Microsoft chief executive officer Steve Ballmer has unveiled the beta version of Virtual Server 2005 Service Pack 1 (SP1) at this week’s Microsoft management summit in Las Vegas.
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The beta delivers 64-bit working compatibility and lends support to Windows Server 2003 x64 editions. Ballmer said the full version of SP1 would be ready by the end of the year.
The beta forms part of Microsoft’s drive to support virtualisation, which allows users to run more than one operating system as well as both 32-bit and 64-bit applications on a single platform.
Intel is working towards the same goal with its Vanderpool technology, which is still under development, and is supporting Microsoft’s Virtual Server 2005 SP1 beta.
Virtual Server 2005 is also being integrated with Microsoft Operations Manager (MOM) 2005 to enable easier management of virtualisation technologies via the MOM management console.
Thomas Bittman, an analyst at Gartner, said, "We see the integration of virtualisation technology with the operating system as a natural evolutionary step for the x86 platform.
"The broader adoption of virtualisation that is spurred by this integration will make management even more important as customers strive to exploit this technology and further improve the utilisation and flexibility of their hardware environments."