Microsoft on Wednesday announced that it has finalized development of Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2008, it's standalone, "bare metal" virtualization server. Additionally, the software giant revealed that it will finalize its Virtual Machine Manager (VMM) 2008 server product by the end of October. VMM is designed for corporations that wish to broadly deploy virtualized environments.

"Customers have been telling us that virtualization is a top priority, but they continue to face multiple barriers to adoption, such as costs, complex tools and limited certified virtualization professionals," says Microsoft senior director of virtualization strategy Zane Adam. "In response, Microsoft is breaking down these barriers through new training programs and services, interoperability, centralized management tools, and a broad partner ecosystem built around the Windows hypervisor to help make virtualization ubiquitous. Microsoft's new virtualization products will help customers get virtual and manage their virtual and physical assets across datacenters and desktops."

Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2008 is a standalone and free version of the Hyper-V virtualization platform that is also provided with Windows Server 2008. It's designed for corporations that wish to deploy hypervisor-based virtual environments but have not yet upgraded to Windows Server 2008. Customers can now download Hyper-V Server from the Microsoft Web site. (See link below.)

VMM 2008 is a member of Microsoft's System Center family of server management products. This new version, adds support for Hyper-V Server and Windows Server 2008 Hyper-V, of course, but also for VMWare ESX Server, giving customers a single virtualization management point even in heterogeneous environments.

Download Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2008 (free)