Why Try Hyper-V?

Working with some of our larger enterprise customers who have already made investments in VMWare, I often get asked: “Why should we look at Hyper-V?” If you have not looked in a while – it’s time to look again. The capabilities delivered in Windows Server 2008 R2 Hyper-V with System Center provide an Enterprise-Class virtualization platform at a fraction of the cost of VMware.

Lower Cost: A virtualized data center based on Hyper-V can be run at about one-seventh of the licensing cost as the same environment on VMware. Details and assumptions behind this can be found at: http://download.microsoft.com/download/6/0/2/6025DD0C-CC79-4D06-B4F6-EDAF5993CE86/HyperV-VMware-Cost-Comparison-Jan2010.pdf. You can use the Virtualization Cost Comparison Calculator to analyze the cost of these two solutions in your own environment: http://www.microsoft.com/virtualization/en/us/cost-compare-calculator.aspx.

High Availability:

· Live Migration: move a virtual machine between two virtualization host servers without any interruption of service

· Cluster Shared Volumes: simplify and enhance shared storage usage

· Dynamic VM Storage: hot plug-in and hot removal of storage

Scale, Performance and Hardware Support:

· Support for 64 logical processors in the host processor pool

· Processor Compatibility Mode for Live Migration: allows live migration across different CPU versions within the same processor family, (for example, ”Intel Core 2-to-Intel Pentium 4” or “AMD Opteron-to-AMD Athlon”) enabling migration across a broader range of server host hardware

· Second Level Address Translation (SLAT) support: uses new features on today’s CPUs to improve VM performance while reducing processing load on the Windows Hypervisor. New Hyper-V VMs will also consume less power by virtue of the Core Parking feature implemented into Windows Server 2008 R2.

· VM Chimney: allows a VM to dump its network processing load onto the network interface card (NIC) of the host computer. This works the same as in a physical TCP Offload scenario, Hyper-V now simply extends this functionality into the virtual world. This significantly reduces the host server’s CPU burden when dealing with VM network traffic, translating into better host system performance and a simultaneous boost to VM network throughput.

· Linux Integration Components: The Linux Integration Components for Hyper-V improve the performance of Linux Guests by providing driver support for synthetic devices and fastpath boot support for Hyper-V. The Linux Integration Components support SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 10 Service Pack 2 and above, as well as Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.2 and above.

· Dynamic Memory: an enhancement to Hyper-V R2 which pools all the memory available on a physical host and dynamically distributes it to virtual machines running on that host as necessary. Discussed in detail in our Virtualization Team Blog: http://blogs.technet.com/b/virtualization/archive/2010/07/12/dynamic-memory-coming-to-hyper-v-part-6.aspx


· Manage virtual data center host and guest infrastructure from a single pane of glass with System Center

· Hyper-V Management Console

· Full-featured command-line interface and automated management of Hyper-V administrative tasks with PowerShell cmdlets

In short, a lot has changed in the last couple of years with Hyper-V, with even more coming in SP1, and if you have shelved your evaluation, it might be time to dust it off and take another look J

More resources: http://www.microsoft.com/virtualization/en/us/microsoft-advantage.aspx