Yesterday Microsoft made the announcement that Windows Server 2008 R2 and Windows 7 (both share the same code-base) have reached the RTM milestone! Many thought this was tabled for August 6th, however that is when the likes of MSDN & TechNet users will be able to get theor mits on it!
Its all great news of course, but the important bit for us (www.thefullcircle.com), are the changes to Hyper-V, dubbed Hyper-V v2.
This is a major version upgrade to the product, indeed Microsoft is so confident in the robustness of Hyper-V 2.0 that it placed the public www.microsoft.com site on it! (already the whole of the TechNet site had been running on Hyper-V v1 since early 2008).
One of the most important inclusions in Hyper-V 2.0 is Live Migration. Live Migration allows you to move a virtual machine from one physical host to another with no down time, or at least good enough so the users, or even the network stack doesn’t see it!
While the existing release of Hyper-V supported quick migration, there were a few seconds of downtime associated with the move; that has been removed.
Another unheralded feature of Hyper-V 2.0 is Cluster Shared Volumes (CSV). Essentially, if you tried to set up a cluster using Hyper-V virtual machines in the original release, for each virtual hard drive (VHD) you had to carve out a LUN on your SAN where that VHD could reside.
Using Cluster Shared Volumes allows you to place multiple VHDs on a single LUN, while the VMs themselves still act as if each VHD is on its own LUN. All CSV volumes are stored in the ClusterStorage root directory, so navigating the different volumes is as simply as using Explorer.
Hyper-V 2.0 also supports up to 64 logical processors on the host computer and includes the ability to add to a running virtual machine (and remove them) without needing to reboot the OS on that VM. You can also dynamically allocate memory without any interruption of service. Finally, the processor compatibility feature allows live migration across different CPU versions within the same processor family (for example, Intel-to-Intel and AMD-to-AMD), but not across processor vendors (same with VMware).
Hyper-V v2.0 is what Microsoft shops (and maybe even some VMware shops!) have been waiting for.
Hyper-V now offers feature parity with VMware’s enterprise solutions in some scenarios, and in others surpasses it (see how long merging a large snapshot on VMware takes.. ;-))