Microsoft released their official beta of Hyper-V on Thursday,
taking a step towards getting their next-generation server virtualization
solution out the door. The release did come as somewhat of a surprise. The beta
was due to be released along with the RTM of Windows Server 2008, and when that
was delayed into Q1 it left us to question what the state of Hyper-V’s beta
release was. The guidance has not changed however around the release of the
final version — it’s still 180 days from the RTM of Windows Server 2008, not
from this release of the beta.

Another important footnote around Hyper-V is the recent
update of Microsoft’s Windows Server licensing scheme; which has been updated
to not charge users for the management (or “parent”) partition as a license. In
a Hyper-V server installation there is one management OS instance on each
physical server to handle housekeeping tasks and it was unclear how this would
be licensed. This means that an Enterprise license entitles customers to four legitimate OS instances on a physical box
and users aren’t penalized for the management partition that, ideally, should
not have software installed on it. Windows Server 2008 Standard licenses also
don’t have to be dedicated to the management instance.

The story remains the same though for the software giant,
they have a tough road ahead in chipping away at VMware’s lead in server virtualization.
Microsoft’s execution on the promise to marry physical and virtual
infrastructure management in the growing System Center family while enabling
new ways to provide virtualization-enabled infrastructure features will be key
factors in the platform gaining traction in x86 environments; especially in
areas like high availability and disaster recovery.

By Christopher Voce

Check out Christopher’s research.