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Introducing 'Virtual Microsoft'

When you think "virtualization," the name VMware is almost sure to follow close behind. They go together like The Colonel and Kentucky Fried Chicken.

But when you think "Microsoft," the word "virtualization" doesn't spring as quickly to mind, if at all. You think "Windows." You might think "PC." In this day and age, you might even think "Azure." "Virtualization," though, is unlikely to make that list.

Although that's quite natural, it also undersells how involved Microsoft is with virtualization. Redmond has had its eye on the benefits of virtualization since it unveiled Hyper-V, lo these many moons ago. In fact, it helped kick off a skirmish back then when it gave away Hyper-V for free as part of Windows Server. At the time, VMware's ESX hypervisor wasn't free, but soon thereafter VMware started giving it away as well.

Hyper-V, of course, has been vastly improved over the years, and it's very popular in enterprises, often sitting side-by-side with vSphere. Despite that, Microsoft keeps Hyper-V a low-profile technology; it would much rather talk about Windows Server or Office 365 than break out its hypervisor separately.

That minimization applies to all of Microsoft's virtualization tech; it's a slice of the pie, but just a slice. It helps customers economize, and now it's a key factor in its Azure public cloud stack. It almost never takes center stage, and that's the way Microsoft likes it.

But there's no doubt that Microsoft sees virtualization as integral to its strategy going forward, whether it's in the datacenter or the cloud. And, of course, it's pretty integral to a magazine with the name Virtualization Review. That's why we've inaugurated a brand-new column to focus exclusively on Microsoft's virtualization efforts.

It's called Virtual Microsoft, and the first column is now out. The author is veteran Microsoft writer and admin Paul Schnackenburg. Paul's written about Hyper-V and Microsoft for years, and regular visitors to this Web site will recognize his byline. He runs an IT consultancy focused on Microsoft, and uses the technology on a daily basis.

One of Paul's strengths is his in-the-trenches knowledge of Microsoft virtualization. He understands how to get most out of this stuff, because it's what his clients use. His articles have a real-world feel to them, because he's out there implementing and managing virtualization in the same sort of environments many of you work in. He knows what's important to you as an admin, because they're the same things that are important to him as an admin.

Virtual Microsoft will cover everything from Hyper-V to Azure to Windows Containers, in Paul's down-to-earth, easy-to-read style. There will be how-tos, technology overviews and sneak previews of coming products. I think you'll find it full of delicious, useful information.

Maybe even finger-lickin' good.

Posted by Keith Ward on 03/22/2016 at 6:27 AM


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