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Microsoft's Hyper-V To Go Head-to-head With VMware

Redmond (WA) - Microsoft has begun public trials of its new virtualization software program, called Hyper-V. That software is designed to go head-to-head with VMware’’s ESX Server. Wall Street quickly responded to the news, with VMware shares dropping 7%, and Microsoft shares increasing 2.8%.

Microsoft’s Hyper-V software is designed to run multiple operating systems simultaneously in what’s called a virtualized environment. Rather than each instance of an operating system running on its own physical hardware, several operating systems will share the same hardware through software emulation of hardware abilities. Intel’s Core 2 CPUs, and AMD’s Athlon X2 CPUs, both contain special hardware instructions which accelerate these features.

Read more ... Microsoft’s Hyper-V white paper.

From Microsoft’s website, Hyper-V includes:

A new 64-bit micro-kernelized hypervisor architecture to support a broad array of devices. Broad support for simultaneously running different types of operating systems, including 32-bit and 64-bit systems across different server platforms, such as Windows and Linux. Support for up to 4 processors (SMP) in a virtual machine environment enabling multi-threaded applications in the virtual machine. Support for large memory allocation per virtual machine. Pass-through disk access and broad support for SAN and internal disk access. A new virtual service provider/virtual service client (VSP/VSC) architecture. It includes beta Linux integration components for SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 10 SP1 x86 and x64 Editions. These integration components enable Xen-enabled Linux to take advantage of the VSP/VSC architecture and provide improved performance. Beta Linux Integration components are available for immediate download at connect.microsoft.com. The ability to take snapshots of a running virtual machine. Support for multiple processors and cores at the host level and improved memory access within virtual machines. Includes standards-based Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI) interfaces and APIs.