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Hyper-V R2 Promises Big Changes

Microsoft has published a list of upgrades with Hyper-V R2, and I've got to say it's one impressive list. Although Hyper-V is still behind ESX (and further behind vSphere), it's clear that Microsoft has listened to its users and added the most-requested features (something that doesn't always happen, despite Microsoft's claims to the contrary).

They start, of course, with Live Migration. Since we now know that Windows Server 2008 R2 will be out by the end of the year, the wait is almost over for the single most-anticipated new technology.

But Microsoft has gone beyond just moving VMs from server to server with negligible downtime; it has introduced processor compatibility, allowing VMs to move between servers with different physical hardware, as long as they share the same brand of processor, i.e. Intel or AMD. Very, very nice for those of you (and that's probably all of you) with heterogenous datacenters.

The other major upgrade is all about scalability. Hyper-V R2 will quadruple processor support, all the way up to 64 logical procs. It's hard to imagine needing that many procs for a VM right now, but it's good to know it's available in the future.

VM density has also been dramatically increased. Microsoft says Hyper-V can support up to 384 concurrently running VMs and 512 virtual procs per server. Yikes, that's a lot of virtualization running on one box! The folks at Redmond have obviously done a lot of work toward increasing Hyper-V's efficiency. Seeing as how current estimates put VM density (the number of VMs running on a single physical server) at 8-12 per host, it will be interesting to see how many more VMs admins feel comfortable adding to a box.

These are not slight improvements to Hyper-V R2; these are major enhancements. What's your take? Do these upgrades excite you? Shoot me an e-mail or comment below.

Posted by Keith Ward on 05/14/2009 at 12:48 PM


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