MS Virtual server for development at RRS feed

  • Question

  • I am interested at development related to Virtual servers. It seems that all brands except VMWare requires installing the special host OS. As it related to MS Virtual server I think should be a developer version that can run at least on any modern windows OS. Is there a such opportunity?
    Thursday, November 3, 2011 3:31 PM

All replies

  • Well, technically, installing VMware requires installing a 'special' host OS, too.  Hypervisors come in two flavors - type 1 and type 2.  Type 2 hypervisors, like Microsoft's Virtual Server are applications that run on a standard operating system, in Virtual Server's case, it installs on a Windows operating system, such as Windows XP or Windows Server 2003.  Type 2 hypervisors emulate the hardware of the virtual machine in software.  This is older technology that is not used much anymore.  Microsoft's Virtual Server was written to support 32-bit operating systems within the virtual machines.  It would take a total rewrite to create another Type 2 hypervisor to support 64-bit operating systems.

    The mainstream hypervisors are now Type 1 hypervisors.  These are 'bare metal' installs where the hypervisor runs on the hardware and shares the hardware among the virtual machines running within the hypervisors.  Since they are not emulating hardware in code, but are actually using the physical hardware on which the hypervisor is running, the performance of Type 1 hypervisors tends to be much superior to Type 2 hypervisors.  Microsoft's Hyper-V, VMware's ESX, Citrix' XenServer are all examples of this.  Microsoft's Hyper-V is part of the Windows Server 2008 operating system, but they also have a no-cost download available from their website.  It supports both 32-bit and 64-bit operating systems.  The capabilities of the one that is a no-cost download are exactly the same as what comes as part of the Windows Server operating system. Similarly, VMware has a version that costs money and a no-cost download.  In their case, the no-cost version does not have all the same capabilities as the one that costs money, but it is quite capable for developer use.  Citrix XenServer is also a no-cost download.

    No matter which hypervisor you use, though, licensing may still be required for the operating systems that you install as virtual machines.  For example, if you download Microsoft's no-cost Hyper-V Server, it does not include any operating system licenses, just like VMware's and Citrix' offerings.  If you pay for Windows Server 2008 R2 Enterprise Edition, that includes the right to run up to four virtual instances of the Windows Server operating system - it does not provide any licenses for Windows desktop operating systems.  Neither VMware or Citrix include any operating system licenses in any of their products.

    Friday, November 18, 2011 10:38 PM