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Live migration will debut in Windows Server 2008 R2

Microsoft's hypervisor will have live migration capabilities by the time Windows Server 2008 R2 hits in 2010.

BELLEVUE, WASH. -- Microsoft had downplayed the need for live migration technology when it removed the feature from the beta of Hyper-V just to get the technology out the door.

Now, Microsoft senior vice president of Microsoft's server and tools division, Bob Muglia, told IT managers and partners at a virtualization event in Bellevue, Wash., this week that live migration will be introduced in the next version of Windows Server 2008, when it comes out in 2010.

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Microsoft's chief rival in virtualization, VMware Inc., has had a live migration capability with VMotion for some time. VMotion allows for virtual machine workloads to be switched up on the fly while the machines are running.

Although Microsoft's Hyper-V Live Migration won't be out until R2 is released, the lag behind VMware didn't faze Muglia, who introduced the technology demo during his keynote here.

"There's no magic in VMotion, it's just a feature," Muglia said. "We'll have it in the next release of Hyper-V and [Windows] Server 2008."

Muglia and other presenters also hinted that more Windows Server 2008 R2 features as well as the company's cloud computing strategy would be revealed at Microsoft's Professional Developers Conference in Los Angeles in October. He described cloud services as the next step in the evolution of the data center and virtualization. "It will be a mix of premises [equipment] and cloud services," he said.

Microsoft's strategy is shifting to focus less on managing devices and more on managing information wherever it may reside. The role of virtualization is one of the pieces needed to build a broad services environment as part of this shift, he said.

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