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Windows Server 2008 Product Lineup and Hyper-V

In case you didn’t hear or read the news, today at IT Forum in Barcelona we announced the new name for the virtualization feature in Windows Server 2008, as well as the product lineup. What we use to call “viridian” internally, or Windows Server virtualization in our betas, will now be called Hyper-V.  The Hyper-V feature will be included by default in the Standard, Enterprise, and Datacenter versions of Windows Server 2008.  The timing of the delivery of the final release of the Hyper-V feature has not changed, it will be released within 180 days after we release to manufacturing Windows Server 2008.  We also announced that we will be building a new separate product called Microsoft Hyper-V Server, which is a standalone hypervisor-based virtualization product.  The Microsoft Hyper-V Server will be based on the same hypervisor virtualization technology that is in the Hyper-V feature included with Windows Server 2008.  Once we decided to create this product, it made sense for us to offer editions of Windows Server 2008 that doesn’t include the Hyper-V feature.  So what does that mean?  Here is the product lineup that we’ll see at the Windows Server 2008 release:

  • Windows Server 2008 Standard
  • Windows Server 2008 Enterprise
  • Windows Server 2008 Datacenter
  • Windows Server 2008 for Itanium-Based Systems
  • Windows Web Server 2008
  • Windows Server 2008 Standard without Hyper-V
  • Windows Server 2008 Enterprise without Hyper-V
  • Windows Server 2008 Datacenter without Hyper-V

And then once the final version of the Hyper-V feature is released, sometime after that we’ll see:

  • Microsoft Hyper-V Server

To get all the details of the different editions, there are lists of roles, features, Server Core installation options, and technical specifications located here:
In terms of pricing and licensing, we made a few changes for the Windows Server 2008.  The licensing remains generally the same as Windows Server 2003 R2 (eg. Enterprise comes with 4 additional virtual guest instances, Datacenter comes with unlimited virtual guest instances), but we made one change for Standard.  Windows Server 2003 Standard Edition license allowed customers to run the instance either in the physical or virtual environment, but not with the same license.  Windows Server 2008 Standard will now allow 1+1 licensing (1 physical and 1 virtual instance running at the same time).  The requirement for having Client Access Licenses (CALs) has not changed, meaning that when Windows Server 2008 comes out, CALs will have to be upgraded to Windows Server 2008 as well.  Pricing will also be very similar to Windows Server 2003, with the exception of an approximately 1% increase.
Some other things that might not be so obvious about the edition lineup we introduced today include:

  • Windows Server 2008 for Itanium-Based Systems.  With Windows Server 2003, support for Itanium-based systems was offered through both Enterprise and Datacenter editions.  With Windows Server 2008, support for Itanium-based system is now a separate edition and is targeted for specific workloads.  This release does not include the Hyper-V feature as Hyper-V only works on x64 hardware.
  • Windows Web Server 2008.  Besides changing the name slightly (from Windows Server 2003 Web Edition), we have increased the technical limitations so it supports more processors and memory, making it a more robust solution.  Since this is targeted specifically for web servers, this edition also does not include the Hyper-V feature.
  • Language support.  The language support in Windows Server 2008 will be similar to Windows Server 2003, with the addition of Chinese Traditional (Hong Kong), making it a total of 19 supported languages.  All the editions (except for Itanium-based systems) will be available in both x86 and x64 in all 19 languages.  We will also no longer have a Multilingual User Interface (MUI) SKU for Windows Server 2008.  Instead, you’ll be able to download a language pack at no additional cost.

Hopefully this gives you a good overview of what we announced today.  If you want more details, check the website for the comparison charts and details.

Julius Sinkevicius