Microsoft Virtualization

28 01 2007

Virtualization – Running Guest Operating System on a Host Operating System

To be more specific, these are the Components involved in Virtualization

Virtual Machine Components

  • Virtual Machine
    • A software implemented computer which emulates the complete hardware system in another software environment which is already running, and, runs its own operating system.So, to be simple, we will have an OS already installed(Host OS) and we install another OS (Guest OS) on top of the Host OS.
  • Guest Operating System
    • An OS that runs within a Virtual Machine. It runs its own OS taking hardware from the Host OS.
  • Physical Computer
    • This is where the Host OS would be running. The Virtual Server or any other Virtualization softwares will be installed here in this physical computer.
  • Host Operating System
    • The OS running in the physical computer

Available Virtualization Softwares from Microsoft

Currently Microsoft offers two products,

Why the need of two products ?

There are always two kinds of users – Home and Office and yes, you can also add Developers.

Microsoft Virtual PC

Microsoft Virtual PC is designed for Home Users to run multiple Operating Systems on their desktop. For example, a User may have a program which would run only on Windows 98 or ME edition and he would be using Windows XP which may not allow the user to run those applications. Now, user need not install Windows 98 or ME, instead, using Microsoft Virtual PC, can install virtually Microsoft Windows 98 or Microsoft Windows ME and run those applications. When the user has completed the work, may delete the virtual operating system. Thus, Microsoft Virtual PC is designed for Desktop Operating Systems and the User Interface is designed in such a way that the desktop user feels easy to operate.

Microsoft Virtual Server

Microsoft Virtual Server is designed for Server Systems to run multiple servers inside a Server. So, one can run Windows Server 2003 inside another Windows Server 2003. Since it is mainly concentrated on Server Side, the Microsoft Virtual Server supports Remote Administration of the Virtual Machines,Delegated Administration to Virtual Server etc.,

Although both have similar features, they differ in the usage scenarios. Microsoft Virtual PC is designed by thinking in terms of a normal desktop user. Microsoft Virtual Server, which can be managed extensively and also scaled,is designed for running enterprise-class servers.

Microsoft Virtual PC

Guest OS Supported

  • Windows XP Home Edition
  • WindowsME
  • Windows 98

Host OS Supported

  • Windows XP Professional
  • Windows 2000 Professional

Microsoft Virtual Server

Guest OS Supported

  • Windows Server 2003 all editions except Enterprise Edition
  • Windows NT 4.0 Enterprise

Host OS Supported

  • Windows XP Professional
  • Windows Server 2003 (Standard,Enterprise,Datacenter)

Enjoy !




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