Microsoft announces general availability of Virtual Server 2005

Quoting from official announcement:

Microsoft today announced the general availability and pricing of Microsoft Virtual Server 2005. Available in both Standard and Enterprise editions, Virtual Server 2005 helps customers reduce hardware costs and increase operational efficiency in three key scenarios: automation of software test and development environments; rehosting of legacy applications; and consolidation of production server workloads such as networking, directory infrastructure or departmental applications. As a key deliverable of the Dynamic Systems Initiative, Microsoft’s vision for simplifying and automating the way customers design, deploy and operate distributed systems, Virtual Server 2005 provides customers with more flexibility and control in the provisioning of data center resources.

“Our customers are looking for ways to cut infrastructure costs and make better use of their IT and development teams. They want to streamline application testing and development, consolidate to fewer servers and move legacy applications to new hardware running on the Windows Server 2003 platform,” said Bob Muglia, senior vice president of the Windows Server Division at Microsoft. “Virtual Server 2005 meets these needs and provides easy, automated deployment and configuration. This improved efficiency and simplicity represents progress toward our Dynamic Systems Initiative vision of reducing IT complexity.”

As part of Windows Server System, Microsoft’s comprehensive family of server software, Virtual Server 2005 helps customers increase operational efficiencies associated with testing and deploying their solutions built on Windows Server 2003. With Virtual Server 2005, early adopter customers have been able to decrease their server provisioning time by 50 percent to 95 percent, while reducing physical server counts by 50 percent to 80 percent through consolidation.

“Virtual Server 2005 will allow us to get out of the one-application, one-server paradigm when dealing with applications with low system requirements,” said Eric Hart, senior network engineer at PING Golf. “We will be able to consolidate 77 percent of these applications in our datacenter. Now we have the ability to provide a scalable, fault-tolerant and hardware-independent solution for deploying single-server applications in a cost-effective manner.”

Microsoft Virtual Server 2005 includes simple installation and convenient Web-based management of virtual machines, as well as robust storage and networking features. In addition, physical server management tools from Microsoft and third-party management vendors have been updated to provide administrators with a seamless one-to-many management experience across a combination of physical and virtual servers. For example, a Virtual Server 2005 Management Pack for Microsoft Operations Manager 2005 will enable centralized monitoring and performance management of multiple virtual and physical servers.

Hardware vendors such as AMD, Dell, Fujitsu Siemens, HP, IBM, Intel, NEC and Unisys; systems integrators such as Accenture, Avanade, EDS, HP Services and IBM Global Services; and management software vendors including CA, HP and VERITAS, are offering a broad choice of tools, solutions and guidance to help customers more easily deploy and manage Virtual Server 2005 on Windows Server 2003.

“Gartner predicts that enterprises that don’t leverage virtualization technologies will spend as much as 25 percent more for their x86 servers,” said Tom Bittman, research vice president at Gartner Inc. “Server virtualization software can help enterprises reduce the time, effort and costs associated with the consolidation of servers and applications.”

Virtual Server 2005 Standard Edition supports up to four processors, with an estimated retail price of $499 (U.S.). Virtual Server 2005 Enterprise Edition supports up to 32 processors, with an estimated retail price of $999 (U.S.). Both versions will be available within 30 days through retail and volume licensing and will be licensed on a per-physical server basis.

More information on Microsoft Virtual Server 2005 can be found here.