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  • 1. Microsoft Virtual Server 2005 Product Overview Microsoft® Virtual Server 2005 Product Overview Microsoft Corporation Published: 2004 Abstract The purpose of this paper is to provide an overview of the features and benefits of Microsoft Virtual Server 2005, the virtual machine solution for Windows Server 2003. Microsoft Virtual Server 2005 is the most cost-effective virtual machine solution designed for Windows Server 2003 to improve operational efficiency in software test and development, legacy line of business application migration, and server consolidation scenarios. Virtual machine technology enables customers to run multiple operating systems concurrently on a single physical server. Microsoft Virtual Server 2005 is a complete virtual machine solution with robust storage, networking and management features in an easy to use package that includes a simple seven step install and convenient Web-based management of the server service and virtual machines. Complemented by Microsoft’s award winning Windows Server 2003 operating system, Virtual Server 2005 provides a powerful, cost-effective virtual machine platform as a part of the Windows Server System. Virtual Server 2005 also represents a key deliverable on the Dynamic Systems Initiative (DSI) roadmap, and represents Microsoft’s continued investment in delivering technology that improves the flexibility and utilization of server hardware resources. 1
  • 2. Microsoft Virtual Server 2005 Product Overview The information contained in this document represents the current view of Microsoft Corporation on the issues discussed as of the date of publication. Because Microsoft must respond to changing market conditions, it should not be interpreted to be a commitment on the part of Microsoft, and Microsoft cannot guarantee the accuracy of any information presented after the date of publication. This document is for informational purposes only. MICROSOFT MAKES NO WARRANTIES, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, AS TO THE INFORMATION IN THIS DOCUMENT. Complying with all applicable copyright laws is the responsibility of the user. Without limiting the rights under copyright, no part of this document may be reproduced, stored in or introduced into a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means (electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise), or for any purpose, without the express written permission of Microsoft Corporation. Microsoft may have patents, patent applications, trademarks, copyrights, or other intellectual property rights covering subject matter in this document. Except as expressly provided in any written license agreement from Microsoft, the furnishing of this document does not give you any license to these patents, trademarks, copyrights, or other intellectual property. © 2004 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved. Microsoft, MS-DOS, Virtual Server, Visual Basic, Windows, and Windows NT, are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corporation in the United States and/or other countries. The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners. 2
  • 3. Microsoft Virtual Server 2005 Product Overview Introduction.....................................................................................................................................4 Customer Scenarios.......................................................................................................................4 Consolidate and Automate Software Test and Development Environments...............................4 Migrate Legacy Applications........................................................................................................4 Consolidate Multiple Server Workloads.......................................................................................5 Disaster Recovery...................................................................................................................5 Simulate Distributed Server Applications on a Single Physical Server........................................5 Virtual Server Benefits....................................................................................................................6 Improved Hardware Efficiency.....................................................................................................6 Virtualization............................................................................................................................6 Resource Management............................................................................................................7 Increased Administrator Productivity...........................................................................................7 Deployment..............................................................................................................................7 Management............................................................................................................................7 Use..........................................................................................................................................8 Broad set of Partner Solutions.....................................................................................................8 A Key Deliverable for the Dynamic Systems Initiative.................................................................8 Conclusion......................................................................................................................................8 3
  • 4. Microsoft Virtual Server 2005 Product Overview Introduction Customers across all industries and segments are looking for ways to reduce cost and risk while increasing quality and agility in their IT infrastructure. Virtualization is a key enabling technology that can be leveraged to achieve these business benefits. Virtualization technology enables customers to run multiple operating systems concurrently on a single physical server, where each of the operating systems runs as a self-contained computer. Microsoft Virtual Server 2005 hosted on the Windows Server 2003 operating system delivers the performance necessary to carry out time and cost saving tasks through virtualization technology in an enterprise-ready computing environment with advanced levels of scalability, manageability and reliability. Virtual Server 2005 can improve hardware efficiency and increase administrator productivity while maximizing value through a broad set of partner resources and solutions. Microsoft Virtual Server 2005 is the most cost-effective virtual machine solution designed for Windows Server 2003 to improve operational efficiency in software test and development, legacy application migration, and server consolidation scenarios. Customer Scenarios Consolidate and Automate Software Test and Development Environments Departmental technology teams continually seek efficiency and drive to accelerate application and infrastructure installations and upgrades, while delivering the highest levels of quality assurance. In order to achieve testing coverage goals prior to going to production, multiple challenges must be overcome: • Server operational and capital costs: High-quality application test coverage frequently adds risk to budgets and schedules. • Network operations: Test networks can cause costly problems including application, system or network downtime. • Developer productivity: IT worker productivity is wasted on time-consuming administrative tasks. Virtual machine technology was developed over a quarter century ago to address these same challenges, enabling companies to utilize a single machine for testing and production. Virtual Server enables businesses to execute test and development tasks on fewer servers and automate the time consuming tasks, improving hardware utilization and operational flexibility. Migrate Legacy Applications As IT infrastructures enable increasingly powerful and reliable solutions, a recurring challenge for many businesses is the management and maintenance of legacy applications. Business applications often outlive their original computing environment, and as support for these environments diminishes over time, the cost of ownership steadily increases. Ideally, customers would prefer to continue running business applications unchanged, but three factors increase the urgency of legacy application migration: • Diminishing hardware support for legacy operating systems such as Windows NT 4.0. • Extensive time and high cost of administrating server-based legacy applications. • High cost and risk to upgrade or rewrite legacy applications for increased quality and agility. 4
  • 5. Microsoft Virtual Server 2005 Product Overview Organizations need support for legacy or orphaned applications, such as those written for Windows NT 4.0 or Windows 2000, to run on new hardware and software platforms. Organizations might find, for example, that the ISV that installed their application years ago is no longer in business. Customers have called for a solution that assures smooth application migration while delivering rock-solid application compatibility and support. Virtual Server delivers the best of both worlds: compatibility with legacy environments, while leveraging the value-added benefits of Windows Server 2003. Virtual Server delivers this capability by enabling organizations to run legacy applications in their native software environment in virtual machines, without rewriting application logic, reconfiguring networks or retraining end users. This gives companies time to refresh out-of-warranty infrastructure systems first, then either upgrade or rewrite out-of-service applications on a timetable that best fits their business needs. Consolidate Multiple Server Workloads Server consolidation reduces the amount of server hardware under management for an optimized IT infrastructure. Virtual Server is the recommended approach for server consolidation of infrastructure services, disaster recovery environments and department or branch office services —especially for server-based applications on industry-standard hardware. Virtual Server accomplishes this by allowing multiple applications and services on disparate operating systems to coexist on the same hardware, thus increasing hardware utilization and manageability while reducing capital and recurring costs related to hardware and hosting. Ultimately, fewer physical systems are required, which reduces the enterprise hardware footprint. Reducing the number of servers under management for an optimized IT infrastructure reduces management burden, maintenance cost and overhead. Workload characteristics determine which approach brings the highest return. Disaster Recovery Virtual Server enables another form of server consolidation through disaster recovery. Rather than maintaining redundancy with costly physical servers, Virtual Server allows customers to backup their mission-critical functionality in a cost-effective way using virtual machines. Virtual Server technologies, coupled with customizable programming features, can be used to create similar fail-over functionality as standard, hardware-driven disaster recovery solutions. Customers can leverage the Virtual Server COM API to enable periodic duplication of physical hard disks containing vital business applications to virtual machine Virtual Hard Disks. Additional programming can automate change-over to the virtual machine backup in the case of catastrophic failure. Moreover, because Virtual Hard Disks are one of Virtual Server’s core technologies, they can be leveraged as a disaster recovery agent, wherein business functionality and data can be easily archived, duplicated or moved to other physical machines. Simulate Distributed Server Applications on a Single Physical Server Deployment and testing of distributed server applications typically requires numerous pieces of hardware and considerable amounts of time to configure the hardware and software systems. Virtual Server is a potent server solution that minimizes hardware and time requirements in distributed server application scenarios. Virtual Server enables individual developers to easily deploy and test a complex server application scenario on one physical server. The result is a solution that is time and cost effective as less hardware and less time are required for build-out. Virtual Server enables individual developers to easily deploy and simulate a distributed server application using multiple virtual machines on a single physical server. 5
  • 6. Microsoft Virtual Server 2005 Product Overview Virtual Server Benefits Microsoft Virtual Server 2005 is the most cost-effective virtual machine solution designed for Windows Server 2003 to increase operational efficiency in software test and development, legacy application migration, and server consolidation scenarios. Its key benefits include: Improved hardware efficiency The combination of Virtual Server and Windows Server 2003 provides a virtualization platform that improves hardware efficiency across a wide range of host hardware systems, runs most major x86 operating systems in the guest environment, and provides an optimized guest experience for Windows Server operating systems. Policy-based resource management features offer both weighting and constraint methods for fine-grained control of individual virtual machines. Improved administrator productivity Virtual Server’s comprehensive COM API, in combination with the Virtual Hard Disk (VHD) format and support for virtual networking help make administrators more productive by offering complete scripted control of portable, connected virtual machines and enabling easy automation of deployment, and ongoing change and configuration. The Virtual Server Administration Website enables authenticated, remote administration of, and access to, individual virtual machines. In addition, as a result of integration with a wide variety of existing Microsoft and 3rd party management tools such as Active Directory, Microsoft Operations Manager and Windows Server 2003, Automated Deployment Services, administrators can seamlessly manage a Virtual Server environment with their existing physical server management tools. Broad set of partner solutions There are a wide variety of complimentary product and service offerings available from Microsoft and a broad set of partners to help businesses plan for, deploy and manage Virtual Server in their environment. Offerings include the Microsoft Solution Offerings (MSOs) as well as products, services and solutions from Independent Hardware Vendors (IHVs), System Integrators (SIs), and management Independent Software Vendors (ISVs). A key deliverable for Microsoft’s Dynamic Systems Initiative As a part of the Dynamic Systems Initiative (DSI), Microsoft’s industry wide effort to dramatically simplify and automate how businesses design, deploy, and operate IT systems, Microsoft is providing businesses with tools to help them more flexibly utilize their hardware resources. Virtual Server 2005 is another example of how Microsoft is continuing to deliver technology that results in improved server hardware utilization and provides for more flexible provisioning of data center resources. Improved Hardware Efficiency Virtual machine isolation and resource management enable multiple workloads to coexist on fewer servers. Ultimately this allows greater overall efficiency of hardware to be realized across the enterprise. Virtualization Windows Server 2003 facilitates broad device compatibility and Virtual Server has complete support for Windows server environments. Broad device compatibility: Virtual Server runs on Windows Server 2003 which supports most Windows Server Catalog devices, providing compatibility with a wide range of host system hardware. Multithreaded VMM: Virtual Server’s Virtual Machine Monitor (VMM) provides the software infrastructure to create, manage and interact with virtual machines. 6
  • 7. Microsoft Virtual Server 2005 Product Overview Virtual machine isolation ensures that if one virtual machine crashes or hangs, it cannot impact any other virtual machine or the host system. Maximum application compatibility is achieved through isolation. This allows customers to further leverage their existing storage, network and security infrastructures. Broad x86 guest OS compatibility: Virtual Server can run most major x86 operating systems in the virtual machine guest environment. Windows guest operating system performance optimization: Virtual Server optimizes Windows operating systems for computing, storage, and networking performance as virtual machines. Resource Management CPU resource allocation: Virtual Server enables fine-grained control of physical hardware for balanced workload management. Memory resource allocation: Virtual Server enables flexible memory configuration on a per-virtual machine basis. Virtual Server was engineered to prevent performance issues resulting from virtual memory of a virtual machine exceeding the memory of the physical host system. Increased Administrator Productivity Administration is easy with standard server management tools and a simple Web-based interface for Virtual Server management. Administrators and developers can customize and automate control of Virtual Server with scripts written through a robust COM API, which enables automated deployment, configuration of connected virtual machines and more. Deployment Virtual Server’s complete scripted control of portable, connected virtual machines enables automated configuration and deployment. Comprehensive COM API: Enables complete scripted control of virtual machine environments. Virtual Server supports a full-featured Component Object Model (COM) Application Programming Interface (API) that contains 42 interfaces and hundreds of calls, allowing scripts to control nearly every aspect of the product. Because the scripting model is based on COM, users are not tied to a specific scripting language, but can choose between Visual Basic®, C#, Perl and many other modern development languages. Furthermore, scripts can be “triggered” by certain events within Virtual Server. Virtual Hard Disks(VHDs): Virtual Server encapsulates virtual machines in portable Virtual Hard Disks, enabling flexible configuration, change and deployment. Virtual Networking: Virtual Server virtual networking features enable security enhanced, flexible networking with guest-to-guest, guest-to-host and guest-to-network connectivity. Management Use Virtual Server’s Administration Website and standard server management tools to administer virtual machines. 7
  • 8. Microsoft Virtual Server 2005 Product Overview Virtual Server Administration Website: The Virtual Server Administration Website enables authenticated administration and client remote access. Active Directory integration: Virtual machines in Virtual Server function the way you would expect a physical machine, offering full Active Directory integration. This level of integration enables delegated administration and authenticated guest access. Active Directory incorporates significant improvements in management and performance in Windows Server 2003 which can be leveraged through virtual machines hosted by Virtual Server 2005. Microsoft Operations Manager 2005 Management Pack for Virtual Server: A management pack developed specifically for Virtual Server enables advanced management features within virtual machines. Physical server equivalency: Organizations can use existing server management tools to administer virtual machines. Use Unified Windows experience in Virtual Server streamlines common virtual machine tasks. Windows guest usability: Provides features such as mouse pointer and host time integration. Broad set of Partner Solutions A broad set of partner solutions for Virtual Server built on a foundation of Windows Server 2003 maximizes business value. Microsoft will make significant announcements regarding partner solutions at the time of product launch. Prescriptive guidance: Microsoft Solutions Offerings (MSO)s help organizations build proven virtualization solutions. Partner offerings: Virtual Server is backed by a partner ecosystem including hardware OEMs, management ISVs and services vendors. A Key Deliverable for the Dynamic Systems Initiative As a part of the Dynamic Systems Initiative (DSI), Microsoft’s industry wide effort to dramatically simplify and automate how businesses design, deploy, and operate IT systems, Microsoft is providing businesses with tools to help them more flexibly utilize their hardware resources. Virtual Server 2005 is another example of how Microsoft is continuing to deliver technology that results in improved server hardware utilization and provides for more flexible provisioning of data center resources. For more information on DSI, see www.microsoft.com/dsi. Conclusion Microsoft Virtual Server 2005 is the most cost-effective virtual machine solution designed for Windows Server 2003 to improve operational efficiency in software test and development, legacy application migration, and server consolidation scenarios. It offers improved hardware efficiency by providing a great solution for isolation and resource management, which enable multiple workloads to coexist on fewer servers. Because it offers complete scripted control of a set of 8
  • 9. Microsoft Virtual Server 2005 Product Overview connected virtual machines that are easily administered with standard server management tools, Virtual Server 2005 is easy to deploy, manage and use - resulting in increased administrator productivity. Further it is another key deliverable on Microsoft’s Dynamic Systems Initiative (DSI) roadmap, in line with Microsoft’s continued investment in delivering technology that provides more flexible provisioning and utilization of server hardware resources. 9