Is Microsoft-Bashing Over Virtualization Delays Overblown?

Microsoft pushes back some key features--where have we heard that before?--but are most IT shops ready for them anyway?

May 12, 2007

3 Min Read
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Microsoft this week admitted it is pushing back some features from the initial release of its "Viridian" virtualization technology.

The release of the hypervisor is tied to the release of its "Longhorn" Windows server, due before year's end. Microsoft has said it will deliver its server-virtualization technology within 180 days of that release--to meet that goal it is apparently yanking features.

IT press and blog critics were quick to bash Microsoft over the missed deadlines, especially in the light of ongoing delays for Longhorn server. But the move seems typical of Microsoft's new product strategies (ie, aim for the mainstream; embrace and extend) and would seem to impact only the very earliest of early adopters (see NWC Analysis, right).

In a blog posting otherwise touting the Microsoft's virtualization successes (link to:, Mike Neil, Microsoft's general manager of virtualization strategy at Microsoft, announced the changes. They include: no Live Migration, which enables IT to move VMs from one physical machine to another; no hot-add resources (including storage, networking, memory and processors); and a support limit of 16 cores/logical processors."We chose to focus on virtualization scenarios that meet the demands of the broad market " enterprise, large organizations, and midmarket customers," Neil wrote.

Microsoft is competing with "pure-play" virtualization vendors, notably VMWare and open source project XenSource. Using virtualization to ease server adminstration and enable hardware consolidation is emerging as an important IT tactic in the data center.

Microsoft initially delayed the initial release of Viridian from the first half of this year to the second. It now says it will release a Viridian beta with the final release of Longhorn.

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