Microsoft launches Virtual Server 2005 R2 SP1 beta 2

Microsoft made available on its beta center Connect the second milestone of highly expected Service Pack 1 for Virtual Server 2005 R2.

This new beta reveals, among others, the feature which makes SP1 so desirable: the Volume Shadow Copy Service (VSS) support.

Supporting VSS substantially means Virtual Server is now able to do backup of running virtual machines without stopping them or interrupting the service.

Virtual machines live backup is one of the most wanted capability virtualization professionals ask for and its availability raises further competition with VMware, which at the moment is offering something similar, the VMware Consolidated Backup (VCB), only on the most expensive edition of ESX Server 3.0 and only when a SAN storage is used.

Other features introduced in this version are:

  • support for hardware-assisted virtualization (both AMD SVM and Intel VT)
  • capability to publish informations on Active Directory
  • capability to mound virtual harddisks (.vhd) offline through the VHDmount utility

Enroll for the beta here.

The Virtualization Industry Roadmap has been updated accordingly.