Microsoft releases Linux Integrated Services 2.1 for Hyper-V

In April Microsoft announced the beta program for the Linux Integrated Services (LIS) 2.1 for Hyper-V.
Among the many new features, the package introduced support for up to 4 vCPUs inside Novell SUSE Linux Enterprise Server (SLES) and Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) guest operating systems.

Yesterday Microsoft finally released it.

Besides the 4 vCPUs support for SLES 10 SP3 and 11, as well as for RHEL 5.2-5.5, LIS 2.1 also includes:

  • Driver support for synthetic devices
    LIS 2.1 supports the synthetic network controller and the synthetic storage controller that were developed specifically for Hyper-V.
  • Fastpath Boot Support for Hyper-V
    Boot devices take advantage of the block Virtualization Service Client (VSC) to provide enhanced performance.

  • Timesync
    The clock inside the virtual machine will remain synchronized with the clock on the host.
  • Integrated Shutdown
    Virtual machines running Linux can be gracefully shut down from either Hyper-V Manager or System Center Virtual Machine Manager.
  • Heartbeat
    Allows the host to detect whether the guest is running and responsive.
  • Pluggable Time Source
    A pluggable clock source module is included to provide a more accurate time source to the guest.

The first version of Hyper-V was released two years and one month ago. The first version of LIS (formerly called Integration Components for Linux) was released in September 2008.
While Microsoft may have had just a few inquiries for this feature, it’s still true that the company is trying to compete against VMware in the enterprise market where companies need high performance virtual machines for both Windows and Linux guest operating systems. it’s absolutely stunning that Microsoft took two whole years to introduce 4 vCPUs support for Linux VMs. Hopefully customers won’t have to wait another two to have 8 vCPUs support.

Also, Microsoft didn’t provide any update about its plan to submit LIS to the Linux kernel maintainers for inclusion in a future release.