Scott's Weblog The weblog of an IT pro specializing in cloud computing, virtualization, and networking, all with an open source view

Microsoft Virtual Server Now Free Also

Seeking to counter recent moves by virtualization market leader VMware, Microsoft announced today that Virtual Server 2005 R2 Enterprise Edition is a free product. (The excellent virtualization.info blog alerted its readers to this development last week. Good work, Alessandro!)

More information is also available from the eWeek coverage on the announcement.

That news, combined with licensing changes announced several months ago that lets customers run multiple instances of Windows on Virtual Server 2005 R2, shows that Microsoft is feeling the pressure being placed on it by other players in the server virtualization market. As evidenced by the tremendous changes occurring in the virtualization market, Microsoft is clearly under pressure from other vendors.

At the same time, Microsoft has also announced tools and support for running some Linux distributions under Virtual Server 2005 R2 as well.

This now means that users have a number of free virtualization options available to them: Microsoft Virtual Server 2005 R2, which primarily supports the virtualization of Windows-based servers; VMware Server, which supports the virtualization of servers running multiple operating systems; and Xen and related products, which are primarily designed to virtualize Linux and Unix-based operating systems.

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