A new feature to the service pack is Volume Shadow Services, which provides improved support for backup and disaster recovery. Instead of scheduling downtime for backing up each virtual machine individually, you can now take snapshot backups of physical machines, with no downtime.
Virtual Server 2005 R2 SP1 also supports host clustering, which offers customers minimal downtime depending on the speed of storage and amount of memory assigned to a virtual machine. Host clustering is storage agnostic, comes with Windows Server 2003 Enterprise or Datacenter editions, and is a high-availability solution for both planned and unplanned downtime. And with System Center Virtual Machine Manager, downloadable today as a beta 2 version, customers will have tools for high availability migration. I’m told there’s been more than 5,500 downloads of the product in the past 30 days.
Virtual Server 2005 R2 service pack 1 adds support for Novell SLES 10 and Solaris 10 as a guest operating system; bringing the total to 11 non-Windows operating systems supported on Virtual Server 2005 R2.
He follows up with some reference customers who are saving a bunch through virtualization which has undeniable appeal to hosted services providers.