Up and Coming

  • Migration of my QA blogs

Sunday, 5 October 2008

Microsoft Hyper-V Server is NOW Available

Microsoft have now released their Hyper-V Server platform (not to be confused with Hyper-V running on Windows Server 2008). This product has been on the horizon for a little while but Microsoft have been fairly quite about it until the recent Technet Edge announcement.
The Good News
Microsoft Hyper-V Server (notice the Microsoft branding not Windows) is the smallest OS footprint product today. The best way to look at this product is Windows 2008 Server Core with a single pre-installed role, this role being Hyper-V. The product is free of charge and can be downloaded today from Microsoft (about 930MB). It can then be installed and used as a virtualization platform leveraging Hyper-V as the underlying architecture. The product does not have a GUI so it will need to be managed from a computer that has the Hyper-V manager installed (either Windows Server 2008 or Vista SP1 with the Remote Server Administration Tools, RSAT installed). Microsoft have supplied a Hyper-V configuration applet (HVConfig.vbs, see picture above) that allows the basic configuration settings to be adjusted rather than having to get to grips with NETSH, NETDOM and all the other tools.
The Not So Good News
The product comes with a number of restrictions which might limit some of the deployment options that it might be used in. The main restrictions are:-

  • No High Availability Support
  • No Quick Migration Support
  • Host limited to 4CPU's and 32GB Memory
  • No Guest Virtualization Rights (all OS's require a license)


This product is designed to be used in a number of areas but it has been designed to be the most basic version of the Hyper-V platform from Microsoft. The Virtual Disk format is the standard VHD format from Microsoft and therefore means these files can easily be move to the full Hyper-V platforms to provide the advance features that might be required.

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