TECH BRIEF

Microsoft unveils Hyper-V Server 2008 R2

Microsoft has released the latest version of its free standalone server virtualization solution.

The new release, Hyper-V Server 2008 R2, can take advantage of greater computing resources compared with the first version. With R2, Microsoft increased the number of physical and logical processors supported. As well, the product now supports physical memory of up to one terabyte (see Table).

R2 works with various Windows client and server operating systems and can be downloaded here.

Comparing Hyper-V Server V1 vs. V2


Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2008

Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2008 R2

Physical processor support

Up to 4 processors

Up to 8 processors

Logical processor support

Up to 16

Up to 64

Physical memory support

Up to 32 GB

Up to 1 TB

Live migration

No

Yes

High availability

No

Yes

Management options

Hyper-V MMC, Windows Server 2008, Windows Server 2008 R2, System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2008/R2

Remote Server Administration Tool (Free), Windows Server 2008 R2, System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2008 R2

This release features Microsoft's built-in "live migration" capability. Live migration is designed to move virtual machines (VMs) with no perceived loss of uptime by end users. It also can facilitate hardware updates (such as basic input/output system changes or memory upgrades) during planned downtimes. The VMs can be moved out before the hardware upgrade and then moved back when the work is completed.

Microsoft includes a "processor compatibility" feature in Hyper-V Server 2008 R2 that allows VMs to be moved across different processor generations provided that the processors come from the same hardware vendor. So users can move VMs across Intel chipsets or across AMD chipsets, for instance, but not across a mixture of the two.

Hyper-V Server 2008 R2 can run up to 384 VMs with up to 512 virtual processors per server, according to Microsoft's team blog. Management can be accomplished using Microsoft's free Remote Server Administration Tool for Windows 7, or Windows Server 2008 R2 or System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2008 R2.

Microsoft also made it easier for its original equipment manufacturer partners to ship the hypervisor. Hyper-V Server 2008 R2 includes a new feature that lets users boot it from a flash drive.

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