVT), as well as providing Active Directory integration using service connection points.

Beta 2 also includes Volume Shadow Service, which provides improved support for backup and disaster recovery. Instead of scheduling downtime for backing up each virtual machine individually, customers can take snapshot backups of physical machines that will in turn take snapshots of all the virtual machines on that physical host.

In addition, offline Virtual Hard Disk (VHD) mounting lets customers view and manipulate files in a VHD without having to start the virtual machine. The intent is to let administrators easily deploy scripts and perform virus scans across VHDs without having to start each virtual machine.

Windows Vista will be supported as a guest OS when Virtual Server 2005 R2 SP1 becomes generally available, the company said.

Interested parties can download the beta here.

About the Author

Stuart J. Johnston has covered technology, especially Microsoft, since February 1988 for InfoWorld, Computerworld, Information Week, and PC World, as well as for Enterprise Developer, XML & Web Services, and .NET magazines.

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