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Microsoft Hits 'Delete' Key on Virtualization Features

Windows Server virtualization, code-named "Viridian," is having some features stripped in order to meet its public beta shipping date in the second half of 2007 -- a ship date that recently slipped itself.

On the Windows Server Division blog, Virtualization Strategy General Manager Mike Neil announced today that Microsoft had put off a number of new features to keep the beta on track for later this year. On April 12, Neil announced that Viridian's beta release had been pushed back from the first half of this year to the second.

Three features have been delayed to "a future release of Windows Server virtualization," Neil stated. They are:

  • Live migration. Live migration allows a running virtual machine to be moved from one physical server to another.
  • Hot-swapping of resources like memory, processors and storage. Hot swapping means exchanging one resource for another without shutting down a server.
  • Limiting support to 16 cores or logical processors. For instance, a four-processor dual core system would be eight logical processors, and a four-processor, quad-core system would be 16 processors.

"We adjusted the feature set of Windows Server virtualization so that we can deliver a compelling solution for core virtualization scenarios while holding true to desired timelines," Neil said on the blog.

Why the decision was made to excise some key features rather than delay the beta release isn't explicitly stated, but a hint may have been given that more importance is attached to the coupling of Viridian with Longhorn, Microsoft's upcoming server operating system, than to make the product feature complete.

"Now that the beta will be available with the RTM of Longhorn, we will be able to help drive broad ecosystem support for virtualization," Neil said. He did not state when the stripped-out features would be added.

Neil also released a few figures relating to Microsoft's penetration into the virtualization market. He said that there have been just shy of 1 million downloads of Virtual Server 2005, the forerunner to Windows Server virtualization, in the past year, and 1.5 million downloads of Virtual PC 2007, Microsoft's desktop virtualization product.

About the Author

Keith Ward is the editor in chief of Virtualization & Cloud Review. Follow him on Twitter @VirtReviewKeith.