Windows Server 8 and Hyper-V 3.0

It’s been a weeks’ time since the Microsoft BUILD conference and the Internet is still buzzing with talk of Windows Server 8. The next generation of Microsoft’s general purpose server operating system promises to be a revamped virtualization platform that introduces the world to Microsoft’s latest hypervisor, Hyper-V 3.0. Most of the reviews have already carried out covering the features in depth, but here is a summary of the interesting Hyper-V 3.0 features for those of you that haven’t had a chance to see them yet:

  • Up to 63-nodes, 4000 Virtual Machine Clusters
  • Up to 32 vCPUs, 512GB RAM, and 2TB of disk space per Virtual Machine
  • Increased Guest NUMA Support (memory segmentation for better performance)
  • New VHDX storage containers with 16TB of capacity
  • Support for concurrent Live Migrations using SAN (Storage Area Network) and DAS (Direct Attached Storage)
  • Support for NAS (Network Attached Storage) using SMB 2.2 and NFS Protocols
  • “Hyper-V Replica” built-in Asynchronous Virtual Machine Replication
  • Integrated Source and Destination De-depulication
  • Network Virtualization
  • Cisco Nexus Virtual Switching and Routing Infrastructure Support

While the list is certainly impressive and is sure to make many Windows system administrators giddy, this release marks something greater than just an incremental upgrade for the Windows Server platform. Since its beginnings, Hyper-V’s deliverables have been commendable but have lagged significantly behind competing products. While Microsoft has supported it with the robust System Center platform to great acclaim, the hypervisor itself has always been outmatched by its competitors. With this release of Hyper-V, Microsoft has finally started focusing of achieving feature-parity with competitor hypervisor offerings. The promised updates to the Windows Server platform represent a more mature approach to virtualization, providing a feature-rich and high-performance platform that starts with hypervisor itself, allowing it to stand on it’s own now more than ever. A recent review of the HYPER-V hypervisor can be read over here.

With the tight integration of System Center Product Suite HYPER-V ver 3.0 stands strong to deliver the customer requirements as well as their future demands. Customer demands of ease management, visibility of applications, and speedy provision of applications apart from hyper visor itself. This is where I see Microsoft seek truly into customer requirements and provide true support for their core business applications availability.