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Microsoft Viridian hypervisor 'lobotomized'?

Features in Windows Server virtualization hypervisor, code-named Viridian, are being cut and relegated to a future release.

Microsoft's efforts to deliver virtualization capabilities in its Windows Server platform suffered another setback this week when the software company said it would cut major features from its hypervisor, code-named Viridian.

Specific features, including live migration, hot-add resources for storage, networking, memory and processor, have been postponed to an unreleased date in a future hypervisor release, said Mike Neil, general manager of virtualization strategy on Microsoft's Windows Server team blog. In addition, Microsoft put a limit of 16 cores on the number of cores/logical processors supported.

More on Microsoft Viridian hypervisor technology:
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Neil said a beta version of Viridian will be available with the release to manufacture (RTM) date of Windows Longhorn, by the end of this year.

Microsoft is already far behind its competitors in the development of virtualization technology and the loss of such core technologies was seen as shocking, said one expert.

"The product is lobotomized without Live migration and hot-add components," said Nelson Ruest, principle at Resolutions Enterprises, a Victoria, B.C., consulting firm. "It will be no different really than what people can get in [Microsoft's] Virtual Server -- the only difference being that Virtual Server can't run a 64-bit OS."

Ruest added that he was already wary that something might be missing from Microsoft's hypervisor.

"Every time [Microsoft] demos the hypervisor, they never show you how it's being run," Ruest said. "I've never seen an actual interface or configuration. It seems to me that something's not there."

Last month, Microsoft pushed back the first public beta of Viridian to the second half of this year.

Viridian's public beta was supposed to be available by the first quarter of this year. The company also pushed back the release date of Virtual Server 2005 R2 Service Pack 1 from the first quarter to the second quarter of this year.

Microsoft said the release date for Windows Longhorn public beta 3 is still on track for the first half of this year.

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