One of my ISV is interested in finding more about Microsoft’s virtualization technologies. I offered to find out more about it, as it gives me opportunity to delve into this technology and learn. I am blogging a snapshot of my find and also have some resources to go to for more information in the bottom of this post.

Virtualization is a framework of dividing resources of a computer into multiple execution environments. Some of the key benefits of this paradigm are

·    High Resource Utilization – consolidate the workload of underutilized machines to few machines which will also result in other benefits like hardware, management, administration cost.

·    Security – isolated sandbox for running un-trusted application

·    Increased productivity – for development and testing for different OS, platforms and Applications on one physical box.

·    Application / System mobility – the virtual hard disk can be very mobile and ported to different physical machines without the overhead of imaging / reinstalling.

·    System migration, backup and recovery becomes easier and more manageable.

Microsoft acquired Connectix Corporation back in 2003 to offer Virtual PC and Virtual Server as to achieve machine virtualization using out technologies. We have included virtualization as a key component of our server offerings for the Enterprise; the idea is to run multiple operating systems simultaneously on one machine.
One of the design goals for server technologies from Microsoft is to have them run and tested in Virtual machine environment.
Microsoft's SQL Server 2000 has multiple instance capability. Microsoft's Exchange Server, File/Print Servers, IIS Server, Terminal Server, etc. also don't really need virtualization support in the operating system.
We support virtualized networking capabilities, Virtual NICs, purely virtual networks and also clustering to improve service availability.

Licenses for the Windows Server 2003 R2 Enterprise Edition  will allow running up to four virtual instances on one physical server at no additional cost.
Licenses for the Longhorn Server will allow running an unlimited number of virtual instances on one physical server.

More information and references:

http://www.microsoft.com/windowsserversystem/virtualserver/default.mspx
http://channel9.msdn.com/Showpost.aspx?postid=163022
http://www.kernelthread.com/publications/virtualization/

Microsoft to Make Virtual Server Free