Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT)  has unveiled a public beta version of its hypervisor-based server virtualization technology that was originally planned for the first quarter of 2008.

Hyper-V, a feature with some versions of Windows Server 2008, is available for download to customers and partners wishing to evaluate the new technology, test applications and plan future projects.

New features of the Hyper-V include quick migration, high availability, server core role and server manager integration. Microsoft still plans to deliver the final version of Hyper-V within 180 days of the release of Windows Server 2008. As a feature of Windows Server 2008, Hyper-V will provide cost-effective virtualization infrastructure software that can help increase hardware use, optimize infrastructure and improve server availability.

Microsoft is also developing the next version of System Center Virtual Machine Manager to allow customers to easily provision and configure new virtual machines, and centrally manage their virtual infrastructure.

Published on: Dec 14, 2007