The Hyper-V Server 2008 R2 Surprise
As you might recall Hyper-V Server 2008 is a further Hyper-V optimized version of a Server Core installations of Windows Server 2008, Standard Edition (technically). Hyper-V Server is also Microsofts free stand-alone server virtualization product.
When comparing Hyper-V Server 2008 to ESXi 3.5, it’s interesting to note the feature gap between the two products. Especially when it comes to high availability: Multiple boxes with ESXi can be used together with Virtual Infrastructure to form a high available virtualization platform with VMotion capabilities. Hyper-V Server 2008 installations can not be used in a failover cluster.
Introducing Hyper-V Server 2008 R2
Alongside Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2, Microsoft also released the beta version of Hyper-V Server 2008 R2. At first I couldn’t find it at TechNet, but then I realized it’s under Applications, instead of Operating Systems or Servers. Thanks to Volker Will for pointing out the download locations.
Hyper-V Server 2008 R2 is the next version of Hyper-V server. It offers extended functionality beyond the currently released version in terms of system capabilities and installable roles
The table below illustrates the maximum number of processors, maximum amount of RAM and maximum amount of virtual guests you can run on both versions of Hyper-V Server:
Hyper-V Server 2008
Hyper-V Server 2008 R2
|Maximum number of x64 Processor sockets (physical processors)
|Maximum number of Processor cores (logical processors)
|Maximum amount of RAM
|Maximum number of running Virtual Guests
Thanks to Arlindo Alves for pointing out these figures.
The other usual suspects for Hyper-V we already knew for Windows Server 2008 R2 are also present in Hyper-V Server 2008 R2: Features like Live migration and Core Parking are standard capabilities for the R2 Hypervisor.
After installing Hyper-V Server 2008 r2, looking at the installable roles, something struck me. I’ve posted a screenshot below, that might also surprise you:
click for a larger screenshot
One of the roles you can install on Hyper-V Server 2008 R2 is the FailoverCluster-Core role. Since this is the only role you can deploy on Hyper-V Server 2008 R2 (besides the obvious Bitlocker, Domain Controller tools, Multipath IO, .Net Framework 2, Powershell, SNMP, the telnet client and Windows Server Backup features) we can conclude Hyper-V Server 2008 R2 supports clustering of the Hyper-V role.
The updated Hyper-V Configuration Utility even features the role as Failover Clustering Role. Option 8 allows for modification of the setting.
Hyper-V Server 2008 R2 can be downloaded here.
With clustering capabilities built into Hyper-V Server 2008 R2, Microsoft brings its free stand-alone server virtualization product on par with VMWare’s free ESXi 3.5 in the area of high availability.
I’m really curious to the new stuff we might see in ESX 4 and the consequence this news has on future versions of vCenter...
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