Hyper-V Review

Low on resources, easy to tailer, easy to move things, and highly reliable

What is our primary use case?

We basically use it to virtualize a service for email on-premise. We also use it to virtualize the apps, but it is mainly for virtualizing servers, such as SQL Server, Exchange Server, SharePoint, and CRM.

How has it helped my organization?

It has cut down the management role on the actual service itself because we only have four Hyper-V hosts. Recently we had two, but we've put in two all-flash Hyper-V hosts. We have all-flash storage. It is good storage with loads of RAM. Most of them have got three-quarters of a terabyte of RAM, and they all are dual 32-core processors. There is no lack of power or anything in them. Because our servers are virtualized, it means that we do have four rack servers.

It really reduces the load. By using replication, we can separate out the servers and put them at different locations. We have them attached to the 10 gig fiber. With the replication facility, even if we do lose a server, we can be up and running within seconds or minutes at worst.

What is most valuable?

It is actually very low on resources. It doesn't use many resources. It is also very easy to tailor. You can change things like the amount of memory and storage on the fly. 

It is very stable and reliable. I like its replication feature, which is very good. It is also very easy to move the virtual machines across push servers without any difficulty. 

Its performance is also very good. Now with this pandemic, a lot of workers are working from home. A lot of workers have been using laptops as their desktop computers, and they would remote into a virtual PC. There is no difficulty, and they can't tell the difference between this and the real one. It is much easier to manage.

What needs improvement?

The Hyper-V management console could be improved to make it easier. It should be a little bit more granular. Various virtual switches could also be improved to make virtual desk management slightly better. 

The replication could be improved slightly. The checkpoints or snapshots could be improved to make it a bit more transparent to the user.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using this solution for around 15 years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It is very stable and very reliable. I never had any failures of any description with it, which is amazing. We might have had hardware failures on the host, but everything is redundant, so there is plenty of resilience there.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I haven't come across any scalability issues, but you need a fairly powerful host machine. 

Nearly all users are using Hyper-V in some way, but they're not aware that it is Hyper-V that they're using while logging in to the servers. The servers are all virtualized, except for the physical servers that are hosting Hyper-V. We have quite a lot of virtual servers. The gateway that they use is a virtualized gateway server. Email servers are all virtualized. All sorts of services and filling servers are all virtualized. Virtualization reduces the physical footprint.

How are customer service and technical support?

I never had to use Hyper-V technical support from Microsoft. It has been pretty stable.

How was the initial setup?

It is very straightforward, very simple, and very quick. It is very quick to set up a virtual machine. You can set it up in minutes.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

Because we're an NGO or a charity, we get discount rates from Microsoft. The costs are not astronomical for us. To give you an example, Office 2019 would only cost 30 or 45 for us. We tend to use the on-premises version rather than the cloud version. The reason is that the subscription service works out more expensive after a few years than the on-premise version. We're not worried about having the bleeding edge stuff. We just want it to be functional.

What other advice do I have?

I would advise making sure that you have the hardware that is up to the job. You should also have a clear plan of what you want to virtualize. Make sure that there is room for growth in terms of the physical hardware for the host, which is the server hosting Hyper-V. 

It is very robust. It doesn't consume as many resources as VMware, for instance. It is fairly slick. It is very functional and doesn't really present great challenges.

I would definitely rate Hyper-V a ten out of ten. 

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

**Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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