Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Longhorn virtualization: Hypervisor

I have to say that I was really excited to hear on VolkerW's blog about the new virtualization technology being built-into Longhorn, dubbed hypervisor. While the details seem somewhat sparse at the present, it at least sounds like it has the potential to be something that will really bring virtualization technology into the mainstream (Maybe now we'll get support for running Exchange, and Sharepoint virtualized... :) . I can only imagine how Microsoft is integrating this into the OS, but it makes me wonder if we're going to have the ability to do something like right-click an application, and choose to "Launch application within a virtual environment..." almost like the "Open with..." command.

Or, just imagine being able execute groups of services (e.g. Exchange, SQL Server, IIS, etc.) within a virtual session. Better still, install that legacy app on a Longhorn box, and then execute it within the context of an NT 4.0 environment (would it be too much to ask to have this out of the box, without having to build a multiple VHD-equivalent images).

In terms of mainstream appeal, you know that the Small Business Server team at Microsoft has got to be loving this; gone might be the days of the SBS team integrating disparate server products onto on the same box. Instead, mission-critical application could get rapidly virtualized.

This has really got me thinking now... maybe I'm coming at this from the wrong approach. Maybe hypervisor as implemented will be more like Virtual Server 2005, with just some tighter integration. In any case, I wonder if the network access quarantine control that received polish under SP1 will be utilized to facilitate the type of rapid OS provisioning that would be necessary to make this cost effective in production...

Need a to provision a new server to bring project "X" into production quickly? Don't have anything left in the budget for capex, but need project "X" implemented yesterday onto a fully patched, AV-updated, WSUS-integrated box? I sure hope so!

And you thought that I was just going to re-hash today's IT news.

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