VMware, are you listening? Microsoft’s Hyper-V hypervisor, formerly known as Viridian, is available for public beta, the company announced today. It can be obtained by downloading Windows Server 2008 RC1 Enterprise from http://www.microsoft.com/ws08eval.
The beta is shipping ahead of schedule, with Microsoft previously promising it for the first quarter of 2008.
This is not the first glimpse the public has had of Hyper-V; Microsoft released a Community Technology Preview (CTP) release of Hyper-V in September. With this release, Microsoft is demonstrating additional features, notably Quick Migration, high availability, Server Core role and Server Manager integration. The final release of Hyper-V is still scheduled for release within 180 days of “release to manufacturing” (RTM) of Windows Server 2008, currently scheduled for Feb. 27, 2008.
Writing on the Windows Server Division Weblog, Mike Neil, GM of virtualization strategy, also revealed that Windows Server 2008 Standard Edition will also grant one virtual instance of the OS — which is not the case with WS 2K3 Standard edition, he pointed out.
According to the post, specific new features of Hyper-V include the following:
- Quick Migration and cluster high availability
- Default integration with Windows Server management;
- Support for running Hyper-V with Server Core in the parent partition;
- Volume Shadow Copy Service, or VSS, support;
- VHD tools support (compaction, expansion and inspection);
- Hyper-V Microsoft Management Console (MMC)-only installation. The Hyper-V MMC can be installed on Windows Server 2008 without installing the complete Hyper-V role enabling remote management of Hyper-V servers;
- Support for up to four virtual SCSI controllers per VM, with 255 VHDs per controller;
- Support for multiple network adapters per VM;
- Support for up to 64 GB of memory per VM; and
- Guest support for Windows 2003 x86/x64 and Windows 2008 x86/x64 (support for other guest OS platforms will arrive before the Hyper-V RTM).
A webcast detailing the new Hyper-V beta is scheduled for next week, on Tuesday, Dec. 18, at 12:30 PST; interested parties can register here.
More to come.