Microsoft Hyper-V Takes the Spotlight
April 15, 2013

With Windows Server 2012’s emphasis on private cloud computing, Microsoft Hyper-V has become a key feature. Until now, Hyper-V offers a low-cost alternative to VMware vSphere, making it an attractive prospect for lab and testing purposes, small-to-midsized businesses (SMBs), departmental virtualization, and even disaster recovery.

Now, Hyper-V takes front and center—and it’s no surprise. According to an IDC 2011 study, Hyper-V adoption grew 62 percent last year. Other research by Gartner predicted that Hyper-V would have 27 percent of the virtualization market by the end of 2012. Gartner also predicted that 85 percent of businesses with less than 1,000 employees will use Hyper-V.

For scalability, Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V supports 320 cores and 4TB of RAM per host. It will also support 64 vCPUs and 1TB of RAM per VM. Other important new capabilities include 64-node clusters, shared-nothing Live Migration, Hyper-V Replica, and built-in NIC teaming.

Hyper-V is available with Windows Server 2012, or as a free standalone product. Using Windows Server 2012 with Hyper-V, organizations can choose the level of support for virtualized instances that they need:

  • Windows Server 2012 Datacenter supports unlimited virtual instances on local hardware
  • Windows Server 2012 Standard supports two virtual instances on local hardware
  • Windows Server 2012 Essentials supports no virtualization support

A free version of Server 2012 Hyper-V is also be available in the lesser-known Hyper-V Server 2012. Hyper-V Server 2012 has very near feature parity to the version of Hyper-V in Windows Server 2012. The differences are that Hyper-V Server 2012 has a minimal command-line interface and provides no guest OS licensing provisions. Check out the really cool Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V Component Architecture Poster for a quick summary of the new Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V capabilities.

Adapted from material that originally appeared in Windows IT Pro.