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Microsoft Unveils Virtualization Strategy 141

Posted by kdawson
from the getting-all-hyper dept.
billstewart writes "The Wall Street Journal reports that Microsoft will be announcing a virtualization strategy on Tuesday. Of course there's plenty of focus on the competition with VMware, including the obligatory reference to Microsoft's entry into the browser wars prior to cutting off Netscape's air supply. The pieces of the picture will include: an alliance with Citrix Systems, owners of XenSource; acquisition of privately held Calista Technologies of San Jose, which has software that speeds up the performance of applications running in a virtualized environment; and lower price for Windows Vista used on virtualized computers. Microsoft also reversed its earlier position and will now allow the Home Basic and Home Premium versions of Vista to run under virtualization. The company confirmed its plans to deliver its Hyper-V hypervisor within six months of the launch of Windows Server 2008 (betas available now), which is expected this quarter."
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Microsoft Unveils Virtualization Strategy

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  • Scary? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by ilovegeorgebush (923173) on Tuesday January 22, 2008 @05:42AM (#22135810) Homepage
    Well, I think there's something to worry about here. Bearing in mind Virtualization is the Next Big Thing ® right now, and businesses being quick on the up-take (I know my employer is a big fan, and we have ~5k employees and several large in-house development departments), I think it's going to be a bonus for a company to take a Virtualization offering from their primary OS supplier. Especially when you've got it in live deployments.

    Is there room in the market for MS? Or will they squeeze VMWare out? We'll soon find out...
  • Re:Scary? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by mrpacmanjel (38218) on Tuesday January 22, 2008 @06:07AM (#22135954)

    Is there room in the market for MS? Or will they squeeze VMWare out? We'll soon find out...

    HaHaHa!

    This is Microsoft we're talking about here - there is no room in the marketplace!

    On a serious note - virtualisation plays a major part in computing today, if Microsoft's os is going to be virtualised it will be done on thier terms and of course deeply integrated.

    If they want to do this that's fine... . . However, typically Microsoft's business practise is to try and 'remove' any competitive products from the marketplace - vmware had better be sharp because thier life is about to get more difficult.

    When an emerging market is noticed by Microsoft they seem to wait and see how it develops. If it appears to be profitable they wade in with thier own version and take it all even if thier own product is inferior - they can use thier OS as leverage (which has happend time and time again).

    Again, it's Microsoft's monopoly status that allows them to do this and I have a problem with that.

    If vmware are forced out the market at least there are open-source alternatives available which fortunately cannot be forced out the market (unless patent issues are raised?).
  • by Psiren (6145) on Tuesday January 22, 2008 @06:07AM (#22135956)
    Microsoft will do what they always do, bring out something that is good enough for 95% of people, 95% of the time. They'll leave the finer points to third parties. It'll be good enough for most places running Windows only networks.

    There appear to be several virtualisation platforms appearing on the Linux side. I haven't used Xen myself, as when we were moving to virtualisation it didn't have the capabilities or support that VMWare did.

    Unless VMware gets its act together it's going to lose market share pretty quickly. The documentation is awful. Just. Fucking. Awful. There's tons of it to be sure, but it's contradictory, badly written, confusing and downright wrong in places.

    Ultimately I think Microsoft's hypervisor will become the default for Windows, and one of the others for Linux. VMware will become a niche product.
  • Other way around ... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 22, 2008 @06:22AM (#22136030)

    the solution to Vista is to use it to run Ubuntu inside VMWare


    The true solution is the other way around. Use Ubuntu with KVM http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kernel-based_Virtual_Machine [wikipedia.org] to run a virtualised copy of Vista.

    FTA:

    The pieces of the picture will include: ... and lower price for Windows Vista used on virtualized computers.


    You get to run Linux as your main (secure, stable, malware-free) OS, and you get a cheaper Vista, which you might need to run the odd Windows-only application.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 22, 2008 @06:30AM (#22136074)
    No, MS wouldn't say that as win2k runs better under VT than Vista or XP and there's none of the activation bullshit either.
  • Conflict of interest (Score:3, Interesting)

    by lnxpilot (453564) on Tuesday January 22, 2008 @07:08AM (#22136232)
    And who in their right mind will get virtualization software from Microsoft?

    One of the main reasons for virtualization to is to run other, competing OSs (mostly Linux) on the same hardware.

    You can bet M$ would do everything to make Linux look bad: "see, same hardware, XP / Vista runs better".

    It's like putting Ford in charge of building roads and gas stations.
    How long do you think before Toyotas, Hondas etc. will develop "unexpected" engine problems from the gasoline served there?
  • by wzzrd (545802) on Tuesday January 22, 2008 @07:21AM (#22136282)
    Mostly that the information it presents is not always consistent with what you find on the service console of you individual ESX servers and that it misses some functionality (like batch-creating VM's). Apart from that, VC is an extremely slow application (just *selecting* a couple dozen ESX hosts slows it to a crawl) and written in .Net, binding me to a platform I would rather not be bound to. I'm pretty sure I am not the only one complaining about this. My parent post was meant as a poke in the ribs. VC is not unusable for every task, but it is also a long way from being a polished, complete product, which would eliminate the necessity of the service console. And *that* is what really scares me: the road VMWare is apparently taking with 3i (removing the SC) and not having management tools available which can do the job as good as the SC. Really, the new scripting interface in 3i is a joke. VMWare should not remove the SC until we do not need it anymore.
  • Re:Scary? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by kripkenstein (913150) on Tuesday January 22, 2008 @08:13AM (#22136492) Homepage

    If they [Microsoft] do give their hypervisor away for free, then VMware will release ESX too and nothing will really change! I think this can only be a good thing for us :-)
    Unless after a few years of giving away their products for free, VMware goes bankrupt. Microsoft, on the other hand, remains extremely wealthy due to Windows and Office revenue, and then proceeds to charge money for Microsoft virtualization products. This is a good thing only for Microsoft, and they've done it before.
  • Re:Scary? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Philosinfinity (726949) on Tuesday January 22, 2008 @09:45AM (#22136964)
    Virtualized OS is only the first baby step. Virtualization becomes very cool when you see it done at the application layer. Read up on MS Application Virtualization which is a pretty bad ass application. It is essentially an AD integrated method of application deployment to the client without requiring installation. Think about running every version of Excel ever made simultaneously in its own virtual space. I have seen quite a few demos of this, and at the desktop architecture level, this is where virtualization is really headed.
  • Virtualize Linux (Score:5, Interesting)

    by pesc (147035) on Tuesday January 22, 2008 @10:38AM (#22137458)
    Windows virtualization strategy is to embrace Linux in the server rooms by virtualizing it. This will degrade Linux from an operating system to an application stack. You will buy the OS from Microsoft, and the Linux application stack from Novell.

    Thus, Microsoft will extend Linux by providing better drivers to proprietary HW, nice managing consoles, etc.

    When this is sufficiently entrenched, the extinguish phase can begin when somehow Microsofts virtualized software stacks run better than the virtualized Linux stack.
  • by Quikah (14419) on Tuesday January 22, 2008 @02:12PM (#22140438)
    Couple of dozen esx hosts? How many VMs are you running? VC was pretty unusable at that level in 2.0, they have made improvements in 2.5, but I agree it is still way too slow.

    Regardless I will take the slow clunky VC over the Xen UUID nightmare. Ugg. I have a Xensource Enterprise setup with about 120 VMs, it is beyond pain, Xencenter is completely useless. It DOES NOTHING. You cannot configure anything beyond the VERY basics with it.

  • by ThinkTwice (1163901) on Wednesday January 23, 2008 @01:55AM (#22149908)
    Assuming the primary VM platform is servers, Sun is also a legitimate player in the VM market. They give away their version of Xen free. OpenSolris and Solaris run on Sparc, AMD and Intel boxes. They make an excellent home for Windows and Linux Virtual Machines. Do you think Microsoft wants Linux VM's in the mix? Microsoft may be able to hurt VMware by giving away their virtualization offering, but Sun may have more staying power and may be a safer route overall for businesses. This will be an interesting market to watch.

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