Virtual Server - Working in a virtual world

  • Simplifying the migration of legacy Windows applications as you can create Windows NT images on top of the Windows 2003 operating system using Microsoft Virtual Server 2005 software.

In addition, Virtual Server 2005 allows you to create a testing and development environment for multiple test servers, without having to purchase the equivalent number of hardware boxes. If one virtual server goes down, the other virtual servers will still be working and you can always restart another test image. From the development perspective, it allows you to create distributed applications (ie applications made to run on many servers) and test them all on one box!

The downside is that you will have created a single point of failure for several servers should any of the hardware go wrong and it is essential that you have some sort of disaster recovery, such as disk clustering or server shadowing, in place. However, even with this extra hardware in place it is still substantially less expensive than purchasing the equivalent number of servers.


The origins of Microsoft Virtual Server 2005 comes from Connectix, a company Microsoft purchased for the virtual software. Since then Microsoft has revamped the software so that it essentially has a better integration with its existing range of products and most importantly Windows 2003. Windows 2003 is currently the only operating system that can host Microsoft Virtual Server 2005.