Posted by: Michael Khanin
Microsoft Windows, Virtualization
Microsoft Virtual Server 2005 R2 Service Pack 1 – is an ideal, produc-tion-quality server for consolidating multiple workloads onto a physical server, allowing organizations to make more efficient use of their hardware resources. Built upon Microsoft Virtual Server 2005 R2 Enterprise Edition and bolstered with new functionality, Virtual Server 2005 R2 SP1 enables IT organizations to enhance their administrative productivity and rapidly deploy new servers to address changing business needs through automated deployment and configuration of connected virtual machines that are easily administered with standard server management tools. Microsoft Virtual Server 2005 R2 SP1 now provides improved performance for non-Windows guest operating systems by leveraging hardware-assisted virtualization, high availability for both planned and unplanned downtime, and improved support for backup and disaster recovery. Virtual Server 2005 R2 SP1 is an extensively tested and well supported virtualization solution that is supported both by the broader ISV community and by Microsoft in conjunction with its server operating systems and applications.
In conjunction with Windows Server 2003, Virtual Server 2005 R2 SP1 provides a virtualization platform that runs most major x86 operating systems in a guest environment, and is supported by Microsoft as a host for Windows Server operating systems and Windows Server System applications. Virtual Server 2005 R2‘s comprehensive COM API, in combination with the Virtual Hard Drive (VHD) format and support for virtual networking, provide administrators complete scripted control of portable, connected virtual machines and enable easy automation of deployment, and ongoing change and configuration.
Additionally, its integration with a wide variety of existing Microsoft and third-party management tools allows administrators to seamlessly manage a Virtual Server 2005 R2 SP1 environment with their existing physical server management tools. A wide array of complementary product and service offerings are available from Microsoft and its partners to help businesses plan for, deploy, and manage Virtual Server 2005 R2 SP1 in their environment.
Virtual Server 2005 R2 SP1 addresses four key customer scenarios:
• Consolidate infrastructure, application, and branch office server workloads. Virtual Server 2005 R2 SP1 is ideal for server consolidation in both the datacenter and the branch office, allowing IT staff to make more efficient use of their hardware resources. It also allows IT staff to enhance their overall productivity and rapidly deploy new servers that enable the people in their organization to quickly address changing business needs.
• Consolidate and re-host legacy applications. Virtual Server 2005 R2 SP1 enables re-hosting of legacy operating systems (Windows NT Server 4.0 and Windows 2000 Server) and their associated custom applications from older hardware to new hardware running Windows Server 2003.
• Automate and consolidate software test and development environments. Virtual Server 2005 R2 SP1 enables IT and development staff to consolidate their test and development server farm and automate the provisioning of virtual machines.
• Simplify disaster and recovery planning. Virtual Server 2005 R2 SP1 can be used as part of a disaster and recovery plan that requires application portability and flexibility across hardware platforms.
What’s New in This Release
Virtual Server 2005 R2 SP1 includes the following new capabilities:
• Enterprise Edition can be installed on servers with up to 32 physical processors.
• Virtual Server host clustering. Support for host-to-host connectivity lets you cluster all virtual machines running on a host.
• iSCSI support. iSCSI clustering enables guest-to-guest connectivity across physical machines.
• x64 support. Virtual Server runs natively within a 64-bit Windows host operating system, providing increased performance and memory headroom.
• Enhanced PXE booting. PXE boot support has been added to the virtual machine network adapter. This means that when the appropriate network infrastructure is in place, you can perform a network installation of a guest operating system in the same way as physical servers.
• Other improvements. Virtual Server now includes improved hyperthreading, support for F6 Disk (SCSI driver), Active Directory integration using service connection points, and virtual disk pre-compactor functionality.
• Performance improvements.