Meet the Windows Hypervisor

by Shijaz Abdulla on 13.07.2007 at 14:46

The Windows Hypervisor is one of the key design features of Microsoft’s enhanced virtualization platform. A hypervisor is a virtualization platform that allows multiple operating systems to run on them. The Windows hypervisor will run on the ‘bare-metal’ server hardware, and will ‘host’ multiple virtual machines over it. The supported server hardware for the hypervisor may be based on Intel VT or AMD-V.

Such a platform gives us the benefit of isolation, better security (smaller attack surface), better performance (no unnecessary services – Hypervisor runs on bare-metal). The Hypervisor manages only a minimum set of hardware on the physical host machine – processors, APICs, system counters and physical address space. The focus of the hypervisor will be on scheduling and isolation.

Windows Virtualization Services (WVS) will be launched not long after the Windows Server 2008 “Longhorn” release scheduled for later this year.

Windows Virtualization Services (WVS) will be an installable server role in the upcoming Windows Server 2008 (Longhorn) operating system. As of now, Microsoft plans to launch this functionality within 180 days of the release of Windows Server 2008.

Sitting on top of the hypervisor will be a parent partition or virtual machine that manages the rest of the physical host hardware such as IHV drivers, processor power management and hot-pluggable devices. This can run the Windows Server 2008 ‘Server Core’ with just the required functionality and low footprint/attack surface. The virtual machine guests talks to the Hypervisor via ‘hypercalls’.

Looks like VMWare ESX has got new competition!

System Center Virtual Machine Manager (SCVMM) is a management tool that supports managing virtual machines that run on Virtual Server 2005 R2 and, eventually, WVS. I will be talking about SCVMM on 19th July 2007 at Doha.

Get 40% off on Windows Server 2008 Certification

by Shijaz Abdulla on 13.06.2007 at 11:16

If you are an MCSE on Windows Server 2003, you can register for a 40% discount voucher on Windows 2008 upgrade exam when it becomes available in the last quarter of this year. This offer seems to be valid only if you register for the voucher before 30th of June, 2007.

The MCSE on Windows Server 2008 is not going to be called MCSE. Rather, it is going to follow Microsoft’s new generation of certification – the MCTS and the MCITP.

MCTS (Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist) and MCITP (Microsoft Certified IT Professional) are the two new generation credentials. The following are the intended MCTS and MCITP specializations:

  • MCTS: Windows Server 2008 Active Directory Configuration
  • MCTS: Windows Server 2008 Networking Infrastructure Configuration
  • MCTS: Windows Server 2008 Application Platform Configuration

MCTS certifications are obtained by passing just one exam.

MCITP tracks:

  • MCITP: Server Administrator (3 or 4 exams)
  • MCTIP: Enterprise Administrator (5 exams)

MCITP certifications require a number of MCTS certifications to be obtained.

Upgrades:

  • MCSE on Windows Server 2003 can upgrade to all three MCTS certifications with one exam
  • MCSA on Windows Server 2003 can upgrade to two MCTS certifications (AD and Networking) with one exam
  • MCSE and MCSA on Windows 2000 Server have no certification upgrade path.

Free Microsoft Press E-book and Microsoft E-learning on Windows Server 2008