Welcome to Dirteam.com/ActiveDir.org Blogs Sign in | Join | Help

The things that are better left unspoken

a blog by Sander Berkouwer

Related

AD Manager Plus
 

Blog roll

News



Archives

About Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2008

Microsoft announced the much anticipated Hyper-V Server Stock Keeping Unit (SKU) last week and they intend to launch the product in the coming thirty days.

This Microsoft virtualization product is targeted at customers who want to benefit from Hyper-V, but want to keep their server environment a strict Windows Server 2003, Windows 2000 Server or SuSe Linux environment. Why Hyper-V is specifically targeted at this specific situation is also clear. When you're already deploying Windows Server 2008 in your environment, why not install a fully fledged Windows Server 2008 Parent Partition? The license is already there.

   

Free

Hyper-V Server is free of charge and can be downloaded from the Microsoft Downloads website within the next 30 days. Microsoft decided to drop the former $28 price tag.

Hyper-V server is not open source or free software. It's downloadable at no cost.
Microsoft is dedicated to providing an open and interoperable platform strategy as an alternative to VMWare's closed strategy. I guess making Hyper-V open source is a bridge too far...

   

Server Core

Since the hypervisor in Hyper-V utilizes a Parent Partition to communicate with the hardware through the VMBus Microsoft bundles the hypervisor part of Hyper-V with a special Server Core installation of Windows Server 2008 x64 Standard Edition. The part that makes this version of Server Core so special is Microsoft removed all Server Role and a lot of Feature installation components, except the Hyper-V role, which is installed by default.

Tip!
If you want to remove excess bagage from your Server Core installation as well, Andrew Mason explained removing Server Core Server roles and features here.

Available Server Features are Bitlocker Drive Encryption (BDE) and Windows Backup.

One huge difference between a Server Core installation of Windows Server 2008 and Hyper-V Server struck me after I first witnessed the product: After you log on to a Hyper-V Server, you're presented with a command prompt window, with a nice menu, showing initial configuration options:

  • Change Workgroup / Domain membership
  • Change the Computer name
  • Change Network settings
  • Add a local administrator
  • Change Windows Update Settings
  • Download and install updates
  • Change remote setttings
  • Log off / restart / shutdown the server
  • Exit to command line

You can see the menu in action here.

As you can see activating your Windows installation is one of the big options that is missing from this list when you compare it to the Initial Configuration Tasks wizard in a Full installation of Windows Server 2008... Microsoft removed Windows Activation from Hyper-V Server, which eliminates much of the hassle people reportedly have had with slmgr.vbs.

Setting up your Parent Partition was never this easy!

    

Standard Edition

Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2008 can largely be compared to an x64 Server Core installation of Windows Server 2008. It follows its system hardware constraints:

  • Support for up to 4 processor sockets.
  • Support for up to 32GB of RAM (31GB max available to Virtual Machines)

There are two main differences with Windows Server 2008 Standard Edition though, both in the field of Windows licensing:

  • Hyper-V Server 2008 does not include a license for installation of a Child Partition.
    A Windows Server 2008 Standard Edition with Hyper-V license includes a license for installation of a Parent Partition and installation of one Child Partition.
       
  • Hyper-V Server 2008 allows up to 128 Child Partitions.
    There is no limit on the maximum number of Child Partitions in a Standard Edition of Windows Server 2008 with Hyper-V.

    

Management

Using the 2008 version of Microsoft's Virtual Machine Manager product from the System Center range of products you can manage Hyper-V servers, no matter whether they are Full Installations of Windows Server 2008, Server Core installations of Windows Server 2008 or Hyper-V server installations. Using the Hyper-V Management Tools from a Windows Vista with Service Pack 1 or Windows Server 2008-based host is possible too in all three Hyper-V products.

   

Concluding

Hyper-V Server is an easy Hyper-V platform for situations where you don't need to utilize more than four processors, 32MB Ram, have no High Availability (HA) needs, are not planning more than 128 virtual guests, have licenses in place to virtualize your current Windows servers (no OEM licenses) and/or don't have the budget to purchase a Windows Server 2008 license. Typical scenario would be a Windows Server 2003 SP2 -only back-end environment.

Can someone please make the special Hyper-V menu available in normal Server Core installations of Windows Server 2008 as well? Thanks!

Related Posts

Handling Server Core Roles and Features 
The importance of Server Core 
Server Core, the ideal Root Partition 

Further reading

Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2008 will be released within 30 days and be available at no cost 
Reducing the Server Core disk footprint 
Overview of Windows Hyper-V Server 2008
Microsoft: Get Virtual Now 
Microsoft Announces Free "Bare Metal" Hypervisor: Hyper-V Server 2008 
Compare Windows Server 2008 Technical Features and Specifications 
Microsoft offers free Hyper-V stand-alone version 
Stand-alone Hyper-V is FREE!!!! 
Breaking News: Want Hyper-V for free?  
TechNet Edge - Virtualization Launch  
Microsoft Finally Details Standalone Hyper-V
Free Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2008
First Look: Hyper-V Server 
Demo - Hyper-V Server and Live Migration 
Hyper-V Management Tools available for Vista SP1

Posted: Friday, September 12, 2008 4:38 PM by Sander Berkouwer

Comments

TrackBack said:

Closed strategy? How exactly does VMware have a closed strategy? This is something I've heard thrown out there before but it's very puzzling.

So all of you FUD slingers out there - it's time to pick something else to lie about. VMware is the most open virtualization vendor that's out there to date. I guess it really is time to start my "Debunking the Myths of Virtualization" series of blogs I've been meaning to do. This post is definitely in that category. If you've heard other rumors you'd like me to drill into and put some facts behind just let me know by commenting here.

# September 14, 2008 1:06 PM

The things that are better left unspoken said:

Microsoft released a new server hardware virtualization product yesterday: Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2008.

# October 3, 2008 2:47 AM

IT-Professional Community Blog said:

Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2008 werd op 1 oktober 2008 na wekenlange speculatie en een eerdere aankondiging geïntroduceerd.

Het product is een verder geoptimaliseerde Server Core installatie van Windows Server 2008 Standard Edition x64, waarbij alle andere server rollen zijn verwijderd en de Hyper-V rol standaard is geïnstalleerd. Een aardig detail is hvconfig.cmd, de tekstgebaseerde wizard waarmee Hyper-V Server 2008 op een gemakkelijke manier geconfigureerd kan worden na installatie.

Meer informatie over Hyper-V Server 2008 is onder andere hier te vinden.

# October 7, 2008 1:20 AM

The things that are better left unspoken said:

Hyper-V Server 2008 R2 Available

I’ve written a lot about Hyper-V Server 2008. And while I came to love Hyper-V Server as my favorite virtualization platform for single server scenarios, I was really looking forward to Hyper-V Server 2008 R2, because I feel Hyper-V Server 2008 R2 is a very promising product in the virtualization space.

# August 29, 2009 3:02 AM
Anonymous comments are disabled