Microsoft announces availability of Hyper-V Server 2008

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer today announced the release of Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2008 during the TechNet Server and Tools keynote address in London. Hyper-V Server 2008 is now available from the Microsoft website as a no-cost download.

Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2008 is a bare metal hypervisor, meaning that it runs directly on top of physical hardware allowing virtual machines operating systems to run on top of it, similar to VMWare's ESX platform or Citrix XenServer. Previous Microsoft virtualization platforms requires a separate Windows session running as a host, with virtual machines running on top of that.

Companies that deploy a Hyper-V virtualization solution for can consolidate Windows or Linux workloads onto a single physical server or to run client operating systems and applications in server-based virtual machines in the data center. Management is done through Microsoft System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2008, which is currently available as beta software, although Microsoft expects final version will be released by the end of the month.

Minimum hardware requirements for Hyper-V Server include an x64 processor with hardware-assisted virtualization (either Intel VT or AMD Virtualization) that is also Data Execution Protection (DEP) enabled. It also requires a second computer, typically in an Active Directory environment running the Hyper-V manager.

Both Dell and HP will be delivering servers based on this new hypervisor.

Download: Hyper-V Server 2008, English ISO

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Can anyone give me some more insight into this. My understanding for Hyper-V was...

It's a component of Windows 2008 which sits on top of the OS, much like most components do. Like Virtual Server 2007 does.

This Hyper-V release above is in itself its own OS as well now? Like XenServer?

Yes, Server 2008 is still there, but Hyper-V does *not* sit "on top of" the OS:

Hyper-V technically runs in Ring 1, though the VMs themselves run in Ring 0 - though, through the use of hardware assistance, some engineers have claimed that they run in "less than Ring 0"

Microsoft System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2008


Kudos to Microsoft for outdoing themselves, yet again, with a ridiculously long naming convention.

I'm interested to see how this stands up against ESX. I use the hell out of ESX at work and as much of a Microsoft fan-boy that I am, I'm hesitant to put all my eggs into the Microsoft virtualization basket just yet.

From what I understand, Hyper-V doesn't do live migrations (VMotion) of guest OS's yet, and won't for at least a year or two. (R2 release) That right there is a deal killer for us, free or not.

Hmm... interesting it coincides with the release date of Windows 2008 Server and SQL Server 2008 for dreamspark users to download today.

Awesome :)

Though Hyper-V is far from perfect - its MAC allocation scheme is nutty when it comes to certain environments and NICs (cough Broadcom cough), it is a solid performer. We originally figured this would be part of Microsoft's stick-and-carrot approach to getting people to move over to 2k8 server....but they seem to be committed to the technology as a whole by making it no-cost. We'll see how/if this affects ESX server....