Yesterday, I attended the TechNet Webcast: Windows Server 2008: Server Virtualization Solution Scenario. It was quite interesting (although not as technical as I had hoped).
To summarize, Microsoft’s virtualization strategy is divided in 4 types of “virtualization”:
- Desktop virtualization: desktops/servers can be virtualized on your local desktop using Virtual PC technology. Nothing new here.
- Application virtualization: Microsoft bought Softricity a few months ago, one of the leading companies for applications virtualization. They are now selling Softgrid as their application virtualization solution (and a good one I might add). Softgrid 4.1 is now the current version, and version 4.2 will be released soon. Zerotouch (a web portal front end) was dropped.
- Presentation virtualization: this one is quite funny (and the most surprising). As you might know, Server 2008 will have a bunch of new “Citrix-like” features for Terminal Services like load balancing, TS Web Access, TS gateway (SSL tunnel), remote (published) apps and UPD (called “easy print”). So now, Terminal Services is looked upon as being “presentation virtualization”. BTW, Citrix already uses the term “application virtualization” for its Metaframe Presentation Server solution.
- Server virtualization: Oh yes, the combination of Virtual Server 2005 R2 (SP1) and/or Windows Server 2008 virtualization (“Viridian”) and System Center Virtual Machine Manager (now in Beta 2). SC VMM version 1.0 will be released in 2007, mainly to manage VS 2005 R2. A new release of SCVMM 2.0 will be released as soon as Viridian is ready (stripped of some features or not ;)) in 2008. So stay tuned!
During the presentation, a comparison was made between VMware ESX server and Windows Server 2008 with Windows Server Virtualization. The thing to note here is that VMware uses drivers in its hypervisor model, while WSV uses no drivers in their hypervisor. Instead, they deploy drivers directly in Virtual Machine instances. I can’t wait to compare it (even with hot-add & live-migration features stripped) to ESX!