Microsoft to Pursue 'Democratization' of Server Virtualization

By Peter Galli  |  Posted 2008-02-27 Print this article Print

CEO Steve Ballmer says management tools and low prices will help propel virtualization into the mainstream.

LOS ANGELES-While Microsoft is not the leader in virtualization, the company wants to drive the "democratization" of server virtualization so that its adoption will become far more widespread, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer said Feb. 27.

Giving the keynote address at Microsoft's "Heroes Happen {here}" event, Ballmer said this represented the launch of the company's broad virtualization strategy in earnest.

"There are a large number of things people want to virtualize," he said, and added that what differentiated the company's virtualization strategy was that it was just a component of a comprehensive management strategy.

"It's well known that we are not the market leader in server virtualization," Ballmer acknowledged, but said Microsoft wanted to make it so that server virtualization could run on 90 percent of servers rather than the less than 10 percent today.

"Our management tools and low price will help propel virtualization into the mainstream," Ballmer said, adding that Windows Server 2008 and its Hyper-V hypervisor were critical components of that effort.

But enterprises are likely to hold off deploying Windows Server 2008 until the final Hyper-V code is made available sometime in the next six months, analysts have told eWEEK.

Microsoft, which launched the latest update to its server software Feb. 27, has pushed back the release of Hyper-V and cut some of the features originally planned. While Windows Server 2008 will contain the beta bits for Hyper-V, the final product will be made available as an add-on later in 2008. That decision is likely to delay enterprise adoptions of the new server.

"We do not expect to see enterprise deployments of Windows Server 2008 of any significance until the final version of Hyper-V is out," James Staten, principal analyst at Forrester Research, told eWEEK.

Peter Galli has been a financial/technology reporter for 12 years at leading publications in South Africa, the UK and the US. He has been Investment Editor of South Africa's Business Day Newspaper, the sister publication of the Financial Times of London.

He was also Group Financial Communications Manager for First National Bank, the second largest banking group in South Africa before moving on to become Executive News Editor of Business Report, the largest daily financial newspaper in South Africa, owned by the global Independent Newspapers group.

He was responsible for a national reporting team of 20 based in four bureaus. He also edited and contributed to its weekly technology page, and launched a financial and technology radio service supplying daily news bulletins to the national broadcaster, the South African Broadcasting Corporation, which were then distributed to some 50 radio stations across the country.

He was then transferred to San Francisco as Business Report's U.S. Correspondent to cover Silicon Valley, trade and finance between the US, Europe and emerging markets like South Africa. After serving that role for more than two years, he joined eWeek as a Senior Editor, covering software platforms in August 2000.

He has comprehensively covered Microsoft and its Windows and .Net platforms, as well as the many legal challenges it has faced. He has also focused on Sun Microsystems and its Solaris operating environment, Java and Unix offerings. He covers developments in the open source community, particularly around the Linux kernel and the effects it will have on the enterprise.

He has written extensively about new products for the Linux and Unix platforms, the development of open standards and critically looked at the potential Linux has to offer an alternative operating system and platform to Windows, .Net and Unix-based solutions like Solaris.

His interviews with senior industry executives include Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, Linus Torvalds, the original developer of the Linux operating system, Sun CEO Scot McNealy, and Bill Zeitler, a senior vice president at IBM.

For numerous examples of his writing you can search under his name at the eWEEK Website at


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