Windows Server 2008 Reviewed

Virtualization: Additional Features

In order to use additional features such as time synchronization, data/file exchange between guest and host system, automatic shutdown or the heartbeat function, it is necessary to install the Integration Services on the guest system. This only works if the guest systems are either Windows Server 2003 or Windows Server 2008. Client systems such as Windows Vista are not supported.

Virtual insertion: The CD for the Integration Services

The Integration Services are not available for client operating systems such as Windows Vista.

Automatic Shutdown

The automatic shutdown feature ensures that the guest OS is stopped safely when the host has to shut down or restart. This functionality is unavailable if the Integration Services are not installed. Therefore, the only options for client systems such as Windows Vista are hibernate mode (manually) or simply killing the machine when the host shuts down.

Automatic shutdown does not work without the Integration Services.

Heartbeat - The Pulse Of The System

Using the heartbeat function, the virtualization environment can check whether the operating system of the virtual machines is still reacting. To this end, the Integration Services send a special signal to the server. Should the guest OS freeze, the server will notice the absence of the heartbeat signal and can restart the virtual machine.

Heartbeat of the system: Only a server OS has this functionality.

  • FYI GoGrid is offering virtual Servers. They have a free $100 trial when you use the promo code 'GGED'. They are one of the first to offer 2008. EC2 doesn't even offer windows.
  • CopSSH is not free anymore. :(