Enterprise IT managers and techs all over have become increasingly familiar with names such as Xen, Open Xen, KVM, Virtual Box, VMWare and Hyper-V as the virtualization revolution swings in. With buzz words floating around like Public Cloud, Private Cloud, Hybrid Cloud, IaaS and PaaS, it is no wonder that many professionals don’t know which way to turn for their virtualization needs. In the past, VMWare was definitely the dominant player in the data center whereas the market share for SMB’s has been fragmented with those very same names above. While Hyper-V has always had a good reputation, their has been a fierce battle for supremacy in the virtualization market and the stakes are high. Not unlike a Bill O’Reilly vs. Jon Stewart debate, advocates of both platforms come out swinging when the virtues of either is questioned. I have never hidden my preference for Hyper-V and with Server 2012 the *LOVE* only grows stronger. Read on for all of the goodness.
So what is it exactly that now puts Hyper-V at the front of the pack? Quite simply the most convincing of all arguments is the economics one. Hyper-V now offers a built-in feature set that is robust enough for the data center and flexible enough for even a small business at a cost that is significantly less than VMWare. The bang-for-the-buck factor is undeniable and frankly has brought a new level of fervor and excitement to the virtualization realm. Going with Hyper-V means you might have an extra 20K in your pocket for that IT department barbecue, camp out and paintball weekend you always wanted, or if you are in one of those countries where extra money in the budget means a real party – knock yourself out!
While I don’t want to sound like I am the script writer for the latest ShamWow commercial, I can say honestly that there is likely not a business in existence that couldn’t benefit from some of the new features that have been bought to the table with Hyper-V’s latest iteration.
At a glance, we have:
-multiple and simultaneous VM migration and failover
-live migration of storage
-Hyper-V Replica for entire site replication and failover
-Hyper-V extensible switch
-Support for high availability using non-shared storage and notably SMB
-Improved NUMA memory management
...and many many more under-the-hood improvements to make Hyper-V more performant, robust, and reliable. All of this is essentially included with your Windows server licence and with the Windows Server 2012 Datacenter edition you get unlimited virtualization rights. No longer is Hyper-V just cheaper, it is often a cut above VMWare. It is also something that is designed according to Windows style guidelines and is intuitive and easy to manage for IT support staff already familiar with Windows server. (If they turn this into a Metro App, I will pull the article immediately. Please tell me why we need the ability to play Angry Birds on a server designed to be managed remotely from Powershell?) Anyway, the switch to server 2012, even in a data center environment, is compelling for sure.
Anyway, as I play with more of these features in the lab, you can look forward to more insight on each. I look forward to sharing this all with you in the form of writeups and training videos.