back to article Microsoft strips Hyper-V of price tag

Microsoft has shown its virtualisation rivals the V sign, with the firm’s announcement today that the standalone version of Hyper-V Server 2008 will be available as a free download. Previously, Redmond’s hypervisor came with a price tag of $28 per seat but, following on from VMware’s tactical play in July to offer its bare-bones …

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Fully harness the power!

I can only imagine what Vista is like in a virtual machine.

The .... wow ....... starts ........... shortly.

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Paris Hilton

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"Last week Microsoft released Application Virtualisation 4.5, which streams an app from server to PC to help prevent software conflicts on the bloated Vista desktop."

I guess that isn't exactly a direct quote from MS ?

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System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2008 Free? Errr...

I'm probably missing something - but I can't see anything in the linked announcement that suggests Virtual Machine Manager will be free, only Hyper-V.

Previous announcements would suggest that Microsoft are planning to offer System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2008 seperately from the from the SMS suite, but would be charging just about as much for it...

Don't get me wrong, if they put it out gratis I would SERIOUSLY consider investigating it as an alternative to VMware for smaller, non-clustered virtualisation environments consisting of primarily 2003 or better yet, 2008 VM's.

Virtualisation in the server room is practically worthless without a centralised administration and deployment tool, VMwares free server products are there to familiarise admins with the basics before taking the plunge with proper, ESX / VirtualCentre managed Infrastructure 3.5 products for multi server production environments. If MS were to give away thier management tool for nowt, I could see it having a serious impact on VMwares Infrastructures "Foundations" level package sales, which don't come bundled with any of the stuff that puts VMware ahead of Hyper-V anyway (Vmotion and the like).

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Free or not?

Sad to see MS making such a nasty apples-and-pears comparison. Contrary to VMware ESX 3i and Citrix XenServer Express, Hyper-V is NOT at all free as much as it did cost a lot more than 28 dollar!

Compare a situation where you need one physical server with 2 Windows VM's and a Linux VM. For VMware and Citrix, you need:

* Hypervisor: free

* 2 Windows licenses

* 1 Linux 'license'.

For Hyper-V, you need this _Plus_ a 3rd Windows license. This is for the 'base instance' of Windows (often Server Core) where Hyper-V gets its device driver layer and part of the memory management from.

So basically the Hyper-V material is not free but a few hundred bucks for the Windows license! Admittedly there are all kinds of license oddities - e.g. in Windows DataCenter Edition you usually pay per server (independent of the number of instances) and not per instance, and then the base instance looks free. But those are exceptions, DC edition is much more pricey than the others...

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@Geoff...

Well, I am running Vista on a VirtualBox m/c (the host is Solaris SXCE, presently snv-97, VirtualBox v2.0). The guest has only about 630 MB and works very well, sound, USB2, shared folders and the rest... including seamless mode (kinda funny to have Gnome with Compiz and Vista stuff on the same desktop...).

On the other hand, on my laptop I have Vista running VirtualBox 2.0 and a virtual machine running OpenSolaris... BTW that laptop (an HP nx6310) runs much better under Vista (in comparison with XP). It also runs native OpenSolaris in a separate partition.

Hyper-V certainly will get my attention with the standalone product ( I have already deployed ESX3i R2, but the timebomb disaster left some bitter taste ).

There you are.

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re: Free or Not

Not quite.

When it comes to Windows 200x Server, "Each software license allows you to run, at any one time, one instance of the server software in a physical OS environment and up to four instances of the server software in virtual OS environments on a particular server."

This only applies, AFAIK, to VL customers..

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Erik, Jon, you're wrong - it will really be free

We have to differentiate between Hyper-V-that-comes-as-a-part-of-Windows-2008-Server and "Hyper-V Server". The latter will be free as in beer once it is released (it hasn't been released yet). The former, requiring the purchase of Windows 2008 Server, is not free.

Of course, if you want to run some Microsoft operating system on top of Hyper-V Server: The guest operating system has to be licensed. But that doesn't make a difference - if you run a Microsoft operating system on top of the free-as-in-beer VMware ESXi, it ALSO has to be licensed.

Of course you can run Linux on top of any of the free Hypervisors (Hyper-V Server, ESXi, Xen, Virtualbox, you name it) and get everything (Hypervisor and the guest operating system) 100% free.

Hope that clarifies it.

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Gates Halo

Hyper-V and Windows OS license

The four vitual guest licenses only applies to Enterprise editions of server 200x. Standard edition with HV give you one additional license regardless of your VL/EA status. It applies to Retail as well. Datacentre editions of Windows of course let you run an unlimited number of licenses (hardware pending).

So you can run your Windows host with Hyper-V, and a single guest machine all from the one "license", so there is no "extra" copy you need to buy at all and you can keep your core or host install clean of any other apps or services, then load up as many *nix guests as you want at no additional cost.

Of course, it's all still a complicated mess, but it is getting better for the Windows world and dragging VMWare along with it.

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Unhappy

I believe that Hyper-V also doesn't "freely" let you share LUNs

My understanding is that you must present a LUN for every VM, or pay extra for a third party tool to allow LUN sharing in the background before reaching HyperV. Pretty poor if that's the case!

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