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Q&A: Microsoft's Bob Muglia discusses virtualization plans

He doesn't see virtualization being included in Longhorn at first

By Carol Sliwa
June 8, 2005 12:00 PM ET

Computerworld - ORLANDO -- Bob Muglia, senior vice president of Microsoft Corp.'s Windows Server division, yesterday offered an update on the company's long-term vision for its server operating system, as well as related software products. Muglia discussed Microsoft's plans to change its Virtual Server product from a separately sold product to an operating system feature in the time frame of the next Windows Server release, code-named Longhorn.
This is Part 1 of the interview. Part 2 of the interview is available online (see story).
At the Windows Hardware Engineering Conference in April, Microsoft said it was leaning toward the elimination of future versions of Virtual Server. Can you flesh out any more details on the plans? Today, we have a product called Virtual Server that sits on top of Windows and provides virtualization capabilities. In the future, we're going to build the hypervisor and the virtualization stack into Windows. So while it's a whole new set of technologies, much, if not all, of what Virtual Server does today goes into the operating system. It becomes an operating system feature.
At the same time, we're building a whole set of management services that will exist under System Center. I do think that this is going to be a new product.
So you'll have management capabilities for a virtualized environment? Some management capabilities. When we think about virtualization, we think about it as being inherent in all of the things we deal with in our systems. So virtualization itself belongs in the operating system. Patching of images and image deployment, that's in [Systems Management Server]. Monitoring virtualized systems, that's a [Microsoft Operations Manager] feature. But there are some new features that are very important from the management perspective, like moving virtualized sessions from one machine to another. We don't have a product that does that today. And so we do think that's the potential opportunity to build a new product in that space... System Center something. Maybe it's [called] Virtualization Management. I don't know.

Bob Muglia of Microsoft Corp.
Bob Muglia of Microsoft Corp.
Are there any capabilities to that effect in your current Virtual Server product? Not really.
In third-party products? VMware has some of those, and there are some add-on products to VMware.
Building virtualization capabilities into the operating system is also happening in the Linux world, where large financial institutions are pushing it. Is that the case for Microsoft as well? The same financial institutions are driving us. We have conversations with all of those guys.... There are companies that are using virtualization pretty broadly right now, but it's still very nascent. When you


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