Microsoft details plan to put virtualization in OS

Posted by virtualization.info Staff   |   Saturday, April 30th, 2005   |  

Quoting from ComputerWorld:


Microsoft Corp. this week fleshed out the details of a plan to build virtualization capabilities directly into Windows as part of its effort to catch up to virtualization software market leader VMware Inc.
Microsoft’s plan adopts an architecture similar to the one VMware uses — a point that VMware seized upon as a validation of its technical direction. But Microsoft said vendors won’t be able to differentiate themselves on virtualization alone once the technology is supported in operating systems and chips.

The virtualization road map that Microsoft laid out at its Windows Hardware Engineering Conference here includes a lightweight “hypervisor” layer of code that will be built into the next major version of Windows, code-named Longhorn, to support the creation of virtual machines.

Microsoft is even “leaning” toward eliminating future versions of its Virtual Server and Virtual PC products, said Mark Kieffer, group program manager of Windows virtualization. But Kieffer added that a decision hasn’t been finalized.

More immediately, Microsoft plans to work with unidentified industry partners to expand the support of third-party guest operating systems, including versions of Linux, in the first service pack update for Virtual Server 2005. The update is due by year’s end and will include 64-bit compatibility and improved performance, Microsoft said.

The plans weren’t enough to sway Jason Agee, a lead infrastructure systems analyst at the Nebraska Health and Human Services System, from his commitment to VMware.

“Too little, too late,” Agee said, adding that VMware’s more mature virtualization software performs better on less-powerful hardware and is helping the agency to improve its server utilization rates.

But Tom Bittman, an analyst at Gartner Inc., said that the integration of virtualization technology with operating systems should spur broader adoption. Novell Inc. and Red Hat Inc. also plan to support virtualization technology in their Linux distributions.

Microsoft bought its way into the virtualization market two years ago through its acquisition of Connectix Corp., and it released Virtual Server 2005 last fall. Analysts said Microsoft entered the market primarily to give users of older Windows versions an upgrade path to new hardware.

But consolidating Windows NT servers with Virtual Server requires users to run a copy of Windows Server 2003 as the host operating system. The performance overhead inherent in that approach will be reduced when Microsoft moves to its hypervisor architecture, said Ben Werther, a senior product manager for Windows Server.

By contrast, VMware’s rival ESX Server, first released in 2001, doesn’t require a host operating system. Instead, it uses a hypervisor layer that runs directly on the hardware.

At WinHEC, Microsoft officials showed diagrams with the planned Windows hypervisor code layer, which will divide a system’s resources among different virtual machines. Longhorn users will be able to configure the operating system for a virtualization “role,” stripping out unneeded functionality in a so-called MinWin configuration, said Werther. But, he added, it’s still not clear if the hypervisor technology will make the firstrelease of Longhorn Server that’s due in 2007.

Performance also is expected to improve as a result of the hypervisor’s support for upcoming virtualization extensions in chips from Intel Corp. and Advanced Micro Devices Inc.

Steven McDowell, a division marketing manager at AMD, said CPU overhead currently runs at 10% to 30% on virtualized servers. But he said AMD hopes the overhead will be “negligible” with its Pacifica virtualization technology, for which AMD released a specification this week.

Bob Armstrong, director of technical services at Delaware North Cos., said the Buffalo, N.Y.-based hospitality services provider is happy with the software it bought last year from VMware, which is a subsidiary of EMC Corp. Armstrong said Microsoft is heading in the right direction by building virtualization technology into its operating system, but he fears that “it’s going to take them a long time.”

Frank Gillett, an analyst at Forrester Research Inc., said it will take at least two years for Microsoft to deliver on its Longhorn virtualization plans. In the meantime, VMware must figure out how to stay ahead of Microsoft and Linux vendors, with general-purpose management software as one option, he said.

Raghu Raghuram, senior director of strategy and market development at VMware, said Microsoft is acknowledging that “if you want to get into the data center, you need to run an architecture that runs like ESX Server.”

But, Werther said, “the real challenge will be managing hundreds or thousands of virtual machines across a data center.” Microsoft has significantly increased its investment in virtualization management across its System Center family of management tools, he said.



blog comments powered by Disqus


virtualization.info Newest articles
Release: VMware vRealize Log Insight 4.5

June 13th, 2017

Log Insight is a log aggregation, management and analysis tool, that VMware first introduced in 2013 and considered a competitor of Splunk.
Yesterday VMware announced the release of version 4.5, available for…

Release: VMware vRealize Automation 7.3

June 6th, 2017

Today VMware announced the latest release of its cloud management platform vRealize Automation, former vCloud Automation Center.
VMware vRealize Automation 7.3 release notes can be found at this link.

The…

Paper: Introducing the NSX-T Platform

February 9th, 2017

“We see greater potential strategic opportunity in NSX over the next decade than our franchise product vSphere has had for the past decade.”
said VMware’s CEO Pat Gelsinger talking about…

Paper: VMware vSphere Virtual Machine Encryption Performance

November 22nd, 2016

Encryption of virtual machines is something that has been requested for years by the security community. VMware continued to postpone its implementation due to the negative operational impact that many…

Quest Software leaves Dell

November 1st, 2016

In September 2012 Dell announced to have completed the acquisition of Quest Software, a Californian company with an history in systems management, security, business intelligence and, falling back in our…

Citrix announces Q3 2016 results

October 21st, 2016

Citrix announced its financial results for third quarter 2016.
The revenues for the second quarter were $841 million for an increase of 3% compared to Q3 2015.
Net income was $132…

Release: VMware vSphere 6.5 & Virtual SAN 6.5

October 19th, 2016

2016 edition of VMworld US has been quite turbulent, on the other hand during VMworld Europe, happening these days in Barcelona, the company announced a few more products for the…

Release: VMware vRealize Log Insight 4.0

October 18th, 2016

Log Insight is a log aggregation, management and analisys tool, that VMware first introduced in 2013 and now is usually compared with Splunk.
Yesterday VMware announced Log Insight’s new major…

Release: Windows Server 2016 with support for Window Server & Hyper-V containers

October 13th, 2016

Yesterday Microsoft announced the general availability of Windows Server 2016 which the company defines as a cloud-ready OS.
Beside fancy definitions, one of the most relevant perks of this release…

Release: Oracle VM 3.4.2

September 22nd, 2016

During Oracle OpenWorld 2016 the company released version 3.4.2 of its enterprise virtualization solution.
Oracle VM is available for both x86 and SPARC based processor architectures and uses the Xen hypervisor…

VMworld US 2016 Wrap-up

September 1st, 2016

Today was the last day of VMware’s flagship conference VMworld in Las Vegas, an highly controversial edition which left a good chunk of the audience disoriented if not properly disappointed….

Gartner releases its Magic Quadrant for Cloud Infrastructure as a Service for 2016

August 11th, 2016

Last week Gartner updated its Magic Quadrant for Cloud Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) for the year 2016. The Magic Quadrant for the year 2015 was released in May last year…

Release: Ansible Tower 3 by Red Hat

August 2nd, 2016

Ansible is one of the four main players in the automation market, younger then the well known Chef and Puppet, has been launched in 2013 in Durham, N.C. and acquired…

IBM announces earnings for Q2 2016

July 19th, 2016

Yesterday IBM announced its results for Q2 2016.

If we compare with the same quarter in 2015 earnings per share, from continuing operations, decreased 22%. Net income, from continuing operations,…

 
Monthly Archive