In order to encourage adoption of Virtual Server 2005 over the offerings of other companies, such as VMware and Xen, Microsoft has made its Windows-based virtualization platform a free add-on for Windows Server 2003 -- and adjusted the licensing terms for the Enterprise and Datacenter editions of Windows Server 2003.
Microsoft has also released Linux Guest Support for Virtual Server 2005 R2. This add-on software enhances the ability of the following Linux distributions:
- Red Hat Enterprise Linux 2.1 (update 6), 3.0 (update 6), and 4.0
- Red Hat Linux 7.3, 9.0
- SuSE Linux Enterprise Server 9.0
- SuSE Linux 9.2, 9.3. 10.0
The support pack (which is really a set of virtual machine additions) improves mouse and video performance of these Linux-based guests, and allows better integration with the host computer to support coordinated shutdown and time synchronization.
To get the support pack, visit Microsoft's Linux Guest Support for Virtual Server 2005 R2 page and follow the instructions.
Microsoft has indicated that it will make available more Linux-friendly virtual machine additions after the release of Service Pack 1 for Virtual Server 2005 R2.
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