Virtualization is one of the most effective methods to save costs, increase the availability and improve agility within an organization’s infrastructure. Microsoft Virtualization solutions provide you with the way to optimize your infrastructure by helping IT provide the services more rapidly and efficiently while allowing an organization to consume these services more effectively in a dynamically changing business climate.
Hardware Virtualization uses software to create a Virtual Machine (VM) that emulates a physical computer. This creates a separate OS environment that is logically isolated from the host server. By providing multiple VMs at once, this approach allows several operating systems to run simultaneously on a single physical machine.
Rather than paying for many under-utilized server machines, each dedicated to a specific workload, server virtualization allows those workloads to be consolidated onto a smaller number of more fully-used machines.
- Consolidates multiple, under-utilized physical servers on a single host, running Virtual Machines
- Reduces workforce/space/kilowatt by leveraging virtualization for server consolidation and agility
- Helps save money because less managing, less space and less kilowatt hours are needed
Beginning with Windows Server 2008, server virtualization using Hyper-V technology has been an integral part of the operating system. Windows Server 2008 R2 introduces a new version of Hyper-V. Hyper-V makes it easier than ever to take advantage of the cost savings of virtualization through Windows Server 2008.
- Increased availability for virtualized data centers through enhancements such as Live Migration
- Improved management of virtualized data centers through Powershell and System Center integration
- Increased Performance and Hardware Support for Hyper-V Virtual Machines via 64 logical processor support and processor compatibility mode
- Improved Virtual Networking Performance through new networking technologies
- A simplified method for physical and virtual computer deployments by using .vhd files
- Designed to provide a secure computing platform across both physical and virtual environments, enabled through next-generation architecture and security features
Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2008 is a stand-alone product that provides a simplified, reliable, cost-effective and optimized virtualization solution that helps enable organizations to improve server utilization and reduce costs.
- Enables workload consolidation onto a single physical server.
- Provides a basic and simplified virtualization solution for development and test environments.
- Works with existing IT infrastructures, helping companies to reduce costs, improve utilization and provision new servers.
- Capitalizes on existing patching/provisioning/management and support tools/processes.
*Calculated with SCE 2007 and SCVMM WE each discounted 55% when purchased with 2-year SA.
Microsoft Virtual Server 2005 R2 SP1 provides the virtual OS that lets you increase hardware utilization and rapidly configure and deploy new servers. Virtual Server runs on Windows Server 2003, and Virtual Server 2005 R2 SP1 provides a virtualization platform that can host most major x86 operating systems.
- Consolidates multiple workloads to enable more efficient and simple management of hardware resources
- Helps ensure robust and stable device support and broad device compatibility through the Windows host OS’s qualified device drivers
- Isolates virtual machines to allow each workload to execute as if ir werer running on its own physical server.
Microsoft Desktop Virtualization solutions help companies to reduce their total cost of ownership, increase business agility and continuity, enable anywhere access, and improve security and compliance. For companies new to desktop virtualization, deploying Microsoft Application Virtualization as a first step can provide immediate cost savings.
Desktop Virtualization offers a broad portfolio of solutions that empower companies to choose the technologies that best address their unique business and IT challenges while preserving their existing IT investments. Microsoft delivers desktop virtualization offerings for a wide range of situations—from always connected workers to those requiring more flexibility such as mobile workers. For connected workers, Microsoft and its partners, including Citrix, deliver a Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) solution that allows organizations to centrally manage desktops in the datacenter while providing a personalized desktop experience for end users.
For more information about Microsoft Desktop Virtualization please click here.
- Leveraging the software you already own, you can create business solutions for the challenges you face.
- With Windows Software Assurance, you already own the ability to upgrade to Windows 7 and all the virtualization benefits it provides.
- If you own Windows Server 2008, you own Virtualization.
- You preserve your existing investment.
Virtual Desktop Infrastructure
Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) is an alternative desktop delivery model that allows users to access desktops running in the datacenter.
Microsoft offers comprehensive and cost effective technology that can help customers deploy virtual desktops in the datacenter. The Microsoft VDI Suites allow customers to manage their physical and virtual desktops from a single console, while providing great flexibility for deploying server-hosted desktops and applications.
The Benefits of VDI include:
- Integrated Management
- Enhanced security and compliance
- Anywhere access from connected devices
- Increase business continuity
For more information about Virtual Desktop Infrastructure please click here.
Session Virtualization with Remote Desktop Services delivers session-based desktops or applications and is suitable for low complexity or task worker scenarios. It allow for high user density with a limited degree of personalization or isolation.
For more information about Session Virtualization click here.
Microsoft Enterprise Desktop Virtualization
Microsoft Enterprise Desktop Virtualization (MED-V) removes the barriers to Windows upgrades by resolving application incompatibility with Windows Vista or Windows 7. MED-V delivers applications in a virtual PC that runs a previous version of the operating system (for example: Windows XP). It does so in a way that is completely seamless and transparent to the user. Applications appear and operate as if they were installed on the desktop, so that users can even pin them to the task bar. For IT administrators, MED-V helps deploy, provision, control, and support the virtual environments.
For more information about Microsoft Enterprise Desktop Virtualization (MED-V click here.
For information about licensing Microsoft Windows for virtual click here.
In a physical environment, every application depends on its OS for a range of services, including memory allocation, device drivers, and much more. Incompatibilities between an application and its operating system can be addressed by either server virtualization or presentation virtualization; but for incompatibilities between two applications installed on the same instance of an OS, you need application virtualization.
Microsoft Application Virtualization 4.6 is now available! App-v 4.6 with Windows 7, Windows Server 2008 R2 and Office 2010 delivers a seamless user experience, streamlined application deployment and simplified application management.
- Broaden the windows platform coverage. App-V now supports 32-bit and 64-bit applications on 32-bit and 64-bit operating systems.
- Office 2010 virtualized with App-V 4.6 delivers key productivity enhancements & a seamless user experience with Sharepoint, Outlook and more.
- Optimize Server Disk Storage when using App-V in VDI with a shared cache reduces storage requirements on SAN’s.
- Increase IT control, user productivity and security with key Windows 7 features. Integrates seamlessly with AppLocker, BranchCache, AppLocker and BitLockerToGo.
Application Virtualization allows you to isolate a specific application from the OS and other applications, eliminates conflicts between applications and removes the need to install applications on PCs.
- Streams applications on-demand over the internet or via the corporate network to desktops, Terminal servers and laptops
- Automates and simplifies the application management lifecycle
- Accelerates OS and application deployments
- Reduces the end user impacts associated with application upgrades/patching and terminations
- Enables controlled application use when users are completely disconnected
User State Virtualization
User state virtualization isolates user data and settings from PCs and enables IT to store them centrally in the datacenter while also making them accessible on any PC by using Windows Roaming User Profiles, Windows Folder Redirection, and Offline Files. Using each of these technologies or a combination of them enables easily replaceable PCs for business continuity, centralized backup and storage of user data and settings, end user access to their data from any PC, and simplified PC provisioning and deployment.The rich client advantage: user data can be cached for offline access and then automatically synchronizes with datacenter servers upon re-connection to the network.
Virtual machines are not simply objects to manipulate, but actual computers with real workloads. Managing them just like we manage our physical systems is imperative. By using System Center, a comprehensive set of integrated management tools, you can keep complexity at a minimum and streamline operations. A common management environment reduces training, ensures uniform policy application and simplifies maintenance by leveraging your existing software, personnel, and most importantly, your existing IT management process.
Microsoft has acquired Opalis Software, a Toronto-based private company that is a leader in IT process automation software. This acquisition will bring together the deep automation expertise of Opalis with the integrated, physical and virtual datacenter management capabilities of System Center. For more information on Opalis, see the Opalis Tab below. If you are an Opalis customer or a System Center Server Management Suite Enterprise or System Center Server Management Suite Datacenter customer you can find more information on the acquisition here.
- Manages the entire lifecycle of the IT infrastructure from a single console
- Integrates management of both physical and virtual systems, from the hardware to the workload
- If you own Windows Server 2008, you own Virtualization.
- Allows IT Manager to dynamically create and optimize workloads for virtualization
System Center Managers
Virtual Machine Manager helps enable centralized management of physical and virtual IT infrastructure, increased server utilization, and dynamic resource optimization across multiple virtualization platforms. It includes end-to-end capabilities such as planning, deploying, managing, and optimizing the virtual infrastructure.
- Centrally creates and manages virtual machines across the entire datacenter
- Easily consolidates multiple physical servers onto virtual hosts
- Rapidly provisions and optimizes new and existing virtual machines
- Performance and Resource Optimization (PRO) enables the dynamic management of virtual resources through management packs that are PRO enabled. As an open and extensible platform, PRO encourages partners to design custom management packs that promote compatibility of their products and solutions with PRO’s powerful management capabilities.
*Calculated with SCE 2007 and SCVMM WE each discounted 55% when purchased with 2-year SA.
Microsoft System Center Data Protection Manager (DPM) is designed to provide disk-, tape- and cloud-based protection for infrastructures that depend on Microsoft Virtualization technology. As part of System Center, DPM is the backup and recovery part of the Microsoft management solution for the Microsoft Virtualization platform.
DPM is capable of protecting virtual machines without hibernation downtime. Using shadow copy-based block-level protection of your virtual disks, DPM delivers fast backup and very efficient retention that does not consume inordinate disk space.
DPM’s agent model supports protecting all virtual machines within a single host with only one agent on the host platform, or agents within each virtual instance, for a range of protection and recovery options.
- DPM does not require a SAN to snap and remount VHDs elsewhere - it can use DAS, or any other locally mounted disk, on the Host, as well as the DPM server.
- DPM does not require additional 3rd-party backup software, even after the VHD is secured – it’s a complete solution on its own for disk- and tape-based protection.
- DPM does not leave the VM dormant during the entire backup – if it has to hibernate the VM, it brings it down, snaps it, and brings it right back up again. But for most Windows guests, it can protect with no downtime at all!
- DPM is not just for protecting your virtual guests and hosts. DPM also protects physical servers running Windows Server, SQL Server, Microsoft Exchange, or SharePoint products and technologies.
Operations Manager is a comprehensive service management tool which allows the monitoring of thousands of servers, applications, and clients. Operations Manager provides a complete view of the health of your IT environment and enables quick response to disruptive network events.
- Includes system level and application level monitoring
- Allows for proactive management of systems and applications across the datacenter
- Integrates with Virtual Machine Manager to allow for automated resolutions of problems
Configuration Manager provides centralized configuration management of physical and virtual systems. Configuration Manager performs complete system deployment, software deployment, updates and patching, and also integrated compliance and configuration drift control.
- Simplifies system deployment, task automation, and compliance management
- Makes policy-based security management easier, and thus businesses more agile
System Center Service Manager 2010 Beta 2 is a comprehensive IT service management system which orchestrates people, process, and technology in an IT organization to deliver on the high service levels demanded by today’s businesses. Service Manager puts the process controls in place to help you manage your virtualized infrastructure by tracking incidents and implementing change requests.
- Includes out of box connectors which easily integrate other System Center products such as Virtual Machine Manager and Operations Manager to expedite resolution of incidents
- Reduce the unplanned downtime caused by uncontrolled changes
- Put process controls in place to deploy and manage the lifetime of virtualized resources efficiently
- Automate processes for repeatable and faster turnaround of requests
Opalis is an automation platform for orchestrating and integrating IT tools to drive down the cost of datacenter operations, while improving the reliability of IT processes. It enables IT organizations to automate best practices, such as those found in Microsoft Operations Framework (MOF) and Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL). This is achieved through workflow processes that coordinate System Center and other management tools to automate incident response, change and compliance, and service-lifecycle management processes.
Through its workflow designer, Opalis automatically shares data and initiates tasks in System Center Operations Manager, System Center Configuration Manager, System Center Service Manager, Virtual Machine Manager, Active Directory and third party tools. Opalis workflow automates IT infrastructure tasks, while System Center Service Manager workflow provides automation of human workflow. The combined offering ensures repeatable, consistent results by removing the latency associated with manual coordination service delivery.
- Automate cross-silo processes and enforcing best practices for incident, change, and service lifecycle management.
- Reduce unanticipated errors and service delivery time by automating tasks across vendor and organization silos.
- Integrates System Center with non-Microsoft tools to enable interoperability across the datacenter.
- Orchestrates tasks across systems for consistent, documented, compliant activity.
To realize the benefits of virtualization, customers need to deploy and manage security across their virtual and physical IT environment. This requires striking a balance between managing risk while empowering their business.
Microsoft takes a fundamentally different approach to security across virtual and physical IT assets. We call this business ready security. This approach encompasses protection, access and management, all built around user identity and integrated with a highly secure platform.
Microsoft brings together unique capabilities – a secure computing platform in Windows Server and Hyper-V together combined with end-to-end security and access solutions through the Forefront line of security products – to enable customers to save time, reduce costs, and protect their virtual and physical IT environments.
Microsoft Forefront helps deliver end-to-end security and access to information through an integrated line of protection, access, and identity management products. Forefront's comprehensive, end-to-end solutions help protect virtually everywhere and enable secure access virtually anywhere. These solutions integrate with your existing environment to enable easier deployment, centralized reporting across multiple systems, and management of your users and information from a single view. With Microsoft Forefront solutions, you can more efficiently manage your enterprise and maintain compliance.
- Integrate and extend security across the enterprise.
- Help protect everywhere, access anywhere
- Simplify the security experience and manage compliance
Microsoft Virtualization Solution Accelerators are a set of free tools and guides designed to help your IT department more quickly adopt and deploy Microsoft virtualization technologies.
Solution Accelerators can help you answer the following questions :
- What kind of virtualization technologies are right for your IT organizations?
- What are the best server virtualization candidates across your network?
- If you own Windows Server 2008, you own Virtualization.
- How can virtualization roles be hardened and offline virtual machines patched regularly and easily?
- Faster identification of server virtualization candidates
- Detailed recommendations on infrastructure design and security
- Seamless patch management of offline virtual machines
Microsoft Assessment and Planning Toolkit (MAP)
The Microsoft Assessment and Planning Toolkit (MAP) is a free tool that makes it easier to conduct network-wide deployment readiness assessments for migration to Microsoft technologies from servers, to desktops and applications. Using MAP's heterogeneous environment inventory you can now more quickly and efficiently determine the right deployment candidates for Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Server 2008 R2 Hyper-V, Windows 7, and more. VMWare server inventory and Virtualization ROI Tool integration for Windows Server 2008 R2 Hyper-V planning are among the features that you'll get with the MAP Toolkit..
Infrastructure Planning and Design Guides
The Infrastructure Planning and Design Guides are free guides that describe the architectural considerations and streamline the design processes for planning of Microsoft infrastructure technologies. Each guide addresses a unique infrastructure technology or scenario including server virtualization, application virtualization, terminal services implementation and more.
- Selecting the Right Virtualization Technology
- Windows Server Virtualization (Hyper-V)
- System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2008 and R2
- Windows Optimized Desktop Scenarios
- Microsoft Application Virtualization 4.5 (App-V)
- Microsoft Enterprise Desktop Virtualization (MED-V)
- Windows Server 2008 R2 Remote Desktop Services
- Terminal Services
- Dynamic Data Center
Security Compliance Management Toolkit Series
The Security Compliance Management Toolkit Series provides IT professionals with an end-to-end solution to help your organization plan, deploy, and monitor security baselines of Windows operating systems and 2007 Microsoft Office applications.
Microsoft Deployment Toolkit
The Microsoft Deployment Toolkit decreases the time and cost of client and server deployments through unifying the tools and processes into a common console and collection of guidance. Microsoft Deployment supports the deployment of Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2008, the virtualization role on Windows Server 2008, as well as other applications.
Offline Virtual Machine Servicing Tool
Every day, attackers attempt to invade your networks and access your servers—to infect them with viruses, or steal information about customers or employees. You may think your offline, virtualized servers are safe, but offline machines are often not kept up to date with the latest security patches. And the moment those machines are brought back online, they become instantly vulnerable to penetration. The Offline Virtual Machine Servicing Tool has free, tested guidance and automated tools to keep your virtualized machines updated and safe from attackers.
Hyper-V Security Guide
The Hyper-V Security Guide provides free guidance, instructions, and recommendations to address key security concerns about server virtualization. This free guide can help you elevate the security of virtualized Windows Server environments to address your business-critical needs.