Hyper-V server 2012 R2 – or the free hypervisor that can do it all…

You probably already know about vSphere Hypervisor (ESXi), the free hypervisor product from Vmware. Some of you may already be using it, either for testing or in smaller scale production deployments.
Looking at the feature set compared to the larger versions, there is a distinct lack of features in this version:

  • No live migrations (vMotion or Storage vMotion)
  • No High Availability
  • No Replication
  • No integration to management tools (ex. vCenter)

So basically, it is meant to run a single server with non-critical virtual machines (which usually describes your typical test environment).

But what if there was another option… Well there is.

Microsoft Hyper-V Server (which has been around since Windows 2008) has just been updated and released in a new version, 2012 R2. With this you get all the features of Windows Server 2012 R2 Datacenter FOR FREE. A quick rundown on some of the new features are seen here on Technet.

And all the limitations of the vSphere Hypervisor is gone, since you also get:

  • High Availability in the form of Failover Clustering
  • Live migration of virtual machines, both “normal” and storage migration
  • Shared nothing live migration, where you can migrate a virtual machine between 2 non-clustered hosts without incurring downtime
  • Replication of virtual machines using Hyper-V Replica
  • Full integration with the System Center portfolio, in case you have those products

So, are you looking to provision some virtualization hosts but doesn’t like the feature set in the vSphere Hypervisor, Hyper-V Server is the product for you.

Swing by Technet and grab your copy of it.

And for those of you virtualizing Linux VM’s, there is off course also a wide range of these supported in Hyper-V. See the list here.

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