Microsoft announced Thursday morning that it had unveiled a "holiday surprise" for customers and partners, delivering the public beta of its hypervisor-based server virtualization technology, called Hyper-V.
Customers and partners can try the software - originally expected to reach beta in early 2008 - by downloading Windows Server 2008 RC1 Enterprise with the beta version of Hyper-V. The beta can be used to test applications and plan future consolidation, business continuity and high-availability projects, says Microsoft.
The beta version of the software is available for download at Microsoft's website.
"Delivering the high-quality Hyper-V beta earlier than expected allows our customers and partners to begin evaluating this feature of Windows Server 2008 and provide us with valuable feedback as we march toward final release," says Bill Laing, general manager of the Windows Server Division at Microsoft.
"Along with Hyper-V, Windows Server 2008 offers cost-effective and flexible licensing for virtualization so that customers and partners can extend the savings realized through server consolidation and deliver on the vision of Dynamic IT."
The beta for Windows Server 2008 with Hyper-V is currently available for the x64 Enterprise Edition in English. The package includes features not included in the September 2007 Community Technology Preview of Hyper-V, including quick migration, high availability, server core role and Server Manager integration.
According to Microsoft, the final version of Hyper-V is expected to land within 180 days of the release to manufacturing of Windows Server 2008.
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