One of the things that we have noticed and probably talked about last getVirtualnow event is the comparison of Hyper-V to Vmware, specially with quick and live migration. With failover clusters and live migration, you can now have highly available virtual machines. What live migration really do is automatically switching hosts copying the memory then switching at the last second rather than literally hibernating the VM OS then copy them over which the system would be offline. This is very useful if disaster struck one of our physical servers your services are not affected because it just transfers to another node or a host. This is also a good practice to run maintenance on a physical host, simply free the host then update it, restart it then bring back the VM. I was not really surprised that it is now included in the list of features in R2. But wait there’s more! R2 has more cool features such as support up to 32 cores and up to 1 TB of RAM!
Hyper-V is a bare-metal stand-alone hyper-visor and is a very minimal install (like server core, but you can’t install any role in it). There is no GUI install, so how can it be manage? A stand-alone server can be accessed directly thru its blue management console, or thru Remote Management MMC for hyper-v and by using SCVMM SP1.
If you are already familiar with Hyper-V server, on R2 you may also notice that there are additional Menu Items such as Update Management, Failover Clustering and Remote Management Configuration.
Hyper-V Server has similar hardware requirements as to Windows Server 2008 R2:
- Minimum: x64 processor with Hardware-assisted virtualization. This is available in processors that include a virtualization option; specifically, Intel VT or AMD Virtualization.
- Hardware Data Execution Protection (DEP) must be available and be enabled. Specifically, you must enable Intel XD bit (execute disable bit) or AMD NX bit (no execute bit).
- Minimum: 1 GB MB RAM; Recommended: 2+ GB RAM
- Maximum (64-bit systems): 1TB
- Minimum: 1
- Recommended: 2 or more
Hyper-V server is freely downloadable at Microsoft download center, the Hyper-V remote management tool also free and can be downloaded here (You may need Windows Vista SP1). I think its this is a great deal for those who are just starting to consolidate their virtual environments and even at enterprise level.
Download Hyper-V R2 Beta here: http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=e464e255-cdd5-44b2-84e6-3233eae3f356&displaylang=en