Microsoft updates Linux virtual machine support

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Microsoft updates Linux virtual machine support

Emerges from beta.

Microsoft has updated Linux support in its Hyper-V virtualisation software for Windows Server 2008 R2.

Linux Integration Services 2.1 had been in beta for a number of months, and the final version was released yesterday.

The software improves on relatively weak support for Linux virtual machines when run on Microsoft's Hyper-V hypervisor.

According to the release notes, the headline feature is support for symmetric multi-processing (SMP), meaning that Hyper-V can now support up to four processors on each virtual machine.

SMP support is vital as virtual machines are expected to do heavy back-end computation. Given the prevalence of multi-core processors, it is surprising that support had not been included sooner.

Other improvements include time synchronisation between host and virtual machine, failure detection, and improved performance through support for Fastpath Boot.

The update provides support for Linux virtual machines running Novell SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 10 SP3, SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 11 and Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.2 up to 5.5.

The increased support should appease some in the Linux community, who had threatened to remove support for Microsoft's Hyper-V in the standard Linux kernel.

Nevertheless, Microsoft's support of Linux on Hyper-V remains some way behind that of its competitors.

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