It has been several months since Microsoft’s Hyper-V has become officially available. Since then, there have been some twists and variations, including a dedicated Hyper-V Server product that doesn’t require any Windows Server licenses (I’ll write about that sometime in the future). It seemed like a good time to take a small step back and re-assess the state of Hyper-V. In the early days, there was no shortage of fear, uncertainty, and doubt (FUD) being cast at the product. Just a few months later, most experts seem to agree that Hyper-V is ready for the Enterprise and is a perfectly-viable option for data center deployments.
My recent SearchServerVirtualization.com article, Assessing Hyper-V’s Benefits, limitations looks at some of the details. From the article’s introduction:
Earlier this year, the letters "ESX" were synonymous with server virtualization and VMware seemed to be the only practical game in town. It has now been a few months since a stealthy little software behemoth from the Pacific Northwest released its serious virtualization contender. And in that time, things have changed. In this tip, I’ll highlight some of the post-release considerations for Hyper-V.
Hyper-V’s strengths and weaknesses
Hyper-V’s primary strength is probably its ready availability in the data center. If you’re running Windows Server 2008 on 64-bit hardware, you’re just minutes away from enabling an industrial-strength Hypervisor. Hyper-V’s management tools should be familiar to anyone who manages Windows systems, and the last few months have shown that it is a stable and reliable option for the data center.
Of course, Hyper-V is not without its limitations. Virtualization experts are quick to point out that it doesn’t support live migration of VMs between servers and doesn’t allow administrators to over-commit memory (VMware provides both features). But, Hyper-V provides numerous options based on clustering, so building highly-available Hyper-V deployments is possible and supported. Users of this new product on the enterprise virtualization scene will need some time before completely trusting this candidate over the incumbents.
The full article is available for free and provides details related to support policies, and technical pros and cons of Microsoft’s latest virtualization product.