This morning, Microsoft announced the availability of a release candidate (RC) version of its Hyper-V virtualization platform, a component of the recently-released Windows Server 2008 operating system. Hyper-V ships in beta form with the shipping version of Windows 2008, and Microsoft has pledged to ship the final version of the technology to customers by August 2008.
"As customers begin deploying Windows Server 2008, we want to ensure they have the tools to optimize their IT infrastructure," says Bill Hilf, the general manager of the Windows Server division at Microsoft. "Virtualization has been too complicated and expensive for most organizations, which is why less than 10 percent of servers are virtualized today. Our goal is to make Hyper-V broadly available, easy to adopt and cost-effective while delivering powerful systems management capabilities for customers' traditional and virtualized IT environments."
The RC version of Hyper-V supports a longer list of supported guest operating systems than previous versions. These include Windows Server 2003 with Service Pack 2 (SP2), Novell SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 10, Windows Vista with SP1 and Windows XP with Service Pack 3 (SP3). The Hyper-V RC also supports more hardware configurations, more languages, and offers better performance and scalability.
Customers interested in obtaining the Hyper-V RC must be running the shipping version of Windows 2008. You can download this near-final version of Hyper-V from the Microsoft Web site beginning at 10 am PST today.