You've probably heard that Windows Server 2008 RC0 is now available for public download. The most interesting new feature certainly is Windows Server Virtualization (WSV). I didn't try it yet, but I'd like to share some new information I got from Paul Thurrott's article about WSV.
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I only summarized here the things that I haven't mentioned before in this blog. If you are new to this topic I highly recommend reading his article.
WSV is only alpha
Even though WSV is mostly feature-complete now, it is probably not quite stable.
Product name might change
It seems Microsoft has not yet decided if Windows Server Virtualization will be the final product name.
MS recommends Server Core for WSV
You can install WSV on all versions of Windows Server 2008. However, Microsoft recommends installing it on Server Core because of the smaller attack surface and better performance.
I must admit I didn't hear this term before. And if you google it, you will only get a couple of hits. As I understand it, synthesized device drivers are aware that they run in a virtualized environment which is supposed to improve performance "dramatically". The opposite term would be "emulated drivers".
This term corresponds to the synthesized device drivers. The guest OS is aware of the fact that it is virtualized. The common term for this kind of technology is para-virtualization. It is not clear to me why Microsoft invented a new term. Maybe this is only about marketing.
WSV server role
In the final version of Windows Server 2008, you can install WSV just as a server role. In RC0, one has to run two executables in C:\Windows\WSV. Because MS doesn't want WSV to be accidentally installed. A detailed instruction how to install WSV can be found here.
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I hope I can find a 64-bit machine to try RC0 because I am quite curious about WSV already. I am usually testing with VMware Workstation. Unfortunately, I can't use it to test WSV. This is one of the limits of virtualization.
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