Microsoft has unveiled Virtual Server 2005, claiming that the virtual machine for Windows Server 2003 will help customers provision datacentre resources.
Shipping in Standard and Enterprise editions, Virtual Server 2005 is designed to help automation of software testing and development, rehosting of legacy applications, and consolidation of production server workloads.
"Our customers are looking for ways to cut infrastructure costs and make better use of their IT and development teams," said Bob Muglia, senior vice president of the Windows server division at Microsoft, in a statement.
"They want to streamline application testing and development, consolidate to fewer servers and move legacy applications to new hardware running on the Windows Server 2003 platform. Virtual Server 2005 meets these needs and provides easy, automated deployment and configuration."
According to Microsoft, early adopter customers of Virtual Server 2005 have been able to decrease their server provisioning time by 50 to 95 per cent while reducing physical server counts by 50 to 80 per cent through consolidation.
"Gartner predicts that enterprises that don't leverage virtualisation technologies will spend as much as 25 per cent more for their x86 servers," said Tom Bittman, research vice president at Gartner, in a statement.
"Server virtualisation software can help enterprises reduce the time, effort and costs associated with the consolidation of servers and applications."
Microsoft said Virtual Server 2005 features simple installation and web-based management of virtual machines. In addition, physical server management tools from the company and from third-party management vendors have been updated.
Virtual Server 2005 Standard Edition supports up to four processors, with an estimated US retail price of $499 (£278). Virtual Server 2005 Enterprise Edition supports up to 32 processors, with an estimated retail price of $999 (£556).
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