virtualization whitepaper

Virtualization White Paper

Hyper-V

This month’s featured Virtualization White Paper covers Microsoft’s hypervisor-based server virtualization technology called Hyper-V.  The best thing about this hypervisor is that it if free assuming your organization already runs Windows Server 2008.  Hyper-V installs as a role in Windows Server 2008 or Windows Server 2008 R2 and offers flexible licensing policies for customers.  Take full advantage of your investment in your computer hardware by consolidating multiple servers as separate virtual machines running on a single 64 bit Hyper-V physical server.  The guest operating systems don’t have to be Windows based.  Linux, Mac, and others Operating Systems are fully supported.

A Virtualization White Paper would not be complete without a examining the architecture.  Hyper-V was designed to be a highly secure Virtual Server with a thin micro-kernel hypervisor that has a minimal attack surface.  It comes available as a Server Core role which is the most secure hypervisor option.  The virtualization stack runs on the parent partition which must run Windows Server 2008 and has direct access to hardware devices.

Virtualization White Paper

Management of Hyper-V is a breeze with its integration with Microsoft’s System Center.  This allows customers to easily integrate it into their existing management tools console to perform virtualization administration.  Hyper-V is integrated with the Server Manager UI by default.  Migrating VM’s can be done with ease.  Hyper-V allows you to move running virtual machines around different web hosting servers with minimal downtime.  Hyper-V is also cluster aware so all VMs running on a single host can be failed over to another host in the event of a host server failure.  No matter how redundant your VM architecture is, it ultimately can be no better than your host machine. Unsure you use a Universal Power Supply with an adequate UPS battery to power it while a cutover to generator power is made.

A powerful feature of Microsoft’s latest Virtual Server is the ability to take snapshot backups of running VMs by integrating with Windows Server 2008’s Volume Shadow Copy Services.  This provides incredible flexibility for Release Management in development and test environments.  If you need to modify the size of your virtual machines, Hyper-V includes tools to compact, expand, and inspect VHD files.

Overall performance has improved about 25% over its predecessor Virtual Server 2005 R2.  This is mostly attributable to the new support for virtual SCSI controllers.  This new functionality enables broader disk support as well.  Virtual machine guests can use up to 64 GB of memory which allows for new server roles to be virtualized.   Hyper-V supports up to 64GB of memory per virtual machine.
Server virtualisation is becoming a main stream IT discipline allowing organisations to grow their software functionality.

Businesses looking into a third party solution have a large variety of choice with packages designed for small, medium, and large corporations.

Please visit again to read the latest virtualization white paper covered on this site.  The next feature will be on AMD virtualization.