Keith Comb has a nice screencast about Windows Server Virtualization (WSV) in his "Blahg". If you only want to get a quick impression, you could as well have a look at the screenshots I made from it and if you want to learn about the most important features of WSV, you can check out my recent summary.

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This screenshot shows Server Manager and that WSV is just a server role in Windows Server 2008.

WSV Server Manager

It seems WSV really got a nice snapshot feature. One can create multiple snapshots with WSV.

WSV snapshot feature

This image shows that one can balance CPU resources among virtual machines.

WSV Settings

The Virtual Network Switch Management makes a rather simple impression on me.

WSV Virtual Network Switch Management

The Virtualization Management Console allows you to manage multiple WSVs hosts even though the screenshot only shows only one host.

WSV Virtualization Management Console

The New Virtual Machine Wizard lets you create new virtual machines easily.

WSV New Virtual Machine Wizard

To manage a VM, you use the Virtual Machine Connection. It looks better than VMRC.

WSV Virtual Machine Connection

The user interface made a good impression on me. However, when I watched the screencast, it also became obvious to me that it will take Microsoft quite some time to catch up with VMware (ESX Server) and Citrix (Xen Enterprise 4).

That's why I found the statement of Mike Neil, Microsoft's general manager of virtualization, quite optimistic when he answered this to the question whether Microsoft is behind VMware in a TechWorld interview:

At a high level, I disagree. Server virtualisation is still a developing market and technology. Since, to a great degree, the utilisation of virtualisation has been in relatively confined areas, typically in large enterprises or infrastructure products like [VMware's] ESX Server, Microsoft will be able to have a much broader approach and make virtualisation available to a wider swath of the industry.

It is certainly true that WSV is an interesting product for small and midsized organizations. And many Windows shops will embrace WSV, too. We will probably be one of them. But this doesn't change the fact that competitors offer very important features such as live migration or hot-adding of resources which WSV still lacks.

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Nevertheless, WSV is a big step forward for Microsoft. So Microsoft can only compete with them thru the price and of course because of the bundling with Windows Server 2008. Check out this article in the IT 2.0 blog about other interesting considerations concerning this topic.

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