Hyper-V 3.0 coming to Windows 8

It has been revealed in a recent leaked build, that the operating system Microsoft currently code names Windows 8, contains Hyper-V 3.0 technology and a new virtual hard drive format called VHDX.

It has been assumed by several sites that the features have been a part of Windows 8 for quite some time, however due to the lack of 64-bit builds and more focus being placed on mainstream consumer features, they were yet to be picked up by enthusiasts.

According to Robert McLaws at Windows Now, the new features bring a larger scale version of virtualisation than what we have seen before in a Windows operating system. The new virtual hard drive format allows a total size of up to 16TB of data, which is a significant improvement from the VHD format, and Microsoft has also included support in Hyper-V for more than four computing cores, ultimately benefiting those with a lot of computing power. Overall, Mr McLaws has uncovered the following new features in this build of Windows 8:

  • Storage
    • Virtual Fibre Channel Adapter
    • Storage Resource Pools
    • New .VHDX virtual hard drive format (Up to 16TB + power failure resiliency)
  • Memory/Processor Enhancements
    • Support for more than 4 cores! (My machine has 12 cores)
    • NUMA - Memory per Node, Cores per Node, Nodes per Processor Socket
  • Networking Enhancements
    • Hardware Acceleration (Virtual Machine Queue & IPsec Offload)
    • Bandwidth Management
    • DHCP Guard
    • Router Guard
    • Monitor Port
    • Virtual Switch Extensions
    • Network Resource Pools

Given that Microsoft appears to be pushing for more native applications of virtualisation on its operating systems, it will be interesting to see how this impacts the virtual desktop software market. The potential of the new features could well benefit developers and the tech-savvy alike, making it easier for people to have access to all the features that some come to expect from virtualisation software.

Image Source: windows-now.com

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22 Comments

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Orange Battery said,
Now all we need is a few tweaks to Explorer so it is as good some of the freeware and we are off!!!!
What freeware are you speaking of? Have some links to share? I'm always looking for good explorer add-ons or replacements.

"A hypervisor is already running" ?
I wonder if the rumors are true and the whole desktop is running on a hypervisor.

Aethec said,
"A hypervisor is already running" ?
I wonder if the rumors are true and the whole desktop is running on a hypervisor.

Actually, just a guess but I think that Win8 install is already running in a VM, probably virtualbox for example. So that's why.

This is good news! My primary role nowadays in P2V'ing servers onto Hyper-V.
The better it gets the more they secure my future! lol

Gotenks98 said,
Can hyper-v be run from windows 8 client? If not I am not going to bother with hyper-v

not sure about this new version..

but currently, client yes, Hyper-V server no. Not really an issue though, you can just run win 2k8r2 on your desktop

BGM said,

not sure about this new version..

but currently, client yes, Hyper-V server no. Not really an issue though, you can just run win 2k8r2 on your desktop

That to me kind of defeats the purpose of this. I am mainly looking for a good alternative to vmware and virtual box. Hyper-V server is it but you cant run it on a windows 7 or now windows 8 client. Epic Phail to me. I am not really using it for production but more so for testing boot images, testing installs and such.

Gotenks98 said,
That to me kind of defeats the purpose of this. I am mainly looking for a good alternative to vmware and virtual box. Hyper-V server is it but you cant run it on a windows 7 or now windows 8 client. Epic Phail to me. I am not really using it for production but more so for testing boot images, testing installs and such.

Last I checked Hyper-V Server doesn't run on anything, it runs on the metal itself and gives you a nice command line control which then lets you load guest VMs ontop of. So, you can get the stand alone Hyper-V server, run it and run Win7 on it or w/e else you might want.

Gotenks98 said,
That to me kind of defeats the purpose of this. I am mainly looking for a good alternative to vmware and virtual box. Hyper-V server is it but you cant run it on a windows 7 or now windows 8 client. Epic Phail to me. I am not really using it for production but more so for testing boot images, testing installs and such.

That's because HyperV is not like vmware workation or virtual box. It is similar to Vmware ESX (or whatever their latest name change is)

GP007 said,

Last I checked Hyper-V Server doesn't run on anything, it runs on the metal itself and gives you a nice command line control which then lets you load guest VMs ontop of. So, you can get the stand alone Hyper-V server, run it and run Win7 on it or w/e else you might want.

Actually Hyper-V is two different products. You have Hyper-V server which is a base or stripped down OS core that does nothing but Hyper-V as you mentioned. It loads on metal and is managed through a combination of command line and the Hyper-V management console installed on a separate machine. Alternatively you can install the Hyper-V role on a Windows 2008 / 2008 R2 server to run it atop a server install. The benefit is you don't have to do everything through a command line or remotely via the console but the downside is higher overhead running the GUI plus an increased attack surface which means more patches and updates. Either path has it's own costs and benefits.

(My machine has 12 cores)

Microsoft had expected more 10-30 core systems this year than what we have seen, as the market trend instead moved more to ultra portable.

This is why Windows 7 was designed to handle up to 64 CPUs/Cores with very little process/thread management overhead compared to previous versions and other OSes that lose performance gains around 8-16 CPUs like Linux or Vista would see.

Which is important as a single i7 processor with hyperthreading presents itself as 8 virtual CPUs, even though the hyperthread CPUs are logical and not true cores/CPUs.

(Win7/2008 Server does well up to 256 CPUs/cores with only a mild performance drop, even though the theoretical CPU/Core limit is far higher - but the overhead of managing the cores consumes the gains and clustering and other concepts are better solutions at this level of processing.)

It is important that Win8 continues this trend of streamlining Win7, especially as the OS is moving to on chip design and multi-platform deployment where it will be used with new architectures with a large array of CPUs and GPUs available.

I wonder how the HyperV works with the translation technologies for running x86 code or if that is fully being handled by the chip OS deployment model.

PS Right now handing 4 CPUs/Cores to a VM directly is rather good, as the non-server implementations probably won't need to stretch a VM beyond this for a while.

thenetavenger said,
PS Right now handing 4 CPUs/Cores to a VM directly is rather good, as the non-server implementations probably won't need to stretch a VM beyond this for a while.

You do realize that desktop computing is thus moving to the old mainframe model of basically throwing more cores/CPUs at a problem, don't you? Yes - Linux (in fact, UNIX) foretold this paradigm shift at the workstation/server-closet level (just as mainframes themselves made the shift even plausible) - however, as with anything, the real home run is taking the merely plausible and making it ubiquitous; like it or not, that is one thing that Windows in general, and Windows NT in particular, has been without peer in.

thenetavenger said,

my system has 12 cores

mine has 2 cores, a 80gb hdd and a cd rom that doesnt read dvds, i beat you all

thenetavenger said,
(Win7/2008R2 Server does well up to 256 CPUs/cores with only a mild performance drop, even though the theoretical CPU/Core limit is far higher - but the overhead of managing the cores consumes the gains and clustering and other concepts are better solutions at this level of processing.)

I remember listening to one of the kernel engineers talking about the 'global dispatcher lock' which was done away with between Vista/2008 and Win7/2008R2 which went a long way in allowing that sort of scalability.

Glad I got 12 GB of RAM in my new i7 2600K system. I'll be running VMs for web browsing in my future especially if snapshot support is there.

Drewidian said,
Glad I got 12 GB of RAM in my new i7 2600K system. I'll be running VMs for web browsing in my future especially if snapshot support is there.
Snapshot support is already present so it's safe to say it'll be included with 3.0 plus I don't know any decent virtualization software that doesn't include snapshot functionality.