JSI Tip 8480. Virtual Server 2005 Product Overview.

The Virtual Server 2005 Product Overview page begins with:

Published: May 14, 2004 | Updated: September 13, 2004

Microsoft Virtual Server 2005 is the most cost-effective virtual machine solution designed for Microsoft Windows Server 2003 to increase operational efficiency in software testing and development, server consolidation scenarios, and application re-hosting.

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On This Page
Introduction Introduction
Virtual Server 2005 Scenarios Virtual Server 2005 Scenarios
Product Versions Product Versions
Key Features and Benefits Key Features and Benefits
A Key Deliverable for the Microsoft Dynamic Systems Initiative A Key Deliverable for the Microsoft Dynamic Systems Initiative


Virtual Server 2005 enables developers and administrators to achieve increased operational efficiency in software testing and development, server consolidation scenarios, and legacy line-of-business application re-hosting.

A complete virtual machine solution, Virtual Server 2005 features robust storage, networking, and management features in an easy-to-use package that includes a simple, seven-step installation and a convenient Web-based management console . Virtual Server 2005 provides hardware benefits through virtual machine isolation, while resource management enables multiple workloads to coexist on fewer servers . In addition, organizations benefit from increased administrator productivity throughout the phases of the IT life cycle.

Complemented by Microsoft's award-winning Windows Server 2003 operating system, Virtual Server 2005 provides a powerful, cost-effective virtual machine platform as part of the Windows Server System.

Virtual Server 2005 Scenarios

Virtual Server 2005 addresses three key customer scenarios:

Automation of software development and test environments: Provides automated configuration, integration, and management of virtual machines, thus enabling more flexible deployment and better developer productivity for better test coverage and user experience throughout the IT life cycle.

Server consolidation: Provides compatibility for line-of-business applications when consolidated onto a single physical server, as in the case of departmental servers, in branch offices, and for infrastructure services.

Legacy application re-hosting: Provides compatibility for legacy applications when re-hosted onto virtual machines running on Windows Server 2003 and more modern server hardware. Results in increased manageability and enables more efficient use of hardware resources.

Product Versions

Virtual Server 2005 is available in two versions, Standard Edition and Enterprise Edition. Both versions include the same features. The only difference is in the number of processors supported:

Virtual Server 2005, Standard Edition, can be installed on servers with up to 4 processors.

Virtual Server 2005, Enterprise Edition, can be installed on servers with up to 32 physical processors.

Key Features and Benefits

Benefit Description
Increased Hardware Efficiency  


Supports most Windows Server Catalog devices, ensuring compatibility with a wide range of hardware.

Enables major x86 operating systems to run in the virtual machine guest environment.

Optimizes Windows guests for computing, storage, and networking performance.

Resource Management

Supports CPU resource allocation with both weighting and constraint methods for fine-grained control.

Allows memory resource allocation per virtual machine.

Increased Administrator Productivity  

Easy to Deploy

Provides a comprehensive COM API that enables complete scripted control of virtual machine environments.

Encapsulates virtual machines in portable Virtual Hard Disks (VHDs), enabling flexible configuration, versioning, and deployment.

Provides virtual networking for more secure, flexible networking with guest-to-guest, guest-to-host, and guest-to-net connectivity.

Easy to Manage and Use

Provides the Web management console for more secure, authenticated administration and client remote access.

Integrates Active Directory for delegated administration and authenticated guest access.

Supports your existing server management tools for administering virtual machines.

Integrated with Microsoft management solutions, such as Microsoft Operations Manager 2005 and Systems Management Server 2003.

Delivers a unified Windows experience that streamlines common tasks.

Broad Set of Partner Solutions  

Partner Offerings

Provides a wide variety of complementary product and service offerings from Microsoft and a broad set of partners to help businesses plan for, deploy, and manage Virtual Server in their environment. Offerings include products, services, and solutions from independent hardware vendors (IHVs), system integrators (SIs), and management independent software vendors (ISVs).

Prescriptive Guidance

Helps organizations build proven virtualization solutions through the support of Microsoft Solution Offerings (MSO).

NOTE: See the Virtual Server 2005 Product Overview

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