Windows Server 2008 RC hits with Viridian beta

The first Windows Server 2008 release candidate is ready for download with a Viridian hypervisor CTP.

Testers will get their first crack at Viridian, Microsoft's hypervisor technology, with today's inaugural release candidate of Windows Server 2008.

A CTP of Viridian, now called Microsoft's Windows Server Virtualization 2008, is included in the Windows Server 2008 Beta 3 Evaluation download. The hypervisor is less than a megabyte in size and runs between the hardware and the server OS.

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The hypervisor offers multi-processor guests, more than 32 gigs of memory allocation per machine, integrated virtual switch support to virtualize most workloads, support for 32-bit, 64-bit and multi-processor guests. In addition, it contains storage options, like iSCSI and Fibre Channel SAN.

The Viridian CTP also has standards-based Windows Management Interface and APIs for management.

What the CTP does not have is Live Migration or hot-add resources for storage, networking and memory and processor -- two features Microsoft dropped from the hypervisor in May. No new release date has been given for the delayed features.

IT managers can also test out all the new capabilities in Windows Server 2008, such as Server Core, Internet Information Services 7.0 and Network Access Protection.

The general release of Windows Server 2008 is expected in the first quarter of 2008.

Microsoft, today, also released Vista Service Pack Beta 1 to a group of 12,000 testers.

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