Advancing Microsoft’s Strategy for Virtualization

Microsoft is leading the effort to improve system functionality, making it more self-managing and dynamic. Microsoft’s main goal with virtualization is to provide administrators more control of their IT systems with the release of Windows Server 2008 and Hyper-V. This includes a faster response time to restore that is head and shoulders above their competition. Windows Server 2008 provides a total package of complimentary virtualization products that range in functionality from desktop usage to datacenter hubs. One of their major goals is to provide the ability to manage all IT assets, both physical and virtual, from a single remote machine. Microsoft is also forwarding an effort to cut IT costs with their virtualization programs to better help customers take advantage of the interoperability features their products have to offer as well as data center consolidation.

This also includes energy efficiency due to the use of less physical machines. This fact alone reduces the consumption of energy in the data center and helps to save money long term. By contributing to and investing in the areas of management, applications, and licensing they hope to succeed in this effort.

Windows Server 2008 has many of these goals in mind, providing a number of important assets to administrators. The implementation of Hyper-V for virtualization allows for quick migration and high availability. This provides solutions for scheduled and unscheduled downtime, and the possibility of improved restore times. Virtual storage is supported for up to four virtual SCSI controllers per virtual machine, allowing for ample storage capacity. Hyper-V allows for the import and export of virtual machines and is integrated with Windows Server Manager for greater usability options.

In the past compatibility was always an issue of concern. Now the emulated video card has been updated to a more universal VESA compatible card. This will improve video issues, resulting in noncompatibility with operating systems like Linux. In addition Windows Server 2008 also includes integration components (ICs) for virtual machines. When you install Windows Server 2008 as a guest system in a Hyper-V virtual machine, Windows will install the ICs automatically. There is also support for Hyper-V with the Server Core in the parent partition allowing for easier configuration. This as well as numerous fixes for performance, scalability, and compatibility make the end goal for Hyper-V a transparent end user experience.

Windows Hypervisor
With Windows Server 2008 Microsoft introduced a next-generation hypervisor virtualization platform. Hyper-V, formerly codenamed Viridian, is one of the noteworthy new features of Windows Server 2008. It offers a scalable and highly available virtualization platform that is efficient and reliable. It has an inherently secure architecture. This combined with a minimal attack surface (especially when using Server Core) and the fact that it does not contain any third-party device drivers makes it extremely secure. It is expected to be the best operating system platform for virtualization released to date. Compared to its predecessors, Hyper-V provides more options for specific needs because it utilizes more powerful 64-bit hardware and 64-bit operating systems. Additional processing power and a large addressable memory space is gained by the utilization of a 64-bit environment. It also requires no need for outside applications, which increase overall compatibility across the board. Hyper-V has three main components: the hypervisor, the virtualization stack, and the new virtualized I/O model. The hypervisor (also known as the virtual machine monitor or VMM) is a very small layer of software that interacts directly with the processor, which creates the different “partitions” that each virtualized instance of the operating system will run within. The virtualization stack and the I/O components act to provide a go-between with Windows and with all the partitions that you create. Hyper-V’s virtualization advancements will only help to further assist administrators in quicker easier responses to emergency deployment needs.

Source of Information : Syngress The Best Damn Windows Server 2008

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