You're more than likely familiar with VMware's line of products for "virtualizing" hardware, which offers the ability to run multiple instances of an operating system on a single server. For administrators interested in server consolidation, these types of products have compelling implications.
For example, say goodbye to the days of running a separate physical server for software that needs to run by itself because of conflicts with other programs. Now, you can just run it on its own virtual server instance on a shared server.
While Microsoft currently offers Virtual PC 2004, this product's limitations don't allow it to scale as well as a product specifically designed for server instances. Later this year, however, Microsoft plans to release Microsoft Virtual Server 2005 Enterprise Edition, a virtual server solution designed to run on top of Windows Server 2003.
Microsoft Virtual Server 2005 is currently available for testing via a release candidate, which you can download from Microsoft's Web site. Running Virtual Server 2005 requires the following: