Microsoft has finalized Virtual Server 2005 and will soon make the product available to customers. The long-awaited release, available in both standard and enterprise editions, virtualizes server installations to software-based environments that are more easily managed. The product is similar to the desktop-based Virtual PC software that Microsoft purchased from Connectix last year.
"Our customers are looking for ways to cut infrastructure costs and make better use of their IT and development staff time," said Microsoft Senior Vice President Bob Muglia. "They want to streamline application testing and development, consolidate to fewer servers, and move legacy applications to new hardware running on the Windows Server 2003 platform. Virtual Server 2005 meets these needs and provides easy, automated deployment and configuration."
Virtual Server is aimed at three core scenarios: software testing and development automation, legacy application hosting, and server workload consolidation for networking and directory infrastructure or branch-office applications. What sets apart Virtual Server from similar virtualization solutions, such as the server-based products VMware offers, is integration with Microsoft and third-party server-management tools.