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New Microsoft Licensing and Support Eases Path to Virtualization
Customers 'Get Virtual Now' with Increased Flexibility and Broader Support When Virtualizing Microsoft Server Applications

New licensing, expanded product support policies and a worldwide series of events from Microsoft help business customers create more dynamic datacenters and enterprise IT systems with virtualization software. Beginning Sept. 1, 2008, customers will be able to move any of 41 Microsoft server applications between servers within a server farm as often as necessary without paying additional licensing fees, and they can take advantage of expanded specialized technical support.

"Businesses are taking steps to make their IT operations more dynamic and are delving into virtualization as a cornerstone strategy," said Zane Adam, senior director of integrated virtualization in the Server and Tools Business at Microsoft. "Microsoft recognizes this and is innovating its licensing policies, product support and a wide range of IT solutions to help customers get virtual now."

To highlight the recent innovations in virtualization, Microsoft also will begin a worldwide series of "Get Virtual Now" events this month that will showcase Microsoft virtualization products and partner solutions, reaching more than 250,000 IT professionals.

New Licensing Flexibility
Microsoft is updating its software licensing terms for 41 server applications, including Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Enterprise edition, Microsoft Exchange Server 2007 Service Pack 1 Standard and Enterprise editions, Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0 Enterprise and Professional editions, Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007, and Microsoft System Center products. With the new terms, the company is waiving its previous 90-day reassignment rule, allowing customers to reassign licenses from one server to another within a server farm as frequently as needed. For many customers, the change will reduce the number of licenses they need to support their IT systems, increase agility, and simplify the tracking of application instances or processors because customers now can count licenses by server farm instead of by server.

"IDC research is finding that the use of server virtualization is moving past the early adopter stage and is quickly becoming a mainstream solution," said Al Gillen, research vice president for system software at IDC. "As IT professionals update their standard server images for new installations, they are increasingly integrating virtualization to simplify deployments, to increase the system flexibility, boost usage rates and increase portability of the applications. With this latest update to its licensing rules, Microsoft is knocking down barriers to virtualized deployments, which should help further accelerate the adoption rates."

Expanded Technical Support
Microsoft has updated its technical support policy for 31 server applications so that customers can receive technical support when deploying those applications on Windows Server 2008 Hyper-V, Microsoft Hyper-V Server or any other third-party validated virtualization platform. Now customers can get the same level of product support in a virtualized environment that they are accustomed to with nonvirtual environments. More information is available at http://support.microsoft.com.

To enable this support policy, Microsoft launched the Server Virtualization Validation Program in June 2008. The program is open to any software vendor to test and validate its virtualization software to run Windows Server 2008 and previous versions of Windows Server. To date, Cisco Systems Inc., Citrix Systems Inc., Novell Inc., Sun Microsystems Inc. and Virtual Iron Software Inc. are participating in the program.

"Technical support of virtualized images is an industrywide challenge," said Roger Levy, senior vice president and general manager of open platform solutions at Novell. "Novell and Microsoft continue to collaborate to optimize bidirectional virtualization between Windows Server and SUSE Linux Enterprise with Xen. Microsoft's Server Virtualization Validation Program provides customers with additional peace of mind when they run Windows as a guest in a validated environment such as SUSE Linux Enterprise."

About Virtualization News
SYS-CON's Virtualization News Desk trawls the news sources of the world for the latest details of virtualization technologies, products, and market trends, and provides breaking news updates from the Virtualization Conference & Expo.

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