Data Centers

Get ready for Microsoft Virtual Server 2005

Are you interested in Microsoft Virtual Server 2005 Enterprise Edition? Find out the requirements for running Virtual Server 2005.

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:

  • A 550-MHz or faster processor—in this case, the faster the better. (Microsoft recommends a 1.0-GHz or faster processor.) Virtual Server 2005 supports up to 32 processors.
  • A minimum of 256 MB of RAM for the server; each virtual server requires additional RAM.
  • 2 GB of disk space to run Virtual Server 2005; each virtual server requires additional disk space.
  • Windows Server 2003—Standard Edition, Enterprise Edition, Datacenter Edition, or Small Business Edition. Currently, Virtual Server 2005 only supports 32-bit editions.

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