Virtualization - 2005-R2-SP1-RC now available.

Gee what a name. The Release Candidate build of Virtual Server R2 SP1 is now available Before anyone posts a comment, yes I'm aware that we said we planned to have SP1 out in the first quarter and it is April now, so we've missed that. You're welcome to speculate on the final release date.

The download site also has a ReadMe file which details how to make Virtual Server work on Windows Vista (something which has caused a few headaches, although is now documented in other places) and gives a history of "What came in with R2" and "What is new with R2 SP1" - the list is as follows

  • Support for hardware-assisted virtualization
  • Support for greater than 64 virtual machines on x64-based hosts
  • VHD Mount command-line tool and APIs
  • Tested for interoperability with SCVMM Beta 2 RC
  • Interoperability with Volume Shadow Copy Service.
  • Support for additional Guest and Host Operating Systems
  • Service Publication using Active Directory Service Connection Points
  • Host clustering whitepaper
  • Virtual SCSI fix for Linux guests
  • Larger default size for dynamically expanding virtual hard disks
  • VMRC ActiveX control and Internet Explorer Security Zones
  • IVMGuestOS::Get_OSName property returns more operating system information

Each of these is explained in the Readme.

I suspect there will be quite a lot of interest around VHDMount as we move to release. When beta 2 was out Dave Northey blogged how to install VHD Mount without virtual server (the instructions seem to have gone from the current release notes and I haven't tested them) and Ben Armstrong posted a guide to making VHDs mount when you double click them. Ben's "Professional Microsoft Virtual Server 2005" was published recently. I haven't had a chance to look through it yet, so don't consider this a plug for it, but it should be worth looking at.

I'm in Athens with other evangelists looking at Longhorn server and we got our hands on "work in progress build" of Longhorn's server virtualization today. I like the new MMC interface better than I like the browser interface to virtual server. The time we had with it was brief, and I learnt more from Jeff Woolsey's Public video . And since I started by talking about ship dates - you can read what I've already said here; and here I quoted Robert Townsend's rules for people talking on behalf of the company "Don't forecast earnings. If asked why not, tell them we don't do in public anything we can't do consistently well (and believe me, nobody can forecast earnings consistently well). " Replace "earnings" with "ship dates"

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