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Hyper-V becomes Hyper-Free

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Microsoft is making a standalone version of Hyper-V Server 2008 available as a free download, as its virtualisation campaign begins in earnest.

The hypervisor previously cost $28 per seat, but the company admitted its hand had been forced by VMware's decision to make its own ESXi hypervisor free.

"Our strategy is to make virtualisation as cost effective as possible, so this is certainly in line with that," says Mike Schutz, Microsoft's global Director of Product Management, Windows 

   

Server. "Our other strategy is to make it broadly available and accessible by as many customers as possible. From a market perspective, there are other vendors offering the hypervisor as a free product, and so we took the decision to do that as well."

Alongside the Hyper-V announcement, Microsoft has launched System Center Virtual Machine Manager, which gives administrators the ability to manage both physical and virtual servers, including VMware's ESX.

The company also confirmed that it would integrate live migration into Windows Server 2008 R2, currently slated for release in 2010. Live migration allows administrators to shift virtual machines between physical servers without needing to shut them off, a feature currently found in ESX.

And to round things off, Microsoft revealed its new virtualisation event dubbed GetVirtualNow, which will take place on 8 September, one week before VMware's VMworld in Las Vegas.

Stuart Turton

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