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More Azure Hypervisor Details

Now we know a little more about the new Microsoft hypervisor that is part of the Azure cloud computing initiative. Little has been known or reported up to this point, but Microsoft has provided me some additional details.

Here are some of the salient facts in a nutshell:

  • It is a version of Hyper-V, customized for the Azure platform. This is new information, as previous reports said it was going to be a new hypervisor.
  • You and I won't be able to get our hands on it. It sounds like it will be used on Microsoft's back end, and there will be no general availability to the public.

Here's the full text of the e-mail, from Doug Hauger, general manager of Cloud Infrastructure Services Product Management Group at Microsoft:

"The Windows Azure Services Platform is designed to help developers easily create applications for the Web and connected devices. Part of the Windows Azure architecture is built with custom version of Windows Server Hyper-V and new fabric controller so that Microsoft can provide a highly-scalable, cloud-specific platform for Microsoft's datacenters. We made modifications to existing products because we have the source code and our development schedule allowed us to adopt newer features, such as those in AMD's and Intel's microprocessors.

The hypervisor and virtual machine functionality is abstracted from users of this platform. Customers will not manage the platform because Azure Services Platform is managed by Microsoft and run only in its datacenters. Customers using Windows Azure Services Platform will not be exposed to Hyper-V technology or virtual machines that are used as part of Azure Services Platform. Because virtualization and OS management are abstracted from them, customers will focus on deploying, configuring and managing the application rather than the hardware, VMs and operating systems. This is a fundamental shift in platform management.

In the future, Windows Azure Services Platform will allow customers to run Windows Server 2008-based virtual machines in the cloud and move Windows Server virtual machines back and forth between cloud and on-premise servers. Currently, Windows Azure Services Platform does not support customers uploading virtual machines containing any version of Windows Server."

So it turns out that there's not much "there" there, after all.

Posted by Keith Ward on 11/18/2008 at 12:48 PM


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