Windows Server 2008 Hyper-V Product Overview

Windows Server 2008 Hyper-V Product Overview
Hyper-V Product Overview – An Early Look
Windows Server 2008 Hyper-V Product Overview – An
Early look
Microsoft Corporation
Published: December 2007
Hyper-V Product Overview – An Early Look
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Hyper-V Product Overview – An Early Look
Table of Contents
Introduction .................................................................................................................................................. 5
Hyper-V Overview ......................................................................................................................................... 6
Flexible Virtualization Capabilities............................................................................................................ 6
Robust Virtualization Platform.................................................................................................................. 7
Enhanced Security..................................................................................................................................... 7
Hyper-V as Part of Microsoft’s Datacenter-to-desktop Virtualization Strategy ........................................... 8
Server Virtualization ................................................................................................................................. 8
Presentation Virtualization ....................................................................................................................... 9
Desktop Virtualization............................................................................................................................... 9
Application Virtualization.......................................................................................................................... 9
Comprehensive Management in a Familiar Environment ........................................................................ 9
Addressing Key Business Needs..................................................................................................................10
Server Consolidation...............................................................................................................................10
Cost Savings ........................................................................................................................................10
Optimizing Infrastructure....................................................................................................................11
Flexibility .............................................................................................................................................11
Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery ............................................................................................11
Testing and Development.......................................................................................................................12
Extensive Guest Operating System Support .......................................................................................13
Virtual Machine Libraries and Self-service Portals .............................................................................13
Checkpoints in Testing and Development ..........................................................................................13
Moving Toward the Dynamic Datacenter...............................................................................................13
Automated Virtual Machine Reconfiguration.....................................................................................14
Flexible Resource Control ...................................................................................................................14
Quick Migration ..................................................................................................................................15
Utilization Counters ............................................................................................................................15
Branch Office Management....................................................................................................................15
Server Consolidation in the Branch Office..........................................................................................15
Business Continuity/Disaster Recovery in the Branch Office .............................................................15
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Development and Testing for the Branch Office ................................................................................16
Improving Agility in the Branch Office ................................................................................................16
Summary .....................................................................................................................................................16
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Introduction
Today’s datacenter is a complex ecosystem with different kinds of servers, operating systems, and
applications interacting with a wide variety of desktop computers and mobile client computers. For IT
departments, managing and supporting this assortment of mission-critical technologies is a challenge.
Deploying server virtualization technology—moving disparate servers to virtual machines (Virtual
machines) in a centrally managed environment—is an increasingly popular option for facing this
challenge.
Virtualization reduces IT costs, increases hardware utilization, optimizes business and network
infrastructure, and improves server availability.
Windows Server® 2008 includes Hyper-V (formerly codenamed viridian), a powerful virtualization
technology that enables businesses to take advantage of the benefits of virtualization without having to
buy third-party software.
The most widely leveraged benefit of virtualization technology is server consolidation, enabling one
server to take on the workloads of multiple servers. For example, by consolidating a branch office’s print
server, FAX server, Exchange server, and Web server on a single Windows Server, businesses reduce the
costs of hardware, maintenance, and staffing.
Hyper-V enables consolidation of a broad range of services ranging from resource-intensive services like
Microsoft SQL Server™ to third-party applications that may run on previous versions of Windows® or
Linux. In addition to reducing the cost of buying or leasing server hardware, virtualization reduces costs
associated with managing server heat, electricity usage, physical space, and maintenance.
Hyper-V enables more than server consolidation, however. It also improves network reliability,
scalability, security, and flexibility. Servers that slow down due to peak usage at the start of the
workday, for example, can offload some of their workloads to other servers, which increase their
capabilities, or move to more powerful servers, improving network availability. Virtual machines are
able to take advantage of security and capacity advancements found in the current generation of server
hardware. Server software designed for other operating systems like Linux can run on the same
hardware as Windows solutions, and take advantage of centralized management using industrystandard tools, making Hyper-V a flexible alternative to dedicating separate servers to a single type of
architecture or operating system with disparate management tools.
This white paper introduces Hyper-V as a key component of the Microsoft datacenter-to-desktop
virtualization strategy. It shows how new and enhanced features in Hyper-V help relieve enterprise
customer pain points in common scenarios: server consolidation, business continuity and disaster
recovery management, testing and development, and the dynamic data center. It also highlights how
these benefits scale to meet the unique needs of small businesses and branch offices.
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Hyper-V Overview
Microsoft has been providing powerful virtualization tools for years. Microsoft Virtual Server 2005, the
current server offering, remains a leader in compatibility and industry support. As virtualization goes
mainstream — majority of enterprise organizations are using or evaluating virtualization — and
businesses are benefiting from total cost of ownership reduction for server infrastructure and the other
advantages for server consolidation and increased agility. IT administrators and planners are now
looking to extend the use and virtualize applications and processes that are more demanding. They want
more powerful and flexible virtualization solutions that are better integrated with their management
tools, and that can take advantage of the next generation of 64-bit server hardware.
In light of these developments, Microsoft developed Hyper-V, a next-generation, 64-bit virtualization
technology that reduces costs, increases hardware utilization, optimizes network and business
infrastructure, and improves server availability.
Hyper-V is a key feature of Windows Server 2008, integrating with familiar, Windows-based server
management tools. Businesses don’t have to purchase additional software to take advantage of
powerful virtualization features like live backup and quick migration. For customers who want a
complete server management solution that works with virtual machines and physical servers,
Microsoft’s System Center product line now includes advanced virtual machine management and
monitoring capabilities. Hyper-V’s open architecture enables internal development teams and thirdparty software developers to build enhancements to the technology and tools.
With Hyper-V, Microsoft provides a platform with flexible and robust virtualization capabilities.
Flexible Virtualization Capabilities
Hyper-V is part of the Microsoft datacenter-to-desktop virtualization strategy, delivering the benefits of
virtualization at all levels of a company’s IT infrastructure. Its server virtualization features can benefit
not only enterprise-level servers with hundreds or thousands of clients, but also servers in small branch
offices, and everything in between.
Hyper-V enables virtual machines to take advantage of very large amounts of memory, powerful multicore processors, dynamic storage solutions, and the latest generation of fast networking functionality.
That means even very resource-intensive, mission-critical server applications become viable candidates
for consolidation and virtualization rather than requiring their own dedicated servers.
At the other end of the spectrum, businesses can consolidate small branch office servers to benefit from
Hyper-V and System Center features, such as centralized management and monitoring, automated
backup, and industry-standard management tools. This enables branch locations to operate without
local IT staffs, with the branch’s servers being completely managed and backed up by the central office.
In the event of a severe problem at the branch, virtual machine backups can be very quickly redeployed
to new hardware. The central office can use local contractors for any hands-on work, secure in the
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knowledge that they’ll be familiar with the standard Windows interface on the branch’s network
management tools.
System Center is able to increase system flexibility by converting existing physical servers to VM-based
servers. For example, System Center Virtual Machine Manager’s Physical-to-virtual (P2V) conversion
enables an administrator to standardize the server hardware platform and use virtualization to bring
even some line of business applications into a virtual machine format, all from the console and with
minimal downtime. With System Center monitoring tools this process can be automated based on
administrator-determined metrics.
Robust Virtualization Platform
Virtual machines can leverage powerful clustering, backup, and security features in Windows Server
2008 to keep the network running as smoothly as possible through demand spikes, increased workload,
or server problems. Hyper-V uses Windows Server 2008’s Volume Shadow Copy Services to enable fast
and reliable disaster recovery, getting businesses back to work with the minimum of interruption, even
after natural disasters or hardware failures.
Host clustering uses multiple physical servers to minimize the potential impact of one server failing.
Guest clustering uses multiple virtual machines to provide the same type of protection for Virtual
machines as well as load balancing within a single virtualization host server. Hyper-V supports host and
guest clustering, enabling network architects to design and implement more robust and flexible network
configurations.
Hyper-V’s quick migration feature enables Virtual machines to be moved to other servers, automatically
or manually, with minimal downtime.
Customers can leverage their current management investments in products like System Center
Operations Manager (SCOM) to preempt problems by identifying important but non-urgent issues with
servers—a system nearing its maximum capacity, for example. SCOM can alert administrators, and/or
automatically move that server to virtual machine on another physical server based on thresholds.
Enhanced Security
Security is a core challenge in every server solution, whether physical or virtualized. Virtualization hosts
are, in many ways, at least as exposed as their standalone counterparts. However, the exposure of the
host systems, if not managed, could also lead to weakening of the security of the virtual machines.
Hyper-V enhances virtual machine and host security in several ways.
Hyper-V enables virtual machines to take advantage of hardware-level security features available on
servers built with the latest generation of processors. For example, “execute disable bit” is a hardwarelevel feature that senses the most common type of virus attacks and prevents many viruses from being
able to take over a system, overload the system, and spread to other machines.
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Shared servers with multiple administrators can also present security risks. Hyper-V provides strong
role-based security through Active Directory and Group Policy integration, preventing exposure of
secure virtual machines through shared servers. For example, a system can be set up so that the
administrator for the payroll application is unable to reconfigure the mail server.
By integrating with industry-standard network security tools, Hyper-V enables administrators to provide
the same kinds of protections for the host systems and virtual machines that they provide for physical
servers. Virtual machines can utilize the Windows Firewall and Network Access Protection Policies
(quarantine) just like physical servers.
Hyper-V’s streamlined architecture itself represents a security benefit. By minimizing the code base for
the hypervisor component of the virtualization technology in combination with the Server Core
installation option of Windows Server 2008, Hyper-V is able to present a much smaller “attack surface”
for viruses and malicious attacks.
Hyper-V as Part of Microsoft’s Datacenter-to-desktop
Virtualization Strategy
The Microsoft datacenter-to-desktop virtualization strategy enables businesses to leverage virtualization
benefits throughout the organization. Hyper-V is an integral part of the overall Microsoft virtualization
strategy. This section will briefly describe the different components of Microsoft’s strategy and
establishes the context of how Hyper-V along with other technologies helps you solve your
organizations pain points. Microsoft’s virtualization strategy includes five key components:
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Server virtualization, enabling multiple servers to run on the same physical server
Presentation virtualization, enabling remote users to access their office desktops or serverbased applications
Desktop virtualization, enabling desktop operating systems to be consolidated into the
datacenter
Application virtualization, helping to prevent conflicts between applications on the same PC
Comprehensive management, tying virtual components into the same management tools used
to monitor and control physical components
Server Virtualization
Microsoft has two server virtualization offerings: Hyper-V in Windows Server 2008, and Virtual Server
2005 R2. Hyper-V extends virtualization capability to manage 32-bit Virtual machines alongside 64-bit
Virtual machines, enable Virtual machines to access larger amounts of memory, and enable Virtual
machines to leverage multiple processors. Virtualization is a key feature of the operating system and
helps customers get complete isolation of the different virtual machines and still benefit from server
consolidation.
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Presentation Virtualization
Presentation virtualization is a technology that enables applications to execute on a remote server, yet
display its user interface locally. Microsoft’s presentation virtualization technology, Microsoft Terminal
Services, enables remote users to connect to their office desktops from anywhere in the world, taking
full advantage of applications, resources, and familiar interfaces even from computers with different
operating systems or system capabilities. Administrators can access system management tools from
remote locations, for example, or applications can be run on a server and accessed by remote users.
Presentation virtualization enables customers to centralize and secure data, reduce cost of managing
applications, reduce test costs for compatibility between the OS and applications, and potentially
improve the performance of systems overall.
Desktop Virtualization
When server virtualization is used host client OSes for remote access, this approach is often called
desktop virtualization. While the principles of desktop virtualization are similar to server virtualization,
this approach can be useful in a variety of situations. One of the most common is to deal with
incompatibility between applications and desktop operating systems. For example, suppose a user
running Windows Vista needs to use an application that runs only on Windows XP with Service Pack 2.
By creating a VM that runs this older operating system, then installing the application in that VM, this
problem can be solved. Microsoft VirtualPC is an example of a solution in this space to help address the
scenario for hosting VMs in a desktop environment for application compatibility.
Application Virtualization
Application virtualization helps isolate the application running environment from the operating system
install requirements by creating application-specific copies of all shared resources and helps reduce
application to application incompatibility and testing needs. With Microsoft SoftGrid, desktop and
network users can also reduce application installation time and eliminate potential conflicts between
applications by giving each application a virtual environment that’s not quite as extensive as an entire
virtual machine. By providing an abstracted view of key parts of the system, application virtualization
reduces the time and expense required to deploy and update applications.
Comprehensive Management in a Familiar Environment
Virtualization technologies provide a range of benefits. Yet as an organization’s computing environment
gets more virtualized, it also gets more abstract. Increasing abstraction can increase complexity, making
it harder for IT staff to control their world. The corollary is clear: If a virtualized world isn’t managed
well, its benefits can be elusive.
To a large degree, the specifics of managing a virtualized world are the same as those of managing a
physical world, and so the same tools can be used. To this end, Windows Server virtualization and the
Microsoft System Center family of products includes many management features designed to make
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managing virtual machines simple and familiar while enabling easy access to powerful VM-specific
management functions.
Having multiple management interfaces excludes Virtual machines from network-wide shared
management tools, making problems more difficult to diagnose and address than necessary. System
Center family is designed to provide an integrated management experience for all your virtual and
physical resources in the same industry-standard tools that administrators are already using to manage
large numbers of physical server resources. When an administrator checks the status for a group of
servers, issues on virtual machines are presented along with issues on physical servers.
Using a familiar environment to manage virtual resources reduces the learning curve for system
administrators, enabling administration teams to reuse knowledge they already have to manage a new
virtualization environment. Standardizing on Windows also makes it easy to find support from
Microsoft’s far-reaching partner ecosystem. System Center is designed to help businesses create selfmanaging dynamic systems, where the management and monitoring tools are able to diagnose and
address problems in an automated fashion with as little human interaction as possible.
For more details of how each of these components function and their specific usage benefits, please
refer to www.microsoft.com/virtualization.
Addressing Key Business Needs
In this section we will see how Hyper-V helps address some of the key solution scenarios:
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Server consolidation
Business continuity and disaster recovery
Testing and development
Moving to the dynamic datacenter
Branch office management
Server Consolidation
One of the leading drivers for adoption of virtualization technology is server consolidation. Businesses
are under pressure to ease management and reduce costs while retaining and enhancing competitive
advantages, such as flexibility, reliability, scalability, and security. The fundamental use of virtualization
to help consolidate many servers on a single system while maintaining isolation helps address these
demands.
Cost Savings
Reducing the number of servers means more than just cost reduction in hardware expenditures. Power
consumption for servers and heating problems—rapidly becoming pain points for data centers, large
and small—are reduced by deploying fewer servers. Consolidation also leaves a smaller data center
physical footprint, resulting in cost reduction in facilities management and real estate.
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Deploying virtual machines on a standard platform of reliable, enterprise-class servers improves systems
availability and reduces management costs.
Optimizing Infrastructure
Today, most dedicated servers run at far below their capacity and only utilize 5% -15% of the actual
hardware capabilities. This low asset utilization is a problem created by the lack of flexibility in utilizing
computing resources and the difficulty in estimating how much capacity would be required by the
workloads. Traditionally, most organization allocate server resources for production workloads based on
processing power, storage, and memory to handle anticipated peak loads and unanticipated usage
spikes rather than having optimal capacity to meet their normal operating requirements. The result is
that most of the additional capacity allocated for peaks sits idle rather than working to process current
workloads. Such workloads are great candidates for consolidation using virtualization and allocating
resources based on usage needs and balancing the total computing resources across several virtual
machines.
Server virtualization also enables previously unused or under-used server capacity to be better utilized.
Rather than dedicate a server to a task that leaves most of its capacity untapped, that server can
become a host to virtual machines, apportioning its resources to multiple workloads.
Hyper-V with System Center Operations Manager provides for the same kinds of peak load handling,
clustering, and security previously available only with dedicated servers.
Flexibility
The new architecture in Hyper-V adds flexibility to consolidated servers. By enabling virtual machines to
take advantage of powerful features like multi-core technology, improved disk access, and greater
memory support, Hyper-V improves scalability and performance of the virtualization platform.
Combined with the rest of the Windows Server 2008 capabilities, Hyper-V now enables you to
consolidate most workloads including 32-bit and 64-bit workloads on a single system and helps you
balance 64-bit technology adoption with continued support for 32-bit workloads that are already in your
environment.
Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery
Business continuity is the ability to minimize both scheduled and unscheduled downtime. That includes
time lost to routine functions, such as maintenance and backup, as well as unanticipated outages.
Hyper-V includes powerful business continuity features, enabling businesses to meet stringent uptime
and response metrics.
Disaster recovery is a key component of business continuity. Natural disasters, malicious attacks, and
even simple configuration problems like software conflicts can cripple services and applications until
administrators resolve the problems and restore any backed up data. Rapid and reliable disaster and
business recovery demands minimal data loss and powerful remote management capabilities.
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Hyper-V now supports volume shadow copy services (VSS), an automated backup feature that enables
point in time backups of running virtual machines without any interruption. Combined with System
Center Data Protection Manager or other similar backup technologies from the vast set of Microsoft
partners, you can now take these snapshot backups and enable the data to be stored in secure
locations, even offsite locations, for when it’s needed. In a disaster recovery situation where the original
host server can’t be recovered, administrators can easily recreate the virtual machine from a backup
copy in a manner of minutes to recreate the server in another location and minimize overall downtime.
What’s more, now with the standard VHD format for virtual machines, you can now confidently restore
the virtual machine in the remote location on any hardware resource with Hyper-V platform enabled.
System Center Operations Manager’s health monitoring feature, combined with Hyper-V capabilities,
now enables administrators at remote locations to see the states of servers in real time. It also responds
programmatically to server problems, potentially using administrator-created scripts to launch disaster
recovery tasks without manual intervention. System monitoring is useful for contingency planning, for
example, showing the minimum capabilities that would be required of a server being called into service
to take over for one that fails.
One of the core features of Hyper-V, Quick Migration, has been specifically designed for improving
business continuity. In combination with Windows Server 2008’s clustering support in Enterprise and
Datacenter editions, Quick Migration enables high availability features for virtual machines, so if one
server fails, its workload can be picked up by another node member with minimal interruption in user
access. This feature is also useful for improving availability during planned maintenance windows and
enables the administrators to move the virtual machines to other systems before performing hardware
or software update maintenance on the primary host system.
These features and much more now make Hyper-V a robust virtualization platform that provides
business continuity and disaster recovery protection for all your virtual machines, while leveraging the
full capabilities of your existing server and management infrastructure.
Testing and Development
Testing and development are frequently the first business functions to take advantage of virtualization
technology. Using virtual machines, development staffs can create and test a wide variety of scenarios in
a safe, self-contained environment that accurately approximates the operation of physical servers and
clients.
For example, a development team can test the latest version of an application on multiple platforms
with a variety of virtual hardware capabilities. An IT department can use virtual machines to test
deployment of new server and client features.
Hyper-V maximizes utilization of test hardware, reducing costs, improving lifecycle management and
improving test coverage.
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Extensive Guest Operating System Support
Hyper-V supports 64-bit virtual machines running Windows, specific 3rd party operating systems
including some distributions of Xen-enabled Linux, enabling virtual machine based test beds to run the
vast majority of server applications and workloads. Hyper-V also runs most other major operating
systems in 32-bit virtual machines. Because Hyper-V supports simultaneous 64-bit and 32-bit Virtual
machines in the same environment, a very wide array of scenarios can be designed, tested, and
deployed, all within the Hyper-V virtual machine environment using industry-standard management
tools.
Virtual Machine Libraries and Self-service Portals
System Center Virtual Machine Manager includes the ability to store and manage virtual machines in
libraries, which is very valuable for testing and development. A library might include virtual machines or
templates of virtual machines based on each operating system used throughout the company, enabling
development staff to test new products rapidly to understand the impact on all those environments
before deploying them to the live network.
In many testing environments, server-level virtual machines have to be created and managed by server
administrators—even virtual machines that will only exist for a few hours. That situation can create
needless demands on administrators and delays for testers. With SCVMM’s self-service portal feature,
testers can set up and remove testing Virtual machines as needed, without involving administrators. The
administrators still get to control the overall resource allocation for each set of testers and also control
the types of virtual machines that can be accessed or created in the network.
Hyper-V provides a strong platform for these capabilities with deep integration with Active Directory
and Group Policy support. The fine grained resource control provided by Hyper-V also helps
administrators isolate the testing environment via the use of features like VLAN support.
Checkpoints in Testing and Development
Checkpoints, in addition to being a valuable tool for disaster recovery, also provide benefits for testing
and development.
Some testing and development procedures involve a lot of waiting for programs and operating systems
to install, uninstall, and reinstall. With Hyper-V’s checkpoint feature, a virtual machine that has been
changed (for example, one where a new application has been installed) can be reset to a previous
configuration, minimizing the need to uninstall programs or reinstall operating systems. This also helps
test applications across various configurations easily (such as with different service packs applied to the
OS), enabling you to save both time and minimizing hardware requirement for the test suite.
Moving Toward the Dynamic Datacenter
Datacenters face increased pressure to optimize hardware and facilities usage, and to increase
performance and leverage business intelligence. Hyper-V gives data centers the agility they need to
respond to changing needs, and the power and flexibility to design for the future.
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Hyper-V together with your existing system management solutions, such as Microsoft System Center,
helps realize the dynamic data center vision of providing self-managing dynamic systems and
operational agility. Integrating industry-standard monitoring and management tools enables the system
to become more and more self-healing as administrators respond to problems. For example, if an
administrator adds memory to a server every time that server’s memory usage hits a certain level, the
system can be instructed to carry out the same kind of correction by automating certain actions to
happen when the memory thresholds are reached.
Hyper-V and Microsoft System Center benefits for the dynamic data center include:
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•
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Reduce Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) by consolidating server functions on the most efficient
hardware
Ensure resources are appropriately sized and used
Support and enhance business processes
Maximize hardware utilization
Reduce IT complexity and management
Simplify and automate the design, deployment, and operation of complex systems
Automated Virtual Machine Reconfiguration
The Hyper-V virtual machine configuration capabilities enable advanced management tools, such as
System Center Virtual Machine Manager, to reconfigure virtual machines with additional memory,
processor cores, storage, and networking, all with minimal downtime. A dynamic data center uses this
technology not only to respond to problems, but to anticipate increased demands.
The dynamic data center can provide additional processing power in anticipation of a Web-based
promotion, for example. If the payroll system always slows during the last few days of the month, the
system can add capacity for that period and free up those resources for other virtual machines after that
time has passed.
These changing demands don’t even have to be anticipated, because System Center Operations
Manager (SCOM) and SCVMM can respond to increased needs as they occur. If an unexpected product
review drives a spike in Web traffic, for example, SCOM can detect the server reaching a set threshold of
system utilization and use a SCOM task to launch additional web server virtual machines to share the
load.
Flexible Resource Control
Virtual machines can also take advantage of flexible resource control, enabling them to use resources
that might otherwise go idle.
For example, an application that requires 2 GB of memory might run better with 4 GB. While it wouldn’t
trigger an administrator alert running in a 2GB VM, it still wouldn’t be running up to its capacity. Flexible
resource control (memory reserves, in this case) enables the system to set a floor for a particular
setting—2 GB of memory, in this case—but give Virtual machines as much extra capacity as the server
has available at any time. In this example, whenever the server didn’t need memory elsewhere it would
dedicate its excess to the virtual machine. Virtual machines that aren’t able to take advantage of
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resources beyond a certain level can set a ceiling as well, telling the system to use its excess resources
beyond that level elsewhere.
Quick Migration
Hyper-V’s quick migration features in Windows Server 2008 Enterprise and Datacenter editions leverage
failover clustering to enable running virtual machines to be moved to other servers with minimal
downtime. Dynamic data centers leverage quick migration to make sure applications and servers are
running on hardware with appropriate capabilities for their current needs. A server providing application
updates, for example, could migrate to a more powerful server in anticipation of a company-wide
software update.
Utilization Counters
Hyper-V utilization counters provide server administrators with detailed server load and performance
information to facilitate planning and analysis. The feature helps convert server processor time,
bandwidth usage, logged-in time, or other metrics to billable dollars.
Branch Office Management
Branch offices face several challenges like server deployment, business continuity, and the need for
remote management due to limited or nonexistent local IT departments.
Hyper-V includes several features that enable remote and hands-off management, often eliminating the
need for local IT staff. Routine functions, such as data backup, can be automated. Servers can address
many problems without administrator assistance, using features such as Hyper-V’s automated virtual
machine reconfiguration.
Like datacenters, branch offices benefit from Hyper-V features enabling server consolidation, business
continuity and disaster recovery, development and testing, and even dynamic datacenter functionality.
Server Consolidation in the Branch Office
Server consolidation is a core scenario even in a remote environment as most workloads in a branch
environment are not heavily taxed. Rather than using multiple small servers, each dedicated to a
function like e-mail services, print services, faxing, or vertical applications, those servers can be
virtualized on a single mid-level or high end server, and helps you save on hardware and manageability.
Virtualization enables cost reductions in staff, management, and facilities. Moving branch offices to
virtualization enables remote management, which reduces or eliminates the need for local IT staff. A
single-server approach with virtual machines taking over for previously dedicated servers also means
reduced power requirements, reduced space requirements, and having only one (or fewer) server to
manage and back up.
Business Continuity/Disaster Recovery in the Branch Office
Branch offices can use virtualization technology to leverage business continuity technologies otherwise
available only to larger data centers. With Windows Server 2008 and Hyper-V’s business continuity
features, clustering and remote management become cost-effective even in smaller branches. Should a
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disaster occur at a branch office, the central office IT staff can create and test a full complement of
virtual machines with the branch’s own data, send the virtual machines to the branch by means of highspeed Internet connection or other media, and have the branch operating again with significantly less
downtime than rebuilding a physical environment.
Development and Testing for the Branch Office
With virtualization technology, an entire network with multiple servers can be designed, assembled, and
tested in a central-office IT department. Its Virtual machines can then be installed remotely or shipped
to a branch office on one or more DVDs, eliminating the need to contract with local technicians. The
entire process is managed from the central office with little or no need for a local IT staff.
Improving Agility in the Branch Office
One of the biggest challenges with a remote infrastructure environment is that not all workloads can be
easily and quickly deployed across all the branches of an organization. Hyper-V helps branches by
minimizing hardware dependencies and also using an industry standard VHD format to ensure
portability. Combined with System Center Virtual Machine Manager’s template and placement
capabilities, you can now quickly deploy applications and workloads across a number of branches
quickly and manage them remotely.
Summary
Hyper-V, a key feature of Windows Server 2008, is a key component of the Microsoft datacenter-todesktop virtualization strategy. Other components of this strategy include:
•
•
•
Presentation virtualization with Microsoft Terminal Services
Desktop virtualization with Microsoft Virtual PC
Application virtualization with Microsoft SoftGrid
All Microsoft virtualization solutions are managed with familiar tools in Windows Server 2008 and the
optional Microsoft System Center suite. The open architecture of Hyper-V solutions enables easy
integration with third-party management tools. Standardizing management with industry-standard tools
means an easier learning curve for administrators and outside support staff.
With Hyper-V, Microsoft provides a hypervisor based virtualization platform that enables flexibility
through reducing costs, increasing hardware utilization, optimizing infrastructure, and improving server
availability. Hyper-V enables Virtual machines to take advantage of enhanced security, including
hardware-level security features.
Server consolidation, reducing costs, is the main reason businesses adopt virtualization. Other drivers
include:
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•
Business continuity and disaster management, keeping the business running reliably
Testing and development, enabling testing in virtual environments rather than on “live”
computers
Windows Server 2008 Hyper-V Product Overview
Page 16
Hyper-V Product Overview – An Early Look
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Moving to the dynamic datacenter, optimizing server utilization and providing for self-managing
systems
Branch management, eliminating the need for local IT staff
Hyper-V helps reduce TCO, optimize resource utilization, and enable network administrators to focus on
areas where they can add value, rather than merely perform routine functions. This means cost savings
in both staff and training.
Hyper-V is the virtualization platform that provides the greatest flexibility because of dynamic, reliable
and scalable platform capabilities combined with a single set of integrated management tools to
manage both physical and virtual resources, which enables you to create an agile and dynamic
datacenter and progress toward achieving self managing dynamic systems. Hyper-V, a key feature of
Windows Server 2008 provides better reliability, greater scalability and dynamic capabilities that allows
you to virtualize most workloads in your infrastructure.
In addition to leveraging existing individual and collective knowledge of the ITPro community, Microsoft
and its partner ecosystem provide broad support that enables you to deploy applications on Microsoft’s
virtualization platform with confidence and peace of mind.
Windows Server 2008 Hyper-V Product Overview
Page 17
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