Microsoft, based in Redmond, Wash., has complemented its Windows Server operating system for some time with Virtual Server, a server host-based virtualization technology. In December, the company released the beta for its long-anticipated hypervisor-based platform, code named Viridian but since given the official name Hyper-V. Instead of a stand-alone server virtualization product, Hyper-V is one of the core functions of Windows Server 2008, said Larry Orecklin, general manager of Microsoft's System Center and virtualization business. As such, it is included with the operating system, Orecklin said. "We believe this gives customers an easy way to take advantage of virtualization and the skills they have with Windows," he said.
Hyper-V works with Microsoft's System Center Virtual Machine Manager, an application that manages virtual servers created by Virtual Server, Hyper-V, and VMware's virtualization software. While Hyper-V is included with Windows Server 2008, that does not make it free of charge. Customers must pay for a license to set up a virtual machine at $700 per instance, or $2,300 for four instances, Orecklin said. That is in addition to a charge of $860 per physical server for System Center Virtual Machine Manager, he said. Hyper-V is expected to be generally available six months after Windows Server 2008.