Mental Ward

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Hyper-V Explained

One of the keys to understanding virtualization is knowing your terms. As I've pointed out before, there is a lot of confusion surrounding this space -- how is PC virtualization different from desktop virtualization? How is hardware virtualization different from server virtualization -- or is it? How does server virtualization differ from OS virtualization? I imagine you might have asked some of these questions yourself.

This morning, I found a great resource for definitions about Microsoft's new hypervisor, Hyper-V (for my money, still the coolest name for a Microsoft product ever. They didn't drab it down when they announced the final name of the product. I mean, isn't Longhorn 100,000 times cooler than "Windows Server 2008"? I usually love Microsoft's code names and hate their formal names; not in this case. First, it was "Viridian", which is cool. Then it was "Windows Server Virtualization", which has that hideous stench of Microsoft marketing hanging all over it; so naturally, I assumed this would be the final name. Then came "Hyper-V." Yes! It's bad (in a good way)! OK, detour over, back to the main highway.)

Ben Armstrong, who blogs as the "Virtual PC Guy" over at Microsoft, is a virtualization product manager. He's just published a terrific list of definitions for Hyper-V. He explains everything very clearly, and doesn't assume any knowledge on the reader's part. If you've ever wanted to know how emulated devices differ from simulated devices in the Hyper-Verse (and haven't we all?), he'll explain.

It's already on my list of foundational resources. Consider adding it to yours.

Posted by Keith Ward on 02/26/2008 at 12:48 PM


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