Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer today announced the release of Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2008 during the TechNet Server and Tools keynote address in London. Hyper-V Server 2008 is now available from the Microsoft website as a no-cost download.
Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2008 is a bare metal hypervisor, meaning that it runs directly on top of physical hardware allowing virtual machines operating systems to run on top of it, similar to VMWare's ESX platform or Citrix XenServer. Previous Microsoft virtualization platforms requires a separate Windows session running as a host, with virtual machines running on top of that.
Companies that deploy a Hyper-V virtualization solution for can consolidate Windows or Linux workloads onto a single physical server or to run client operating systems and applications in server-based virtual machines in the data center. Management is done through Microsoft System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2008, which is currently available as beta software, although Microsoft expects final version will be released by the end of the month.
Minimum hardware requirements for Hyper-V Server include an x64 processor with hardware-assisted virtualization (either Intel VT or AMD Virtualization) that is also Data Execution Protection (DEP) enabled. It also requires a second computer, typically in an Active Directory environment running the Hyper-V manager.
Both Dell and HP will be delivering servers based on this new hypervisor.
Download: Hyper-V Server 2008, English ISO