Release: Microsoft Virtual Server 2005 R2 SP1

Initially planned for Q1 2007, and after more than one year beta testing, Service Pack 1 for Virtual Server 2005 R2 finally makes its appearence.

Among others Microsoft included following features:

  • Support for hardware-assisted virtualization (both Intel VT and AMD SVM)
  • Support for Windows Volume Shadow Service (VSS)
  • Capability to browse a virtual hard drive (.vhd) at host level through VHD Mount utility (APIs available as well)

Most important feature, VSS support, which allows live backup of running virtual machines, is unfortunately limited: as exposed in September 2006 Microsoft doesn’t allow native Windows NTBackup to perform such operation. Customers will have to buy a 3rd party backup solution.

It’s remarkable to note that this release is not supporting new Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008 beta 3 as host OS for production use. But it’s even bigger to note that Microsoft is not supporting Windows Vista as guest OS for production use.

On the other side Microsoft introduced production support for some Linux and Unix distributions like:

  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux (2, 3 and 4)
  • Novell SuSE Linux Enterprise Server (9 and 10)
  • Sun Solaris 10

Download it free of charge here.

The Virtualization Industry Roadmap has been updated accordingly.