A few people out there are shocked by this:
Market Bulletin: Microsoft Announces New Price, and Availability of Linux Support, for Virtual Server 2005 R2
Published: April 3, 2006
Today Microsoft announced that Virtual Server 2005 R2 is now available as a free download. This also will apply to the forthcoming service pack 1 of Virtual Server 2005 R2. In addition, Microsoft announced the availability of virtual machine add-ins for Linux and a technical product support model for Linux guest operating systems running on Virtual Server 2005 R2.
I don’t know why there is this level of surprise. It makes perfect sense to me. So which flavors of Linux are supported?
- Red Hat Enterprise Linux 2.1 (update 6)
- Red Hat Enterprise Linux 3 (update 6)
- Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4
- Red Hat Linux 7.3
- Red Hat Linux 9.0
- Novell’s SuSE Linux Enterprise Server 9
- Novell’s SuSE Linux 9.2
- Novell’s SuSE Linux 9.3
- Novell’s SuSE Linux 10.0
The VM additions for Linux guests (available for free download) provide the following capabilities, bringing them closer to parity with Windows guest VMs:
- Guest and Host synchronization for time sync, heartbeat, and coordinated shutdown
- Mouse and display driver function
- SCSI disk emulation
One final juicy tidbit:
As previously announced, Virtual Server 2005 R2 service pack 1 is scheduled for a beta release in Q2 and general availability in early 2007. This service pack will support the hardware virtualization capabilities developed by AMD and Intel. By supporting both AMD Virtualization and Intel Virtualization Technology, customers will be provided better interoperability, strengthened isolation designed to help prevent corruption of one virtual machine from affecting others on the same system, and improved performance for non-Windows guest operating systems. The service pack will also support Microsoft Volume Shadow Copy Service, providing better support for backup and disaster recovery. Finally, this service pack will provide existing Microsoft Virtual Server customers an important transition to the Windows hypervisor, which will be delivered in the Windows Server “Longhorn” wave.
This is going to make life a lot easier for a lot of folks.