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Hyper-V to stay free, along with live migration in R2

The beta for Hyper-V Server 2008 R2 is currently available as a free download, and it looks like it’s going to stay that way. Recent news has the standalone hypervisor technology set to remain free even after its official release, just like its predecessor.

Hyper-V Server 2008 R2 will have all the functionality of the version included with the Windows 2008 R2 operating system, most notably the live migration capability that was previously absent.

While quick migration got its fair share of positive press (only lasting a few seconds in some instances), the fact remained that no downtime was better than a little, and many of the experts I spoke with over the past year cited the lack of live migration functionality as one of the top barriers Microsoft would have to overcome in order to truly challenge VMware. The question now is, will live migration for Hyper-V R2 really work, or is Microsoft rushing it out just to keep pace in the server virtualization market?

The cost factor along with the new features could go a long way in convincing more people to deploy Hyper-V over the next couple years. Softpedia spoke with Microsoft about some of these improvements, citing host clustering and performance/scalability enhancements specifically. Greg Shields will get into much more detail as to what’s new with Hyper-V as part of his running series on Windows 2008 R2 next month on

Greg’s latest article, however, deals with Terminal Services for R2 (now officially known as Remote Desktop Services, for those not aware). The article includes details on the Remote Desktop Virtualization feature, which Greg describes as being designed to broker “connections between users and hosted desktops running atop of one or more Hyper-V servers.”

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