Computerworld has an interesting article about a new feature of Windows Server 2008: Dynamic Partitioning. A hardware partitionable server can have isolated hardware partitions comprising CPU, memory and I/O. Each of these segments runs its own Windows instance. It allows you to add, replace and remove hardware without rebooting Windows. This not only improves fault tolerance, but also scalability.

In a way, it is RAID for CPU, memory and I/O. This certainly important feature is not a new revolutionary technology, though. Mainframe systems always had similar capabilities. Therefore, it will be one further step for Microsoft in pushing Windows into the datacenter. Unfortunately, this feature will only be supported by the Datacenter and the Itanium editions of Windows Server 2008. By the way, Windows Server 2003 already supports hot-add memory.

It is interesting to note, that the white paper about the new features of Windows Server 2008, I linked to earlier, doesn't mention this new capability. If you want to know more technical details about Dynamic Partitioning, or about the "hot swap feature" as some call it, I recommend this PowerPoint presentation.


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