Posted by: kurtsh | January 30, 2008

NEWS: Virtualization Summit 2008 announcements

In case you hadn’t heard, Virtualization Summit 2008 took place at Microsoft in Redmond, WA the other week.  300 early adopters of Microsoft’s Virtualization Hypervisor technology (called ‘Hyper-V’, included in Windows Server 2008) were invited to this private affair to hear what Microsoft has in store in the virtualization space.  (Press web site for the event is located here:
http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/events/virtualization/default.mspx

There were a number of MAJOR announcements at this event – so many that I probably am missing a major one, but here are the ones that I was able to glean from the information I’ve been able to gather:

1) Acquisition of Calista Technologies
Microsoft acquired the 35 person company Calista Technologies, and with it, it’s patent pending presentation virtualization acceleration technology.  Basically, Calista’s patents:
– Create a Virtual GPU on the client system for doing client-side rendering
– Enable full motion streaming video using any codec on the market, animation, and 3D graphic rendering without lag or stutter
– Utilize a maximum pipe of 1Mbps
– Can be applied to any presentation technology such as Terminal Services or Virtual Machine Remote Control

2) VMBus Integration Agreement with Novell, Sun, Citrix XenSource
An agreement was established between Novell, Sun, and Citrix to engineer the full integration of Microsoft’s Virtualization technology directly into the operating systems and virtual machine architecture of each partner’s products. 

In particular, all operating systems in the partnership will take advantage of VMBus, the high speed connectivity that enables guest virtual machines of a Hyper-V virtualization hypervisor-based host system to leverage the drivers of the host operating system to provide I/O to the underlying system hardware, without the drivers existing in the hypervisor.

The resulting VMBus architecture keeps the hypervisor secure, maintains high levels of on-the-metal performance for guest VMs, while focusing the role of the hypervisor exclusively on CPU/memory management and true hardware I/O between the host OS’s drivers.

3) Citrix Virtualization Alliance
Citrix Systems will be establishing an alliance with Microsoft with the goal of supporting the Microsoft Hardware & Presentation Virtualization platforms through value-added add-on products & product integration.  This includes:

  • Citrix XenServer integration with Virtual Machine Manager
    XenServer will be remotely & centrally managable using Virtual Machine Manager just as Hyper-V and Virtual Server R2 will be.
  • Citrix XenServer VM converter from Xen-to-Hyper-V (Config, Drivers)
    Citrix will produce a VM converter to enable adminstrators to migrate virtual machines running on XenServer to Windows Server 2008’s Hyper-V.  The conversion process will include the migration of VM parameters from host to host including memory & CPU throttling configuration, as well as the retrofitting of drivers within the virtual machines themselves.  This will enable administrators to use Virtual Machine Manager to move VMs between hosts from a single pane of glass.
  • Citrix “Dynamic Virtualization Services” for Hyper-V (“Charles”)
    Citrix will produce a product that runs over Hyper-V much in the same way that Citrix Presentation Server runs over Windows Terminal Services, to add functionality to the overall product, including functionality that focused on:
    • Desktop Delivery
    • VM Streaming (Provisioning)
    • VM Storage Delivery
    • VM Availability Services

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