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Hyper-V Moves to RC1

Today, Microsoft published the second release candidate of its new bare-metal hypervisor, Hyper-V. The release keeps Redmond firmly on track to push out the final version of Hyper-V in August.

RC2, according to Microsoft, is feature complete. The upgrades are very minor in nature. It includes support for an older OS, Windows Server 2004 SP4, along with better mouse integration with some Linux installations, and a streamlined install process for Windows Server 2008 Integration Components. One thing to note: If you're also using the first beta of Microsoft's Virtual Machine Manager, which was released late last month, you don't want to upgrade to Hyper-V RC1 (the previous release was RC0), as they're incompatible.

The first Hyper-V RC came out March 19, making it almost exactly two months between updates. The initial beta surprised industry watchers when it came out last December, several months ahead of projections.

For those wondering about the stability and performance potential of Hyper-V, it's interesting to see that two important subsections of Microsoft's Web site, MSDN and TechNet, are running on Hyper-V. An entry on the Windows Virtualization Team Blog gives some insight on the process. From the blog:

"Our production testing began in early February 2008, when we installed the Hyper-V role on two physical servers, with each hosting three VMs running MSDN. Production load on these six VMs progressed from a cautious 1 percent to 20 percent very quickly and smoothly. During the next six weeks, we tested various amounts of load and VM combinations to better understand the performance characteristics and scalability of the product and the site. MSDN was also deployed directly onto matching physical servers to compare VMs against physical performance, scale, and stability with the same load characteristics.

In an effort to push the site and Hyper-V to their performance limits, we replayed production IIS logs by using the Web Capacity Analysis Tool (WCAT) to understand the upper range performance and scale characteristics."

Very cool stuff. Microsoft is well known for dogfooding (is that a word?) its own stuff, and it looks like Hyper-V has exceeded expectations so far. How many Microsoft products can make that claim?

Posted by Keith Ward on 05/20/2008 at 12:48 PM


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