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Virtualization on older hardware, ESXi or Hyper-V?


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#16 Tony.

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Posted 01 April 2013 - 01:18

Hyper-V is always a type1 hypervisor. Once you enable Hyper-V, the OS you log into on that machine is ultimately just a VM with special permissions (Hyper-V server is just server core with no other roles/features - it's no different than a full Server or Win8 client OS in that it's just the "management partition" VM).


Hyper-V is only type 1 for the simple fact that by definition of 'Type 1': the 'Hyper-V' hypervisor is loaded before the management operating system, that's it, otherwise it would be type 2.

It has nothing to do with special permissions or anything of the sort, just the fact that the Hyper-V part of the system is loaded before everything else. :)


#17 cluberti

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Posted 01 April 2013 - 02:42

Well, running directly on hardware (and giving the VMs running on it access to -1) has a decided performance benefit over a type-2 running *through* the OS. There's more too it than that (hypercalls, EPTs, etc), but suffice to say it's not "that's it" ;).

#18 PGHammer

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Posted 06 April 2013 - 18:46

Well, running directly on hardware (and giving the VMs running on it access to -1) has a decided performance benefit over a type-2 running *through* the OS. There's more too it than that (hypercalls, EPTs, etc), but suffice to say it's not "that's it" ;).


That is why type-1 hypersivors are preferred (less overhead); that doesn't take away that managment tools of type-1 hypervisors tend to blow chunks compared to their type 2 counterparts (even compare management in Hyper-V Server and HVVMM in any version of Windows Server 2003 R2 and later/8/Blue to each other - which is more polished?). That is why I said the typical tradeoff is performance vs. manageability - that was, in fact, the typical faceoff point in type 2 hypervisors prior to Hyper-V (I'm talking merely vmWare vs. VirtualBox vs. lower-end type-2 hypervisors such as BOCHS, Parallels Workstation, or VirtualPC (either from Connectix OR Microsoft).

#19 cluberti

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Posted 06 April 2013 - 18:53

Technically you manage any type-1 hypervisor remotely with tools designed for the job. Server Manager in 2012 isn't actually half-bad, but compared to SCVMM (or vCenter in ESX/VMware world), the tools aren't very good. However, the tools built-in with Hyper-V aren't bad, per se, they're just not as good as enterprise management tools go. I would certainly not call Hyper-V's management tools "blowing chunks" by any stretch, but I wouldn't necessarily run Hyper-V in an enterprise without real management tools either - on a Win8 desktop though, they Hyper-V management console is more than enough and competes just fine with tools you'd find in a type-2 virtualization program.

#20 PGHammer

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Posted 11 April 2013 - 11:19

Technically you manage any type-1 hypervisor remotely with tools designed for the job. Server Manager in 2012 isn't actually half-bad, but compared to SCVMM (or vCenter in ESX/VMware world), the tools aren't very good. However, the tools built-in with Hyper-V aren't bad, per se, they're just not as good as enterprise management tools go. I would certainly not call Hyper-V's management tools "blowing chunks" by any stretch, but I wouldn't necessarily run Hyper-V in an enterprise without real management tools either - on a Win8 desktop though, they Hyper-V management console is more than enough and competes just fine with tools you'd find in a type-2 virtualization program.


HVVMM is identical to the tools used in 8 (or Blue) because they are literally the same product - Hyper-V Server, on the other hand, uses Windows PowerShell for at-the-server management, and that DOES blow compared simply to Server Manager, which is standard with any GUI install of Server 2008 and later.

Hyper-V's GUI-based management tools (whether you're referring to those in Windows Server 2008 and later, or 8, or Blue) compare quite favorably to those of vmWare Player or Workstation, and are better in some ways, and stomp Oracle VirtualBox quite flat (I HAVE been comparing all three - vmWare and Oracle VB on 8, and Hyper-V on Server 2012). My only quibble is simply the increased HARDWARE requirements to run Hyper-V on 8/Blue compared to Server 2008 and later -and I've stated categorically (in the Microsoft Server forum) that it's a quibble. 8/Blue requires support for EPT/SLAT - because RemoteFX is included with Hyper-V on 8/Blue - on Server 2008 and later, RemoteFX, while supported, is optional; therefore, EPT/SLAT support is also optional. Why is it a quibble, as opposed to a problem? Simple enough - upgrade to ANY four-digit LGA Intel i-series CPU (i3, i5, or i7 in LGA1366/1155/1156/2011) and you also neatly solve the ET/SLAT problem as well with 8/Blue. In THIS thread, I wasn't talking about Hyper-V for enterprise use, but as an alternative to Oracle VirtualBox or even vmWare Player or Workstation, and as Windows VirtualPC's successor, precisely BECAUSE it's a no-cost add-in for Windows 8.

#21 cluberti

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Posted 12 April 2013 - 18:34

Hyper-V server isn't meant to be managed locally, just like you don't manage an ESX server locally, but I understand your point of reference now.

As to Hyper-V on Win8, the client only does the SLAT check on feature install but the requirement is there for power management and for use on machines with a video driver higher than the standard vga driver (which is why if you want to do RemoteFX on the server installation of Hyper-V, the requirement on Server does bump up to including a SLAT-capable CPU - if you don't, you don't need to meet that requirement). Given Win8 machines are *all* likely to have the need for a "real" video driver, and can be put to sleep, hibernation, etc., the CPU requirements are to meet those specific scenarios that a client machine is only likely to see.

It's a quibble (and one you can get around if you install Hyper-V on Win8, Sysprep it and image it, and then re-use it on other hardware - it works fine on the older non-SLAT hardware if you're careful after that), but there's a reason it's there. It wasn't made that way simply to get people to buy newer processors (although the conspiracy theorists amongst us will probably see it that way), it's there because without it there's risk for instability and crashing under almost any power management scenario, and also if the host machine does anything graphics-intensive whilst VMs are also running.



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