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Monday, 22 September 2008

Hyper-V Live Migration

Microsoft have let small pieces of information about Windows 7 Server (Windows Server 2008 R2) slip. The latest has been a demonstration of the Hyper-V Live Migration technology.
Background - Quick Migration
When Microsoft started work on Hyper-V they approached the product with a few simple philosophies, the main one being 'make it good enough'. What this means is provide the features that all companies really need. This approach gave us Quick Migration (QM). QM enables Virtual Machines to be moved from one physical computer to another quickly. This process is not transparent to the users. Depending on a number of factors (memory, disk speed, etc) this could be less than 2seconds and to up to 1minute. For most companies being able to move machines quickly is good enough as companies would not be moving Virtual Machines from one physical host to another with hundreds of users connected, the risks are too great. So as these moves are planned and the fact a move takes a small amount of time is 'Good Enough', especially when compared to VMWare who do provide high quality Live Migration capability at a significant cost and QM is free and in the box with Windows Server 2008 Enterprise and Datacenter Editions.
Live Migration
Microsoft always new they would be providing Live Migration (LM) capability in time. LM allows Virtual Machines to be moved from one physical computer to another without any perceived user interruption as part of a planned migration. This feature will be provided in the next release of Hyper-V that will be in Windows Server 2008 R2. Follow the link above for a video demonstration of the technology. Again this feature will be free of charge in the Enterprise and Datacenter editions.

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