MS Hopes to Bring
Virtualization to the Masses"> Muglia also announced that Virtual Server 2003 R2 has been released to manufacturing as well as pricing, which comes in at $99 retail for the standard edition and $199 retail for the enterprise version. "This is a very important release for us and is key in our vision to bring virtualization to the masses," said Muglia.The company also recently decided to simplify Windows server licensing to allow for virtualization to become more pervasive. Licenses for the upcoming Windows Server 2003 R2 Enterprise Edition, expected to ship later this year, will allow customers to run as many as four virtual instances on one physical server at no additional cost, extending the savings customers can realize through server consolidation on the Windows Server platform. Click here for more on Microsofts Windows Server licensing moves. Muglia also discussed a number of technologies and value propositions that Microsoft saw as critical to driving forward its DSI (Dynamic Systems Initiative), its vision and technology road map for reducing the cost of managing and securing enterprise systems. Muglia announced the December RTM of System Center Capacity Planner 2006, a tool for IT professionals to do performance analysis and planning of Exchange Server 2003 and MOM (Microsoft Operations Manager) 2005 system deployments. He also covered a plan to build a midmarket offering called System Center Essentials, a new product that will bring the commitment of the Dynamic Systems Initiative to midsize companies, an underserved IT segment that was "suffering from a lot of pain of management and high complexity." The new product will allow users to secure, update, monitor and track their IT environment and better support end users, said Muglia. Microsoft also released at IT Forum a couple of solution accelerators for the Systems Center as free web downloads, specifically Desired Configuration Monitoring and the SLA Scorecard for Exchange. Kelly added that these were templates for customers to use to drive further cost out of their infrastructure. Muglia also announced a preview of MOM version three, where technologies will allow proactive monitoring, analysis and management of service levels "to drive an infrastructure view of the health rather than a boxed version of the health," Kelly told eWeek, adding that the product is slated to ship late in 2006. Microsoft is releasing all of this information about future products and plans as part of its commitment to be more transparent about where it was going. The company said it wants to give customers enough lead time to make the transition to 64-bit computing, as well as plan for the new features and functionality the company plans to deliver to the market, he said. "This is a big set of news and enables us to help customers map out their next year. We also tend to have two big management conferences a year: IT Forum and the Microsoft Management Summit, the next one of which will be held in about six months time. "You should expect more revelations there as to what the roadmap looks like so customers can clearly plan for these transitions," Kelly said. Editors Note: This story was updated to include information and comments from Microsoft executives. Additional reporting by Mary Jo Foley and John Spooner Check out eWEEK.coms for Microsoft and Windows news, views and analysis.
Microsoft recently decided to christen Virtual Server 2005 Service Pack 1 as Virtual Server 2005 R2. The renamed product is still due to ship later this year, with the follow-on release due out in the latter half of 2006.