Hardware Virtualisation

"Hardware virtualisation is the execution of software in an environment separated from the underlying hardware resources. The term "virtualisation" was coined in the 1960s, to refer to a virtual machine (sometimes called pseudo machine), a term which itself dates from the experimental IBM M44/44X system. The creation and management of virtual machines has been called platform virtualization, or server virtualization, more recently.
Platform virtualization is performed on a given hardware platform by host software (a control program), which creates a simulated computer environment, a virtual machine, for its guest software. The guest software is not limited to user applications; many hosts allow the execution of complete operating systems. The guest software executes as if it were running directly on the physical hardware, with several notable caveats. Access to physical system resources (such as the network access, display, keyboard, and disk storage) is generally managed at a more restrictive level than the host processor and system-memory. Guests are often restricted from accessing specific peripheral devices, or may be limited to a subset of the device's native capabilities, depending on the hardware access policy implemented by the virtualization host." Wikipedia


Simplified, Reliable, Optimized

Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2008 provides a simplified, reliable, and optimized virtualization solution, enabling improved server utilization and reduced costs. Since Hyper-V Server is a dedicated standalone product, which contains only Windows Hypervisor and the virtualization components, it provides a small footprint and minimal overhead. It easily plugs into customers' existing IT environments leveraging their existing patching, provisioning, management, and support tools, processes, and skills.

IT pros can easily leverage their existing knowledge and skills with Microsoft virtualization products, as well as the collective knowledge of the community, minimizing any learning curve. In addition, with Microsoft providing comprehensive support for Microsoft applications and heterogeneous guest operating systems, customers can virtualize with confidence and peace of mind.

Microsoft HyperV Server 2008
Features and Benefits

Microsoft Hyper-V Server uses the same virtual machine model as Windows Server 2008 w/ Hyper-V enabled so there is no need to retool your management infrastructure.

VHD format: To move a virtual machine from Hyper-V Server to a Windows Server 2008 Hyper-V environment (or vice versa), simply export the virtual machine and import it on the other host
using the standard management tools.

BitLocker support: Hyper-V Server can take advantage of BitLocker technology to encrypt a Hyper-V Server so that even if it is stolen and the hard disks are removed, the data is still safe because it's encrypted. This is particularly useful for branch offices or environments where physical security is a concern.

Live Backup support: Hyper-V Server includes native support for Volume Shadow Services so that it can provide Live Backup of running virtual machines without downtime.

Flexible hardware support: Microsoft Hyper-V Server leverages the Windows Server driver model and is compatible with a wide variety of server hardware and driver support for newer peripherals such as 10 Gb/E.

Flexible Storage: Hyper-V Server offers flexible storage support, such as:

  • Direct Attach Storage (DAS): SATA, eSATA, PATA, SAS,SCSI, USB, Firewire
  • Storage Area Networks (SANs): iSCSI, Fiber Channel, SAS
  • Network Attached Storage (NAS)

Virtual Machine Snapshots: Hyper-V Server fully supports virtual machine snapshots.

VSP/VSC/VMBUS: Both products fully leverage the driver enlightened architecture (VSP/VPC/VMBus) for high performance I/O. There is no conversion when moving virtual machines between Microsoft Hyper-V and Windows Server 2008 w/ Hyper-V.

HyperV Server (Parent Partition) provides:

  • Support for systems with up to 8 physical processors
  • Support for up to 64 logical processors (please also see the Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2008 R2 FAQ)
  • Support for systems with up to 1 TB of physical memory
  • Support for up to 384 virtual machines

HyperV Server virtual machines provide:

  • 32-bit (x86) and 64-bit (x64) virtual machines
  • Up to 4 virtual processors per virtual machine
  • Up to 31 GB memory for all running virtual machines (1GB reserved for Hyper-V Server Parent Partition)

Benefits of Server Consolidation with HyperV Server 2008

Hyper-V Server 2008 with System Centre Operations Manager provides for the same kinds of peak load handling, and security previously available only with dedicated servers. The new architecture in Hyper-V Server 2008 adds flexibility to consolidated servers. By enabling virtual servers to take advantage of powerful features like multi-core technology, better handling of disk access, and greater memory support, Hyper-V improves scalability and performance.

When to Consolidate with HyperV Server 2008

Hyper-V Server 2008 is a good solution for organizations that want to consolidate information on a single server or who have low utilization infrastructure workloads, departmental applications and simple branch office workloads are also candidates to virtualize using Hyper-V Server 2008.

Organizations should consider using Hyper-V Server 2008 for situations where server consolidation is required and no new licenses of Windows Server 2008 are required and where the servers being consolidated
are running some other OS than Windows Server 2008 (Windows Server 2000, Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2003R2, Linux, and Other), where remote management is an option.

Remote Site Virtualization and Consolidation

Remote sites face several challenges like server virtualization, and the need for remote management due to limited or non-existent local IT departments. Remote infrastructures benefit from server consolidation. Rather than using multiple small servers, each dedicated to a specific function, such as e-mail services, print services, faxing, or vertical applications, those servers can be virtualized on a single midlevel server.

A single-server approach with virtual machines taking over for previously dedicated servers also means reduced power requirements, reduced space requirements, and having only one server to manage and back up. Under certain circumstances, Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2008 provides a flexible and responsive virtualization solution that enables organizations to virtualize their remote site infrastructure. Businesses can consolidate small remote site servers with Hyper-V Server 2008 to virtualize low utilization infrastructure workloads, departmental applications and simple branch office workloads. For example, Hyper-V Server 2008 is a good solution if your organization is consolidating low utilized servers (file, print, or perhaps a local read-only DC for a small branch office).

Hyper-V Server 2008 is particularly suited for remote sites because it is a stand-alone product which leverages the vast set of drivers already built for Windows and provides high performance with less overhead for device virtualization with new IO virtualization architecture. Hyper-V Server 2008 also enables complete scripted control of virtual machine environments through comprehensive WMI interfaces. In addition, Hyper-V Server 2008 also provides remote sites with data protection and backup with its integrated VSS support for backup.

Repurposing Older Hardware

Hyper-V Server 2008 is especially suited for organizations that are consolidating and decommissioning older hardware or want to consolidate information to extend the hardware's life with better functionality. Hyper-V Server 2008 can run on legacy systems and operating systems such as Microsoft® Windows Server 2000, Windows Server 2003, and Linux workloads, or workloads virtualized with Microsoft Virtual Server, so it is a good solution for consolidating information on a single stand-alone server of older hardware.