Microsoft cuts Windows virtualization features
By Ina Fried, and Stephen Shankland, CNET News.com
Published on ZDNet News: May 10, 2007, 10:46 AM PT
REDMOND, Wash.-Microsoft said on Thursday that it is pulling features out of the initial version of its "Viridian" hypervisor to avoid having to delay the virtualization technology.
The company is changing three key features of the hypervisor technology to try to stick to its schedule of releasing the technology within 180 days of completing its Windows Server "Longhorn" operating system, due to be finalized before the end of the year. The features will be included in a future version of Viridian, formally called Windows Server Virtualization, the company said.
The first feature that is being taken out of the initial Viridian release is so-called live migration, which enables people to move a running virtual machine from one physical server to another. The initial release of Viridian also won't support on-the-fly, or "hot," adding of memory, storage, processors or network cards. And it will only support computers with a maximum of 16 processing cores--for example, eight dual-core chips or four quad-core chips.
"Those guys just can't get a product out the door to save their lives. Not having live migrate a year from now--talk about 'behind the times.' Windows development is just broken," Illuminata analyst Gordon Haff said. "For a (version) 1.0 virtualization offering to be missing critical features a year hence puts Microsoft in a truly bad market position, perhaps to the point where they should seriously consider partnering with VMware."
In a blog posting, the general manager of virtualization strategy at Microsoft, Mike Neil, said the company is making some "tough decisions" to meet its schedule.
"Shipping is a feature too," Neil said.
In April, Microsoft delayed the first beta version of Viridian from the first half of this year to the second half. The company said on Thursday that a public beta of Viridian will be introduced with the release to manufacturing of Longhorn Server.
"We had some really tough decisions to make," Neil said. "We adjusted the feature set of Windows Server virtualization so that we can deliver a compelling solution for core virtualization scenarios while holding true to desired timelines."
With no live migration support, Viridian will be useful for a common early use of virtualization, replacing several underutilized servers with a smaller number of more efficiently used ones. But it means that Viridian won't be immediately useful for a more sophisticated virtual-computing environment in which tasks are shuttled from computer to computer to adjust to changing work priorities or faulty hardware.
VMware, the leading x86 virtualization company, has supported live migration since 2003 with its VMotion software. And the EMC subsidiary's Virtual Infrastructure 3 software--available for more than a year--enables much of the higher-level incarnation of virtualization that treats multiple servers as a pool of computing power.
Xen supports live migration with versions of Linux that have been specifically adapted for the virtualization software. The next version of the Xen hypervisor, 3.1, due within days, will add live migration support for Windows and unmodified Linux, said XenSource Chief Technology Officer Simon Crosby.
Capping Viridian support at 16 is a less significant change because the vast majority of x86 servers don't exceed that limit. That reality is likely to prevail, even after the second half of this year, when 16-core servers will become more common by virtue of new Intel and Advanced Micro Devices quad-core chips for servers with four processor sockets.
Being able to add new resources to servers as they run through "hot-add" capability significantly improves a server's reliability. However, it's not common for most administrators today.
Live migration can help reduce the need for hot-add technology because customers could move virtual machines to a second system while the first is upgraded or repaired.
Xen today supports hot-add capability for memory, disks, network cards and processors.
I can't holds me piece any longer.
MY OPINION ON THE MATTER:
I am here offering opinion and speculation on only spotty recognition of the most obvious IP trespasses possible within the systems architected to do what Viridian and all the other high technology was able to accomplish in Longhorn/Yukon/WinFS since the ordination of Hailstorm to be the next king of adventure in technology land. The kiddy ride is closed. There appear a panoply of intrusions in a many of the products Microsoft's clients use. The prospecting will likely unearth buried treasures untold.
Three items removed from Microsoft's critical product structure :
live migration, which enables people to move a running virtual machine from one physical server to another.
won't support on-the-fly, or "hot," adding of memory, storage, processors or network cards
only support computers with a maximum of 16 processing cores--for example, eight dual-core chips or four quad-core chips
I believe item one (1) is impacted by US 7,076,521 meaning the migration technology is not able to remotely sense or be informed in an intelligent sense what the configuration is like on that other physical server. Why US 7,076,521 ? Because the link between the software environments between these two different servers must take into account ANY kind of configuration within the pantheon of regulated hardware packages (in this instance 'standard' meaning every item a different machine under an all-inclusive regime'... and not a 'farm'. This is where farms are created within an applied grid of dissimilar machines... each enabled by a transactional agent distributed at the joins between each several machine. That's a “county”, “parish” or a “state”. A Farm is more like a zoo.) that may be connected. It takes virtualization technology that is transactional and deterministic in nature to make sure you're not shipping poo and compost when somebody's expecting tomato paste. Not able to do? Or not able to own?
I believe item two (2) is impacted again by US 7,076,521 as, again, virtualization or in this instance, the ability to take electronic measurements from sensors and data busses allows a software package to watch and ultimately control hardware operation and performance and state. This is a crucial technology in being able to make server amalgamations act more like a borg than a zoo. If the hardware system is not able to be presented to computing and processing elements as virtualized data arbitrated to a common universal denominator and understandability.
.Net in the form used to build Microsoft's world is not able to reach out of the box to an arbitrary world. It will depend on drivers written specifically to address the disparity between one piece of hardware and a piece of software or between two pieces of software... isn't that the big problem now? Wasn't virtualization able to at least get rid of the proprietary nature of hardware drives. Wasn't API supposed to make all things objects? Yes... proprietary objects that can only interconnect with those of their kind. Those need to be arbitrated by a layer capable of making all objects and components arbitrary to each other. 7,076,521 provides the arbitration and 6,826,744 provides the framework within which the arbitration is conducted. Either a departmentalized business or an unpredictable zoo.
Arbitrary as mentioned in the other patent ( 6,826,744 ) means the objects, components, elements, applications, operating systems, hardware interactuaries... all are wrapped as an arbitrary entity serving a useful purpose. Thus, 7,076,521 provides arbitration between elements (all kids from different families) and older sister 6,826,744 provides arbitration between frameworks (all families). This is the way the pieces in any software any code any thing anywhere anytime transcend the object oriented nature of software development and provide a seamless cloth-making approach.
The future is not mashups or lashups but soups as in 'just so'. And the "programmer" is no more.
I believe item three (3) is impacted also by 7,076,521 as the burdening process imposed by the mass of software necessary to sense and manipulated data resources and directives and decide on remediation or quarantine/shutdown imposes such a large a lag time (typical round-robin or report by exception architecture, but, running within the same body of code on the same processor frame – when periodic data dumps to a web service tasked with operations, maintenance and governance would provide ample policing so the processor frame can do only the real task at hand (processing your data)) in the required time taken to do the job at hand does not allow for the processing time to executed the remaining job at hand (processing your data).
Having a X-core and no more boundary looks like the 'hardware' virtualization issue in (2) coming home to nest in a company only used to the limitless vistas availed birds in the column (1) menu item.
When software is REALLY virtualized, the benefits of the software processing world cascade down to the hardware by virtue of drying the oceans between the islands of automation... that is, all those who haven't dug themselves a mote.
Please see also: