Microsoft Viridian will be called "Hyper-V." The Price? $28!

At the Microsoft IT Forum in Spain this week, Microsoft announced that their hypervisor product previously known as "Viridian" will be officially called "Hyper-V." Even more surprising is the price: USD $28!Hyper-V will only be available for Windows Server 2008 Standard, Enterprise, and Datacenter editions.

At the Microsoft IT Forum in Spain this week, Microsoft announced that their hypervisor product previously known as "Viridian" will be officially called "Hyper-V." Even more surprising is the price: USD $28!

Hyper-V will only be available for Windows Server 2008 Standard, Enterprise, and Datacenter editions. (i.e. It won't be available for Web Edition.) Even more surprising, the press release said it wouldn't be available for Itanium editions. (This is surprising, because, wow, there will be a version of Windows Server 2008 for Itanium?!?

Taking a cue from the Vista team, Microsoft will also release those three versions of Windows Server 2008 without Hyper-V, (such as "Windows Server 2008 Standard without Hyper-V"), bringing the total number of Windows Server 2008 editions to eight.

The $28 "price" for Hyper-V is really more like a discount for non Hyper-V versions of Windows. (i.e. Windows Server 2008 Standard is $999. Windows Server 2008 Standard without Hyper-V is $971.) Maybe Microsoft is doing this for customers who really don't want virtualization, but by making the discount so low, they hope that everyone will buy it anyway?

Hmm.. Maybe this will establish a precedent for discounts for Windows features we don't want? How about an extra ten bucks off for people who don't want UNIX Integration Services? And another five bucks if we promise never to use IPX/SPX?

You can download a tech preview of Windows Server 2008 with Hyper-V.

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LOL - thank you Brian for providing insight in such an amusing way!
Maybe I'm not that good in maths, but I think it's more than eight editions. We have 32-bit Web, Standard, Enterprise and Datacenter editions. Additionally we have 32-bit Server Core, I don't think that it comes in multiple flavors. (There are no "Server Core Standard" or "Server Core Enterprise" editions as far as I know) For those who don't know: Server Core is the edition of Server 2008 that comes without GUI - or should I say "with reduced GUI attack surface" - or even better "Windows with almost no windows".

Next we have 64-bit Web, Standard, Enterprise, Datacenter and Server Core. Hyper-V will only be included in 64-bit editions, I would think in Standard, Enterprise, Datacenter and Server Core. (The announcement was that Hyper-V will be one of nine Server Core roles) This makes nine 64-bit editions. Now add some Itanium editions and the grand total including 32-bit editions is 15+! Pretty amazing.

BTW: Taking money for Hyper-V may be one of the results of the European Union Microsoft antitrust case which resulted in a record USD $613 million fine in March 2004 and Microsoft's lost appeal in September 2007. By providing Windows Server 2008 editions without Hyper-V, Microsoft follows the the EU requirements releasing versions of their products with reduced feature sets which allow competitors to add their products to the Microsoft "basic" OS platform. So essentially this is meant to prevent virtualization competitors, such as VMware and Xensource, to suffer too much from Microsoft's dominance in the OS market. Personally, I don't really know if USD $28 leaves Microsoft's Hypervisor competitors enough financial space if their products were of an exactly equal quality compared to Microsoft's Hyper-V add-on. So the "price vs. quality vs. feature set" race just started. Interesting times...

Isn't it funny, the EU may be responsible for Microsoft taking money for their Hypervisor instead of giving it away for free. Or if you think of Brian's discount model introduced in his article: Is there gonna be a "EU discount model" that's valid for global customers?

I am having a hard time understanding this. Time will tell.

If MS comes out with Hyper-V and if it has the major features, scalability and performance: Is there much room for XEN or VMWare?
I was under the impression that Citrix was working with MS on this.
Is Citrix/XEN getting royalties from MS and Hyper-V?

Yes - I understand there is room for Citrix/XEN and VMWare at the 32bit level.
Yes - I understand that Hyper-V will probably not have all the features of a mature VMWare-ESX.
I have watched VMW stock price drop 20%+ this past week - VMW was way over priced but I can't help but to think that it's price went down in part to the MS-Hyper-V announcement.
Thoughts appreciated.
The relationship there is that XenServer has the additional features that were left out of Hyper-V (does anyone else hate that name?), like live migration and enterprise management, as well as the rest of the Citrix features that will be added in over time, like Ardence (Citrix Provisioning Server).

The relationship you mentioned means that Citrix is in a position where XenServer can manage Hyper-V and Xen based solutions (remember, Citrix doesn't own a hypervisor...just the tools to manage Xen, which is open source). This is almost like the dynamic between Citrix and MS for Terminal Server. MS makes that core functionality, which is built in to Windows. If you want scalability, enterprise management and administration, load balancing, and so on, then you need Citrix, but Microsoft still gets their money.

Where VMware comes in is also where the Hypervisor Holy War begins. That's when you start comparing Hyper-V, Xen, and VMware to each other. There are a LOT of people out there who use VMware and claim it is by far the better solution, and there seems to be just as many people saying the same about XenServer. But it doesn't end with the hypervisor - you also need the tools to make it work, and as hypervisors become more of a commodity, that's all these companies will be left with. In the end, it will boil down to who has the best suite of tools to manage their virtualization environements (for the money, of course).

Just as anything else needs good competition, that is what VMware is to XenSource/Hyper-V. But with the market that VMware already has, it's probably the other way around. Xen/Hyper-V are the relative newcomers that have to chip away at VMware's market share.
I thought that the standard, enterprise, and data center editions each allow you to chose server core as an option during the install. This would mean that server core is itself not a seperate version of Server 2008, just an installation option.

This, however, is from my somewhat shoddy memory.

- Robbie Perdue
Yeah that's right. And also, x64 and 32-bit editions are both available if you buy the same "version." So you buy Windows Server 2008 Standard, and you can run x64 or 32-bit, each as core only or the whole thing. So the number of total versions depends on how you count.
Yep, I checked it again, and it seems to be like you guys say. So we have a smaller number of editions compared to what I counted in my earlier comment, but these editions come in different flavors (32-bit, 64-bit, Core) ;-)

MS also announced that they will create a specialized virtualization product called "Hyper-V Server". It will be released 90 days after Hyper-V itself and seems to be a stripped-down version of Windows Server 2008 Standard Edition that only includes the virtualization role. Hyper-V Server will be sold for $28 - the hypervisor will thus, as Brian and others predicted, become a commodity.
100% agree that it's the management of the stack that will steer customers one way or the other. I would love to a write up on your thoughts about the various options in this space. My 2cents are Citrix seems to provide a lot more of these. With Quest buying Provision they offer something as well, so I am really curious to see what the community thinks about what are good options for working with VMWare. I am ok with using VMWare with Citrix management tools. I don't think Citrix will stop supporting them, there is just no need. They add value higher up in the stack. Same thing with Provision, but at least in my mind the Quest thing has to play out more to help us assess where they really are going.
Citrix and Microsoft are working together. Here's what it means for customers:

Customers can choose Citrix XenServer or Microsoft Hyper-V (both of which are very low cost or essentially free) as their hypervisor and use Citrix's virtualization management stack on either one. This means, in theory, that customers could use things that Citrix offers like XenDesktop, XenMotion, Server Resource Pools, Server Resource Controls (as well as the other things they will build between now and the availability of Hyper-V) on top of either one. Some customers will want an "all-Citrix" solution and others will want a Microsoft-based solution.

On another front, Citrix and Microsoft have worked together to enable Linux guests to run on top of Hyper-V. This isn't something that customers need to purchase, however; it's included in the purchase of Hyper-V, though presumably Citrix will add some capabilities on top here as well when dealing with mixed Windows/Linux shops (just as they do today with Presentation Server).
It's difficult to have a meaningful discussion when all competing products aren't yet available !

VMWare is enterprise grade virtualisation available NOW.

Not only Xen is owned by Citirx, please read their trademark use , all key Xen open source developers now work for Citrix.  They didn't pay $500M just to buy some barely working management tools. 

If you subscribe to Microsoft world domination theory, I wonder if buying XenSource by Citrix wasn't actually orchestrated by Microsoft to eventually kill competitive technology.


Citrix does not own Xen. Xen is Open Source and thus freely available for all the world to use within the restriction of its license, which Citrix cannot now change. Sure, Citrix can hurt Xen by taking away developers and funding, but given that Oracle based its new hypervisor on Xen as well, I'm sure they'll quickly pick it up. BTW Virtual Iron also uses Xen as the basis for its hypervisor. So, in fact, Citrix did pay $500M "just to buy some barely working management tools".

That being said, it will be very interesting to see if Citrix continues to provide XenServer, standalone or as part of XenDesktop, once Microsoft releases Hyper-V. If they do, it will be very interesting to see how they are positioned relative to each other.