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Live Migrations Get Livelier in Hyper-V Update

One of the highlights of latest version of Hyper-V, which arrived with the release of Windows Server 2012 late last year, is its virtual machine live migration capability. Microsoft claims that Hyper-V 3.0 offers faster migrations at speeds of up to 10 Gigabits per second, while allowing IT pros to conduct simultaneous live migrations. IT pros can also now perform live migrations outside a clustered environment.

So how is Microsoft upping the ante on live migration in Windows Server 2012 R2? Following up on a demo at TechEd last month, Microsoft Principal Program Manager Jeff Woolsey showed attendees at the company's Worldwide Partner Conference in Houston Monday just how much faster IT pros can perform live migrations with the new release. In the demo, Woolsey showed an 8 GB virtual machine running SQL Server, which he described as a worst-case scenario for live migration.

In the demo scenario, migrating Windows Server 2012 to a like system takes just under 1 minute 26 seconds, while the Windows Server 2012 R2 Preview performed the same migration in just over 32 seconds. Then using remote direct memory access (RDMA) during the live migration process combined with SMB Direct, it took just under 11 seconds, without utilizing added CPU resources.

"With compression we're taking advantage of the fact that we know the servers ship with an abundance of compute resources, and we're taking advantage of the fact that we know that most Hyper-V servers are never compute bound," Woolsey said during the WPC demo. "So we're using a little bit of that compute resource to actually compress the virtual machine inline during the live migration. This allows us to compress it and it's actually done a lot faster and much more efficiently. All of this is built into Windows Server 2012 R2."

For those testing Windows Server 2012 R2, are you impressed with the improvements to Live Migration in Hyper-V as well as other new capabilities Microsoft is bringing to its hypervisor? Feel free to comment here or write me at [email protected].

Posted by Jeffrey Schwartz on 07/10/2013 at 12:49 PM


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