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Hyper-V is the #4 ranked solution in our list of best Server Virtualization Software. It is most often compared to KVM: Hyper-V vs KVM

What is Hyper-V?

Hyper-V is a native hypervisor for x86-64 systems, enabling platform virtualization. It is a Microsoft product that comes in two forms. One form is Hyper-V as a standalone product, known as Hyper-V Server (Hyper-V Server 2012 R2 is the latest version). The other form is as a role to be installed in Windows Server 2008, Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Server 2012, Windows Server 2012 R2, or the x64 version of Window 8 Pro. No matter what form it takes, Hyper-V gives you the services and tools required to create a virtualized server environment.

Hyper-V creates a cost-effective, stable and productive server virtualization environment by running multiple operating systems, such as Windows, Linux, and more, in parallel on one server.

Some of the business benefits of installing Hyper-V include:

  • Create a private cloud environment or expand an existing one.
  • Optimize hardware utilization and minimize resource consumption by consolidating servers in the form of virtual machines on one physical host.
  • Improvement of business continuity.
  • Virtual Desktop Infrastructure creation or expansion.
  • Greater efficiency for test and development activities.
Hyper-V Buyer's Guide

Download the Hyper-V Buyer's Guide including reviews and more. Updated: October 2021

Hyper-V Customers

Large customer base from all industries, all over the world. Two major Hyper-V customers are Telefonica and EmpireCLS.

Hyper-V Video

Archived Hyper-V Reviews (more than two years old)

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Morne' O'Kennedy
Lead specialist at OKCIUS (Pty) Ltd
Real User
Improves security and uptime, and the VMM gives you full control over many resources

Pros and Cons

  • "Hyper-V improved the infrastructure drastically, not only from a performance perspective but from a control/administration view as well."
  • "There are some storage problems which do occur in high load systems, especially SQL workloads."

What is our primary use case?

This solution is mostly being used to deliver flexibility, high availability, and redundancy to accommodate production demand on an as-needed basis.

The main driver is consolidation, which is then complemented with the above-mentioned items. Hyper-V is a cost-effective platform that helped many companies I've been involved with to reduce data center administration and licensing costs drastically.

Once the platform is in place, it helps to control resources more accurately and on a consumption basis. By using the VMM (Virtual Machine Manager) you have full control of the fabric, workloads, templates and many more resources. Running Hyper-V Core also increases security and reduces update time-frames, which also helped us to increase our uptime and overall service delivery expectations. 

How has it helped my organization?

Hyper-V improved the infrastructure drastically, not only from a performance perspective but from a control/administration view as well. This directly affects the products and services offered on the platform. Our customers can increase or decrease resources on their workloads at any given time, which means we give them more control. That positively affects costs, reducing them for the customers. 

What is most valuable?

In most recent times, the live migration that is available for non-clustered environments was a massive benefit. Microsoft Storage Spaces can be used as an iSCSI provider for Hyper-V, which can help for a cost-effective cluster. Dynamic resource allocation is a great benefit that helps service providers to reduce costs and increase host density. 

What needs improvement?

I believe further improvement can be made on the cluster manager side, not specifically Hyper-V related. There are some storage problems which do occur in high load systems, especially SQL workloads. These do not necessarily affect uptime, but it can evolve into a larger problem if not attended to. Otherwise, the product is fantastic.

For how long have I used the solution?

Ten years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It is very stable. There are some minor problems, as there is with all software applications, but they are not problems that affect the platform in such a way that your customers are affected. If managed properly according to standards and Microsoft's recommendations, it works. It stays online and is very reliable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Hyper-V is easily scalable. Adding additional hosts, storage or event sharing workloads between clusters (Not sharing the same cluster nodes) is made possible with the recent versions of Windows Server.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

I have used Hyper-V since it was launched and upgrading to the newer versions is purely a matter of staying up to date with the latest features to help our customers benefit.

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

Do not immediately think of massive SANs and expensive servers. Instead, start small then evaluate and test properly to understand how workloads are treated. Microsoft, with Server 2019, gives you a massive number of tools to do this cost-effectively. 

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We did evaluate other options before choosing this solution. VMware has always been a good platform but in terms of costs, it is very expensive. The other 'freeware' options are also great but did not tick our boxes in terms of features and contractual agreements.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
MS Alam
System Administrator at Abdullah Al-Othaim Markets
Real User
The cluster environment is a good feature of this solution. If something happens, then it will automatically move to some other mode.

Pros and Cons

  • "I think the cluster environment is a good feature of Hyper-V because, if something happens, then it will automatically move to some other mode. This is a great feature of the solution."
  • "The setup was straightforward and easy for our company. The deployment was fast."
  • "Sometimes it is a mess, and it is getting hanged. It should be something that could be easily fixed. It made us have to deal with fixing the bugs."

What is our primary use case?

We are currently using this solution for Exchange, as a demo controller and an antivirus, as well. We have lots of servers on our Hyper-V.

What is most valuable?

I think the cluster environment is a good feature of Hyper-V because, if something happens, then it will automatically move to some other mode. This is a great feature of the solution.

What needs improvement?

Sometimes it is a mess, and it should be something that could be easily fixed. It made us have to deal with fixing the bugs. 

For how long have I used the solution?

Three to five years.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We have over 80 servers on our Hyper-V with one guy handling the deployment. We do have plans to increase our usage in the future. 

How was the initial setup?

The setup was straightforward and easy for our company. The deployment was fast. 

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

The pricing is not much. We have a very big environment, and pricing is no problem. We did not spend much time looking at other products, though.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Due to our needs, we installed Hyper-V and VMware. It would be nice if there was a link between the HYper-V and the VMware for a test environment. When we cannot keep the two together, everything becomes a problem for the site.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Learn what your peers think about Hyper-V. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: October 2021.
541,708 professionals have used our research since 2012.
DB
System Architect at a tech services company with 11-50 employees
Real User
A cost-effective and stable solution

What is our primary use case?

It is a consolidation of Microsoft services that we have on premise.

How has it helped my organization?

It saves us money because we did not have much in terms of this type of service before using this solution. 

What is most valuable?

It is easy to use, and it is stable. It is a good solution. 

For how long have I used the solution?

More than five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability of the solution is very good. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It can scale. We have 20 users of the solution who are in various positions at our office. We have two staff members to maintain the solution for our organization. 

How is customer service and technical support?

We have not used…

What is our primary use case?

It is a consolidation of Microsoft services that we have on premise.

How has it helped my organization?

It saves us money because we did not have much in terms of this type of service before using this solution. 

What is most valuable?

It is easy to use, and it is stable. It is a good solution. 

For how long have I used the solution?

More than five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability of the solution is very good. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It can scale. We have 20 users of the solution who are in various positions at our office. We have two staff members to maintain the solution for our organization. 

How is customer service and technical support?

We have not used technical support. 

How was the initial setup?

The setup was straightforward. It took us around a day to deploy. It was a manual installation which was not hard. 

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

The pricing and licensing is pretty good. 

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We looked at Oracle, but it did not fit our hardware, so we did not choose it.

What other advice do I have?

In my opinion, read the documentation carefully. If you do not, you will have problems.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
AH
Technical Consultant at a tech services company with 201-500 employees
Consultant
It can easily run multiple applications, but the price is steep.

What is our primary use case?

The features I find most valuable are utilizing the hardware so there is multiple applications running on one hypervisor. This actually saves money for the user. 

What needs improvement?

I think there is room for improvement in terms of the cloud solutions. 

For how long have I used the solution?

One to three years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability of the product is fine. There is no problem. The only issues we have is with stability of the operating system. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It is scalable. 

How was the initial setup?

The setup was initially not easy, but Microsoft has made a lot of improvements and upgrades, and the integration is supposedly more simple. 

What's my

What is our primary use case?

The features I find most valuable are utilizing the hardware so there is multiple applications running on one hypervisor. This actually saves money for the user. 

What needs improvement?

I think there is room for improvement in terms of the cloud solutions. 

For how long have I used the solution?

One to three years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability of the product is fine. There is no problem. The only issues we have is with stability of the operating system. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It is scalable. 

How was the initial setup?

The setup was initially not easy, but Microsoft has made a lot of improvements and upgrades, and the integration is supposedly more simple. 

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

I think it is expensive. I think if they want it to be more competitive, they should lower the price. 

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Javier-Arrocha
Oficial de comunicaciones at a financial services firm with 201-500 employees
Real User
Helps illustrate the infrastructure easily

What is our primary use case?

We can illustrate all of the infrastructure very easily.

What needs improvement?

There are bugs, and this should be resolved by Microsoft. In the future, I would like to see how the hyper-converged infrastructure works with the technology.

For how long have I used the solution?

Three to five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It is a stable product. 

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was easy. It took approximately 25 minutes to deploy.

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

The pricing and licensing is fine.

What is our primary use case?

We can illustrate all of the infrastructure very easily.

What needs improvement?

There are bugs, and this should be resolved by Microsoft. In the future, I would like to see how the hyper-converged infrastructure works with the technology.

For how long have I used the solution?

Three to five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It is a stable product. 

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was easy. It took approximately 25 minutes to deploy.

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

The pricing and licensing is fine.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
BB
CTO at MEDWIZ SOLUTIONS
Real User
Top 5Leaderboard
Low price for a hyper-virtualized environment

What is our primary use case?

I use this solution for some of my virtual machines.

How has it helped my organization?

It allowed us to add on servers and fix things in an expedient manner.

What is most valuable?

I find the hardware and the cost reduction most valuable.

What needs improvement?

The backup has room for improvement. 

For how long have I used the solution?

More than five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It is a pretty stable solution. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I have not scaled it because I am not running it in a cluster environment anymore. I do know that the clusters work and that Hyper-V can easily scale for an organization's greater needs.

How is customer service and technical support?

What is our primary use case?

I use this solution for some of my virtual machines.

How has it helped my organization?

It allowed us to add on servers and fix things in an expedient manner.

What is most valuable?

I find the hardware and the cost reduction most valuable.

What needs improvement?

The backup has room for improvement. 

For how long have I used the solution?

More than five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It is a pretty stable solution. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I have not scaled it because I am not running it in a cluster environment anymore. I do know that the clusters work and that Hyper-V can easily scale for an organization's greater needs.

How is customer service and technical support?

Microsoft tech support is horrible.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was straightforward. It took a day to deploy. 

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

The Hyper-V pricing and licensing are very good. 

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I looked at Hyper-V vs AHV, which is a Nutanix product. Nutanix Acropolis is a hyperconverged product that does a lot of next-level type of virtualization software

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
YA
CTO for Pydynamix
Real User
There is a tremendous ease of use due to the familiarity with Microsoft.

Pros and Cons

  • "The flexibility and API are the most valuable features. It helps us be able to integrate with other systems and then push data easily."
  • "The interface could be more user friendly. In addition, the documentation and security could use improvement."

How has it helped my organization?

There is an ease of use, and it is able to deploy it because there are people throughout my country of South Africa that all understand Microsoft. They can easily fire up a virtual environment because they are familiar with Microsoft. 

What is most valuable?

The flexibility and API are the most valuable features. It helps us be able to integrate with other systems and then push data easily. It has 100% functionality and speed. 

What needs improvement?

The interface could be more user friendly. In addition, the documentation and security could use improvement.

Some customers have been complaining of running into Immobility Licensing Restrictions. They were running on an ELA, and there was no flexibility with a volume license agreement. 

In addition, it would be nice to have the ability to assign more dynamically, like VM-ware does. Furthermore, it would be nice to return the SRM feature back into Hyper-V so that you're not looking at a virtual box which is a cheap version, but that you're looking at enterprise, you're looking at VM-ware. If this could be placed into a one-button feature, that would be very attractive.

For how long have I used the solution?

One to three years.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It is scalable. For me, it's all about getting the right architecture approval before even looking at Hyper-V layer and then virtualizing where we can, but if not, we go physical. At the same time, it'll all be on a Microsoft platform, hence why I have Hyper-V.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was complex. When compared to firing up a virtual box, there are too many prompts.

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

The pricing is not an issue for us because we have a licensing agreement with Microsoft. So we are given an 80% discount. 

What other advice do I have?

If I was going to a demo, and somebody had given me an iPhone and I had to quickly gut it, my first choice would not be Hyper-V. It is not a user-friendly solution. 

I would say the ability to assign more dynamically, like VM-ware does. And the SRM feature to be brought back into Hyper-V so that you're not looking at virtual box which is a cheap version, but that you're looking at enterprise, you're looking at VM-ware. But if there was one button to move everything over to the new system, if that could be put in as a feature
then it would be very attractive.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
ITCS user
Network Administrator II at a maritime company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
Helps us build servers

What is our primary use case?

I build servers using this solution.

What needs improvement?

It needs to improve compatibility with third party software.

For how long have I used the solution?

One to three years.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We previously used VMware. 

How was the initial setup?

I was not involved in the setup of the product.

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

I do not have experience with pricing or licensing of the product.

What is our primary use case?

I build servers using this solution.

What needs improvement?

It needs to improve compatibility with third party software.

For how long have I used the solution?

One to three years.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We previously used VMware. 

How was the initial setup?

I was not involved in the setup of the product.

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

I do not have experience with pricing or licensing of the product.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Ignacio Salom
Senior Principal Consultant with 1-10 employees
Consultant
A great advantage for any company that is using a Microsoft Windows server

What is most valuable?

It is a great advantage for any company that is using a Microsoft Windows server.

What needs improvement?

I think the console could use some improvement for the backups. The features should be improved. I know a lot of people who are considering moving to Hyper-V, but are skittish to do so because you need a system center virtual manager or a specialist to integrate the solution.

For how long have I used the solution?

More than five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I recommend this product due to its high stability. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It is highly scalable. It is really easy to scale and implement. 

How was the initial setup?

The setup was easy.

What's my experience with pricing,

What is most valuable?

It is a great advantage for any company that is using a Microsoft Windows server.

What needs improvement?

I think the console could use some improvement for the backups. The features should be improved. I know a lot of people who are considering moving to Hyper-V, but are skittish to do so because you need a system center virtual manager or a specialist to integrate the solution.

For how long have I used the solution?

More than five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I recommend this product due to its high stability. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It is highly scalable. It is really easy to scale and implement. 

How was the initial setup?

The setup was easy.

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

The pricing is competitive, and a bit less than other options on the market.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Youssef EL HADJ
System and Network Administrator at a tech vendor with 11-50 employees
Real User
Has a fair price and is a good solution

Pros and Cons

  • "Using cluster with Hyper-V had a major impact on our protection environment. So all applications were virtualized using Hyper-V."
  • "Improvements could be made to the configuration of the solution."

What is our primary use case?

I primarily use it for server virtualization and protection services.

How has it helped my organization?

Using cluster with Hyper-V had a major impact on our protection environment. So all applications were virtualized using Hyper-V.

What needs improvement?

Perhaps improvement should be made when you want to change some configuration on VM's, and you have to shut down the VM in order to do so. A major improvement would be a configuration change. So, when you change the parameter of VM, the other one can still be running.

For how long have I used the solution?

More than five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The product is stable. We have had no problems.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The scalability is good. It is enough for our needs. We are 40 users in our organization. We used a team of five to maintain the solution. 

How is customer service and technical support?

We have not needed technical support.

What was our ROI?

For our company it was a good investment.

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

The price is quite fair. It is not too expensive.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We were looking at other options, such as Azure. But, we decided to stay with the Microsoft Hyper-V.

What other advice do I have?

I would advise other people that this is a good solution.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
A.J. DiLorenzo
Senior Systems Administrator at Privia Health
Real User
A good product for hosting corporate infrastructure servers

What is our primary use case?

We use this solution to host our corporate infrastructure servers. 

What needs improvement?

The only issues we have had recently are with Windows updates that are built into the Windows server with Hyper-V.  In the future, I would like to see a simplification of licensing of this product. In addition, I think it would be beneficial to have more monitoring.

For how long have I used the solution?

More than five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It is very stable. We have not had issues with it crashing itself.

How is customer service and technical support?

I do not have experience with the technical support. I usually research the answers myself and fix any pending issues.

How was the initial setup?

It was very…

What is our primary use case?

We use this solution to host our corporate infrastructure servers. 

What needs improvement?

The only issues we have had recently are with Windows updates that are built into the Windows server with Hyper-V. 

In the future, I would like to see a simplification of licensing of this product. In addition, I think it would be beneficial to have more monitoring.

For how long have I used the solution?

More than five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It is very stable. We have not had issues with it crashing itself.

How is customer service and technical support?

I do not have experience with the technical support. I usually research the answers myself and fix any pending issues.

How was the initial setup?

It was very straightforward for us. We did it in-house and it was very easy.

What was our ROI?

We have definitely have seen a return on our investment. 

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

I wish the licensing was simpler and allowed for a greater number of VMs with the Microsoft standard licensing. Overall I think it's fair. The pricing is definitely fair.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
MT
Program Architect (Microsoft) with 5,001-10,000 employees
Real User
The virtualized applications is a good feature, but the setup of the solution was complex

What is our primary use case?

Our primary use case of this solution is for implementing the private cloud over the system center.

What is most valuable?

Hyper-V 2016 is very impressive. The virtualized applications and real-time addition of the VMA is quite a good feature, which is competitive to VMware. It's not VMware but it's close to it and is a competitor.

What needs improvement?

The networking portion of Hyper-V needs improvement.

For how long have I used the solution?

More than five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It is a stable product.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It is a scalable product. We have over 100 users and we are growing towards a more virtualized solution.

Which solution did I use previously

What is our primary use case?

Our primary use case of this solution is for implementing the private cloud over the system center.

What is most valuable?

Hyper-V 2016 is very impressive. The virtualized applications and real-time addition of the VMA is quite a good feature, which is competitive to VMware. It's not VMware but it's close to it and is a competitor.

What needs improvement?

The networking portion of Hyper-V needs improvement.

For how long have I used the solution?

More than five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It is a stable product.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It is a scalable product. We have over 100 users and we are growing towards a more virtualized solution.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

I have previous experience with Citrix and VMware products.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was complex. It was nearly six years ago but I remember it was complicated.

What was our ROI?

The price of this solution makes it a worthwhile purchase for our organization. We have all of the features we need within a cost-effective solution.

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

This product costs less than other competitor products on the market.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
ITCS user
Head of Department for IT Services at a government with 201-500 employees
Real User
Eases our Virtual Management

What is most valuable?

This solution is much easier to manage than a bare metal machine. It is so easy to manage something through the virtual machine.

What needs improvement?

The live migration feature needs improvement.

For how long have I used the solution?

More than five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability is acceptable for us. We do not have problems with it.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It is scalable. We are not such a big company, but it suits our needs. We have less than 500 employees using this solution. We have three system administrators maintaining the solution. 

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We previously used VMware and then moved to Hyper-V. We did so primarily…

What is most valuable?

This solution is much easier to manage than a bare metal machine. It is so easy to manage something through the virtual machine.

What needs improvement?

The live migration feature needs improvement.

For how long have I used the solution?

More than five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability is acceptable for us. We do not have problems with it.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It is scalable. We are not such a big company, but it suits our needs. We have less than 500 employees using this solution. We have three system administrators maintaining the solution. 

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We previously used VMware and then moved to Hyper-V. We did so primarily because we already had an agreement with Microsoft. 

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was easy. It took us about a year to deploy because we had to convert 90% of the bare metal machines to Hyper-V.

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

We have an agreement with Microsoft so this came with the solution. The pricing is okay for us. 

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
ITCS user
System Administrator at a tech services company with 10,001+ employees
Real User
Increases memory for virtual machines with ease

Pros and Cons

  • "It is definitely the toughest competitor for VMware. It easily increases memory for our virtual machines."
  • "Hyper-V is hosted on OS but if your OS scratches you are in big trouble. In addition, if a host fails, automatically the machine and the virtual machine should boot from another source. Those type of features would benefit Hyper-V."

What is our primary use case?

My primary use case of this solution is to increase memory for the virtual machine which can be easily done on Hyper-V.

What needs improvement?

Hyper-V is hosted on OS but if your OS scratches you are in big trouble. In addition, if a host fails, automatically the machine and the virtual machine should boot from another source. Those type of features would benefit Hyper-V.

For how long have I used the solution?

One to three years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It is a stable product.

How are customer service and technical support?

We haven't had a need for technical support.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

In comparison to VMware, Hyper-V is much better at restoration and backup. It is also much faster than VMware. 

How was the initial setup?

The setup was quite straightforward. It took 15-20 minutes to deploy. 

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

I do not have experience with the licensing of the product.

What other advice do I have?

It is definitely the toughest competitor for VMware. There is room for improvement for automation. If that was implemented, it would place Hyper-V on the same realm as VMware.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
SO
Sr. Programmer at a tech vendor with 51-200 employees
Real User
A good hypervisor but it lacks proper backup features

Pros and Cons

  • "It is good for small installations."
  • "It would be nice if it was turned into its own product because that's the problem with it. It doesn't have a single place where you can manage things. You have to go into all different screens to be able to configure it. And then you have no idea what the performance is. It's really just a feature added to Windows, and Microsoft does not really have anything that pulls it all together well. Compared to VMware, it does not have everything collaborate on one screen."

What is our primary use case?

We primarily use this solution as a hypervisor.

What needs improvement?

They could turn it into a product because that's the problem with it. It doesn't have a single place where you can manage things. You have to go into all different screens to be able to configure it. It is hard to track what the performance is. It's really just a feature added to Windows, and Microsoft does not really have anything that pulls it all together well. Compared to VMware, it does not have everything collaborate on one screen.

In addition, the solution needs better ability to do backups. 

For how long have I used the solution?

Three to five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Once it is setup, there is no problem.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It is a hypervisor, so if you had more servers, you get more scale.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is not straightforward, it is a bunch of Microsoft parts that you have to arrange yourself. You have to set up the networking so that you have redundancy. You then have to go in, cluster two Windows servers, which is not so easy. The Hyper-V becomes simple, but it does not happen if the other things are not properly configured.

It takes roughly four hours to install. 

What was our ROI?

There is no ROI for us, because it is a free product.

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

It is free for us so that was a prime factor for choosing this solution.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We are currently seriously considering migrating to VMware solutions.

What other advice do I have?

It is good for small installations. If you are looking to do anything fancy, this is is not a good choice.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
SS
Assistant Manager - IS Infrastructure
Real User
Costly yet it gives a 360 degree view of the environment

Pros and Cons

  • "The most valuable feature is the ability to integrate the Hyper-Visor center from one console."
  • "The cost and licensing can be improved."

What is our primary use case?

We use the Hypervisor and manage the VMs. We then get a 360 degree view of the infrastructure, hardware, networking, storage, VMs, and more.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature is the ability to integrate the Hypervisor center from one console.

What needs improvement?

The cost and licensing can be improved. 

For how long have I used the solution?

More than five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It is a very stable product.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We have servers in several African countries. All of the management of the infrastructure is done through the system's center. We have about 400 users who are currently using this solution. It is definitely scalable.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We used to use GenServer. Unfortunately, GenServer does not support a 10-gigabyte network, but Hyper-V does. This was a major factor in our switch to Hyper-V.

How was the initial setup?

The deployment was straightforward. It took us about one week for each site. This included Hyper-V and the entire infrastructure.

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

In terms of the licensing, if you are using Microsoft Windows 100%, it is okay, but, when you start mixing other environments it becomes quite tricky.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We have seriously considered Nutanix Acropolis Hypervisor. It is more cost-effective.

What other advice do I have?

Unfortunately, due to cost, we have begun to look at other products in the market.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
AriGreenbaum
IT at a non-profit
Real User
Stable with a high rate of availability

Pros and Cons

  • "The most valuable feature is the high availability of the solution."
  • "The corrupted volume is a problem."

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature is the high availability of the solution. 

What needs improvement?

The corrupted volume is a problem.

For how long have I used the solution?

Less than one year.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It is pretty stable.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We used to use VMware.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was very complex. It needs to be simplified. It took us about a day to deploy.

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

The licensing is pretty straightforward. 

What other advice do I have?

My advice to someone considering this solution is to back up the whole configuration. Also, you have to have things well documented and to take into consideration the maintenance times. Furthermore, updating the operating systems, host operating systems and guest operating systems is extremely important, otherwise, it could lead to unnecessary downtime.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
ITCS user
IT Executive at a transportation company with 501-1,000 employees
Real User
Previously we had five machines running the infrastructure. With Hyper-V, now we have one.

How has it helped my organization?

It makes it easier to deploy services. All services tend to migrate onto the server house without having problems now. It is hardware independent.

What is most valuable?

We find the most valuable feature is just hosting the VM. The replication I do with other software.

What needs improvement?

It might make it easier to move VMs across Hotmail hosts. This application process may make it a little bit easier.

For how long have I used the solution?

More than five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I have not had problems with the stability of the solution. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I am using the free version of the solution. There are some limited features, and it is not too…

How has it helped my organization?

It makes it easier to deploy services. All services tend to migrate onto the server house without having problems now. It is hardware independent.

What is most valuable?

We find the most valuable feature is just hosting the VM. The replication I do with other software.

What needs improvement?

It might make it easier to move VMs across Hotmail hosts. This application process may make it a little bit easier.

For how long have I used the solution?

More than five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I have not had problems with the stability of the solution. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I am using the free version of the solution. There are some limited features, and it is not too scalable. But, I am sure the full version is much better for scaling.

We have plans to migrate to the full version in the future, as we have a greater need for usage.

How is customer service and technical support?

I never had the need to contact technical support.

How was the initial setup?

It was a straightforward setup. The deployment basically took two days. We prepared the hosts, migrated to the new hosts, turned off the old hardware and then we had one machine with all of the servers running. Previously we had five machines running the infrastructure, and now we have one.

What was our ROI?

Hyper-V is free in my case, and by purchasing Windows servers 2019, Hyper-V is already included. It provides the same operating systems for competitors that charge a lot more for the same results.

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

I use the free version of Hyper-V.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

VMware has a comparable solution, but their price is too expensive for my needs. 

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user947223
Technician at Computer Geeks
Real User
I find the ease of use the most valuable asset of the solution.

Pros and Cons

  • "I find the ease of use the most valuable asset of the solution."
  • "An improvement I suggest is having more guest operating systems."

What is our primary use case?

The reason we use this solution is because we can do a lot more with rate configurations, and large span networks. It's a lot easier doing that versus with some of the KVM based hypervisors.

How has it helped my organization?

We use it for testing new software. We especially use it for software updates because half of the time we're running an accounting program. It updates, and then breaks something else. This way we can run a couple of different VM's with a setup similar to what we use on all of the desktops. So, that way, you can test it without actually causing downtime.

Some of the things we run have to have a very specific Linux bistro, and you can't get it
all in Hyper-V.

What is most valuable?

I find the ease of use the most valuable asset of the solution.

What needs improvement?

An improvement I suggest is having more guest operating systems.

For how long have I used the solution?

One to three years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It is a very stable product.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We previously used a Linux KVM based hypervisor called Proxmox.

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

The pricing isn't too bad, because you can do the bare metal hyper-visor, and it is pretty fair. Other competitors are more expensive.

What other advice do I have?

Make sure to do your research before you choose a solution. Be sure it fits your needs. 

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
KW
Interim Director of Technology at a tech services company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
It Allows for Production of Our Office Business Needs.

What is our primary use case?

Our primary use of this solution is for production of our office business needs.

What needs improvement?

It needs to improve the handling of the amount of storage available. We currently have around 400 users. 

For how long have I used the solution?

More than five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We have 400 users of this solution, and use three staff members for deployment and maintenance.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We previously used a regular Windows 2012 server before using Hyper-V. 

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

I do not have any comments about pricing or licensing of the product.

What is our primary use case?

Our primary use of this solution is for production of our office business needs.

What needs improvement?

It needs to improve the handling of the amount of storage available. We currently have around 400 users. 

For how long have I used the solution?

More than five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We have 400 users of this solution, and use three staff members for deployment and maintenance.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We previously used a regular Windows 2012 server before using Hyper-V. 

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

I do not have any comments about pricing or licensing of the product.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
WG
User
Real User
It helps migrate all of our servers and saves us a lot of time.

Pros and Cons

  • "We can perform maintenance on equipment during the day because we can live migrate all of the machines from one server to another."
  • "Microsoft increased the price for this solution when adding the Storage Spaces Direct feature."

What is our primary use case?

We use this product primarily for virtualization.

How has it helped my organization?

We can perform maintenance on equipment during the day because we can live migrate all of the machines from server A to server B, and then work on server A. This saves us a lot of time. It used to require working after hours for us to do this.

What needs improvement?

I think the management tools have room for improvement.

For how long have I used the solution?

More than five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I find that this solution is very stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It is very scalable. We used four staff members for deployment, and that was sufficient for our needs.

How is customer service and technical support?

We infrequently have a need for technical support help. 

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was very straightforward for our organization. Once we understood it in the lab, it took maybe two weeks to completely understand it and document it. Then, we could send it out to our global branches.

What was our ROI?

We are a not-for-profit, so I do not see any ROI for us.

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

Microsoft should have not required a data center license for the new feature of Storage Spaces Direct. There is a new feature that comes with Hyper-V called "Storage Spaces Direct"  What that storage does, it allows you to use the storage in host A and use the storage in host B, and make them work together like they're one shared storage array. The computers don't know that they're putting data on server A or B. To them, it looks like one big pool of disks. Before, we used to have to buy a separate storage array, external to the servers, and tie the servers to that array. But this new feature that comes with Hyper-V let's us use the storage inside the servers, it saves money. But Microsoft tacked on a higher price for their software to use that feature, and that was just terrible. We would be using that feature more if it did not demand a data center license.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We do also use VMware vSphere. But, we use Hyper-V more. Some people have different desires. Some people want a Lexus, and other people are happy with a Honda. Both are great cars, but one is a lot more expensive.

What other advice do I have?

I would like to see deduplication and compression in a future roll-out of the product.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
SS
User at hadafq8
Consultant
With the virtualization what we could achieve was maximum utilization of our resources.

Pros and Cons

  • "With each update, the security of this solution just gets better and better. It is very stable."
  • "We chose this solution because of the pricing and the simplicity of the product."
  • "The the only challenge for us was moving existing physical machines to virtual machines."

What is our primary use case?

My primary use case is for virtualization of all solutions from physical servers into other solutions for ease of management. 

What is most valuable?

With the virtualization  what we could achieve was maximum utilization of our resources. Previously we used to like have ten, fifteen physical service each one was utilized for a certain percentage and uh, not everything was utilized. I mean one service was maybe 20% utilization one was 90% utilization. So, there was no balance of utilization. With virtualization we can balance. In addition, we can be accurate at the with the solution or Hyper-V, this gives us a close decision I can move motion machines live from one physical machine to another.

What needs improvement?

I am able to give end users better performance and better response time and better availability.

The the only challenge for us was moving existing physical machines to virtual machines. The time taken was to migrate the physical machine to the virtual machine took about two months.

For how long have I used the solution?

More than five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

With each update, the security of this solution just gets better and better. It is very stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We have 250 employees and current users at any given point of time using this solution. One infrastructure has an ARCo database. Another has a Si database. The applications have a site exchange between them.

We have two employees who maintain deployment and management of the solution. One handles the database, and the other handles the application. We plan to scale to more users in the future.

How was the initial setup?

The time taken for integration was to migrate the physical machine to the virtual machine. We had to do this one by one.

The set up was very straightforward, you just follow the procedure, the documentation, and it is a breeze.

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

We chose this solution because of the pricing and the simplicity of the product.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I think that Hyper-V stands in the same ranking as VMware or Oracle in terms of solutions for similar needs.

What other advice do I have?

If you want to use a solution that does the job that is required, to the best of its ability, then Hyper-V is a great solution.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
DW
User at a healthcare company with 201-500 employees
User
Its performance, stability, and redundancy are all very dependable

Pros and Cons

  • "It works very well. Its performance, stability, and redundancy are all very dependable."
  • "It allows for quick deployment of servers and workloads."
  • "I would love to see other options for connecting VMs to large data storage."
  • "We have our cluster connected to a Dell EMC VNX (SAN). The Hyper-V nodes are on Cisco UCS blades, and everything is interconnected via fiber. I attempted to use a virtual Fibre Channel connection to present a SAN volume to a VM but was not able to make that work."

What is our primary use case?

We run the majority of our production servers from our Hyper-V 2012 R2 Cluster. 

How has it helped my organization?

  • It was our first step into virtualization around five years ago. 
  • It allows for quick deployment of servers and workloads.

What is most valuable?

  • Live motioning of VMs, which I consider to be a standard function. 
  • When upgrading clusters from Windows Server 2012 to 2012 R2, we were able to live motion VMs from one cluster to another.

What needs improvement?

I would love to see other options for connecting VMs to large data storage. 

We have our cluster connected to a Dell EMC VNX (SAN). The Hyper-V nodes are on Cisco UCS blades, and everything is interconnected via fiber. I attempted to use a virtual Fibre Channel connection to present a SAN volume to a VM but was not able to make that work.

For how long have I used the solution?

Three to five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It works very well. Its performance, stability, and redundancy are all very dependable.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user872943
Head of IT Architecture and Design at Alterna Bank
User
Provides freedom to spin up development and test environments. Needs additional administration and monitoring capabilities.

What is our primary use case?

Providing development and test environments for risk management applications. A variety of standard images were created and could be applied as needed.

How has it helped my organization?

Hyper-V provided freedom to spin up development and test environments. As projects were created, an environment could be created and applied.

What is most valuable?

Reasonably easy to use. Snapshots could be prepared and deployed as a developer needed them. As well, environments could be disabled or removed.

What needs improvement?

It needs additional administration and monitoring capabilities. Status and availability became an issue and need. 

For how long have I used the solution?

Trial/evaluations only.

What is our primary use case?

Providing development and test environments for risk management applications. A variety of standard images were created and could be applied as needed.

How has it helped my organization?

Hyper-V provided freedom to spin up development and test environments. As projects were created, an environment could be created and applied.

What is most valuable?

Reasonably easy to use. Snapshots could be prepared and deployed as a developer needed them. As well, environments could be disabled or removed.

What needs improvement?

It needs additional administration and monitoring capabilities. Status and availability became an issue and need. 

For how long have I used the solution?

Trial/evaluations only.
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Shabarinath Thekkemeppully Ramadasan
Systems Architect at UST Global
Real User
Realized benefits in the smaller data center space, power, and cooling, in addition to the benefit from the virtualization layer

Pros and Cons

  • "The organization has realized the benefits on smaller data center space, power, cooling, etc. apart from the benefit that the virtualization layer brings in."
  • "SCVMM needs to be more user-friendly. Without SCVMM, automating is not easy to use and we look forward to the upcoming versions of SCVMM becoming simpler and more admin friendly."

What is our primary use case?

We had deployed multiple Hyper-V clusters for various projects and even have the confidence to run it for highly critical production loads.

How has it helped my organization?

Hyper-V has become a real matured virtualization platform with Windows Server 2012 R2. The organization that I work for was having a virtualization environment on Windows Server 2008 R2. Since it was not optimally used due to the limitations with Hyper-V with Windows Server 2008 R2, we evaluated the possibility to get an environment on Windows Server 2012 R2. We had more than 30 racks with the majority of them running on physical machines. By the end of 2014, the number of server racks came down to 10 and we could confidently run majority of the workloads on Hyper-V. The organization has realized the benefits on smaller data center space, power, cooling, etc. apart from the benefit that the virtualization layer brings in. 

What is most valuable?

  • Live migration
  • P2V
  • VM replica
  • Snapshots
  • VM export and import
  • Dynamic memory, etc.

The advanced features, like Network Virtualization, have yet to be tested out, but I feel that they will be a game changer.

What needs improvement?

SCVMM needs to be more user-friendly. Without SCVMM, automating is not easy to use and we look forward to the upcoming versions of SCVMM becoming simpler and more admin friendly.

For how long have I used the solution?

One to three years.
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
ITCS user
IT Consultant at a tech services company with 1-10 employees
Consultant
The Failover Clustering feature allows us to be able to make our most critical workload highly available

Pros and Cons

  • "It runs our most critical workloads and supports all our branch offices."
  • "The Failover Clustering feature allows us to be able to make our most critical workload highly available."
  • "They can hot add NICs to the VMs. However, there is still not the ability to hot add virtual processors to running VMs."

What is our primary use case?

This is the primary hypervisor in my organization. It runs our most critical workloads and supports all our branch offices.

How has it helped my organization?

It comes with all the features and goodies inside the box, so you do not have to purchase anything else. 

What is most valuable?

The Failover Clustering feature allows us to be able to make our most critical workload highly available. We did not have to pay extra money for it.

In Windows Servers 2016, there is Storage Spaces Direct. Although, it seems as if many of the local organizations where I live prefer to go for traditional SAN setups, I find Storage Spaces Direct to be very attractive, neat, and stable. We did not need to hire a separate storage expert to manage our storage as it was easy to manage and setup (many articles online). We did not have to invest a dollar more than what we paid for the server software. 

What needs improvement?

I think Microsoft has answered most of the concerns of users with the release of Server 2016. 

Now, they can hot add NICs to the VMs. However, there is still not the ability to hot add virtual processors to running VMs. 

For how long have I used the solution?

One to three years.

What was our ROI?

It has helped to keep the cost of IT spending low when compared to the cost of VMware.

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

Once we bought the datacenter version of the server, we did away with worrying about the cost of licensing our VMs separately.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user747783
Technology Systems Analyst with 1-10 employees
Vendor
Simplicity and intuitiveness of the platform are attractive, it grows on you with time

Pros and Cons

  • "The simplicity and intuitiveness of the platform. It was a very simple adaptation, if you have any experience in virtualization."
  • "The simplicity and intuitiveness of the platform. It was a very simple adaptation, if you have any experience in virtualization."
  • "The simplicity and intuitiveness of the platform. It was a very simple adaptation, if you have any experience in virtualization."
  • "There is a hard limitation of 20 gigs per file with Dropbox, so you've got to overcome that by chunking the zip files into something smaller and manageable."
  • "There is a hard limitation of 20 gigs per file with Dropbox, so you've got to overcome that by chunking the zip files into something smaller and manageable."
  • "There is a hard limitation of 20 gigs per file with Dropbox, so you've got to overcome that by chunking the zip files into something smaller and manageable."

How has it helped my organization?

Just to be able to efficiently utilize our power hardware. Gone are the days of one pizza box for a two-core CPU. You've got dozens of cores in one box, and you can't use them all if you just run one thing on one server, so you've got to virtualize it.

What is most valuable?

The simplicity and intuitiveness of the platform. It was a very simple adaptation, if you have any experience in virtualization.

What needs improvement?

There is a hard limitation of 20 gigs per file with Dropbox, so you've got to overcome that by chunking the zip files into something smaller and manageable. But that's going to depend on the bandwidth. You can have an adverse effect as well, if somebody is just using a real small data pipe. Then, they could choke you with Dropbox. They've got to calculate it out.

I didn't give it a 10 out of 10 because sometimes remotely managing it isn't as simple as it could be. Basically, it just involves having to log directly into a box rather than doing something via remote command.

And there's also still a little bit of a learning curve, and as I'm learning additional things with some of the maintenance stuff - then scripting that and automating it - then I won't have to deal with it anymore.

In a way, it's still easier, in my mind, in comparison to when you do have to dig in deep on a VMware box.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Not as of yet. But what's being done is completely unsupported by Dropbox. The way that they view it is just "a file is a file." That's it. So, you synchronize files that are the actual backups - and it's just a file. But using them for a backup solution, they don't support anything other than it being a client application for a user; not as a service or anything else.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Not really, except for when they push out enough data that it requires additional dependencies that they didn't know about. Broke it on a Linux server, but that was just one time.

How are customer service and technical support?

It's the luck of the draw. It's been as low as a three and as high as an eight out of 10.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

VMware - the cost. Because Hyper-V is free, and you get a lot of the solutions that you've got to pay tens of thousands of dollars for with VMware. It's free under Microsoft. And they've really polished it in the past two years. It's pretty good.

How was the initial setup?

It's very simple.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I was dropped into it, so I inherited a mostly completed environment, and then I finished it.

They had problems with the VMware running on their servers because they were using unsupported. It was before Dell released firmware for the controllers for the servers to stop complaining. Even though the drives were working fine, the controller was throwing a bunch of errors.

Plus, that version of VMware, at that time, didn't support TRIM, so then it had problems reclaiming space and stuff like that. Then it had to go over to Windows, which under Hyper-V supported TRIM. Now, VMware does support it, so it wouldn't be an issue, but it's already converted over. It's rock solid.

What other advice do I have?

Don't knock Hyper-V until you actually try it.

I get a lot of people from the tech community, saying things like, "Hahaha, you're on Hyper-V?" And I reply, "Yeah. At first, I opposed it, but it's grown on me and I love it." I still run VMware at home, just because I already have it running on in my lab, but if I were to rebuild, I'd do it under Hyper-V. Why not?

You get more features for free.

You've got to actually really try it for a good six months to a year, and then it grows on you. It's like, "Wow! You can do all that?" Yeah. And more.

Hyper-V's gotten a lot better since 2012 and 2012 R2, and now the 2016 is light years again.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user683457
Systems Architect at a media company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Vendor
Live migration and SMB3 are very valuable.

How has it helped my organization?

We built a private cloud with it.

What is most valuable?

Live migration, SMB3.

What needs improvement?

Storage via SMB3.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Yes.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

No.

How are customer service and technical support?

6

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

Previously used VMware. Switched due to cost.

How was the initial setup?

It was reasonably straightforward.

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

It's cheap, but not the best.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Vmware was better, but it was more expensive.

What other advice do I have?

Don’t use it for mission critical clouds.

How has it helped my organization?

We built a private cloud with it.

What is most valuable?

Live migration, SMB3.

What needs improvement?

Storage via SMB3.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Yes.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

No.

How are customer service and technical support?

6

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

Previously used VMware. Switched due to cost.

How was the initial setup?

It was reasonably straightforward.

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

It's cheap, but not the best.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Vmware was better, but it was more expensive.

What other advice do I have?

Don’t use it for mission critical clouds.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
ITCS user
Service Manager at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
Consultant
Provides a redundant hosted solution to our clients, and the ability to load balance a cluster of servers so that resources are evenly spread.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature of this is the ability to provide a completely redundant hosted solution to our clients, no matter where they are. We have the ability to load balance a cluster of servers so that resources are evenly spread, providing the best experience. I also like the ability to live migrate machines if we have any issues with a host. The user experiences no degradation.

How has it helped my organization?

This solution allows us to use minimal resources to support a large number of clients.

What needs improvement?

One thing I would love to see with this product is the ability to provide an offline solution. It would be great if someone could do work when no network connection is available, then sync up when a connection is available. I would also like to see better performance with media. Right now, streaming any media within Hyper-V is just not feasible.

For how long have I used the solution?

We have been using Hyper-V for over eight years now. We are currently using Microsoft Hyper-V 2012 to provide a fully hosted desktop solution for our clients. Our clients access their desktops through a gateway broker.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We do experience some instability with the platform. It usually happens if there is a lot of I/O happening on the volumes that hold the VMs. We also have some issues working with clustered servers not load balancing correctly.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

No issues with scalability.

How are customer service and technical support?

Technical support is 10/10. Well, it’s a Microsoft product, so the level of support has been great.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

Before Hyper-V, we used VMware. At the time, VMware was difficult to manage, very expensive and not as reliable.

How was the initial setup?

Hyper-V is very straightforward. It’s really just adding the appropriate roles and licenses to the servers. Once the brokers and gateways are set up, it’s really easy to just add hosting servers and VMs to those hosts.

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

I wasn’t involved in the pricing or licensing, so I can’t really comment on it.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Before using Hyper-V, we used VMware and Citrix. This solution gave us the most flexibility.

What other advice do I have?

If you are looking for virtual technology, Hyper-V continues to grow and improve. Being a Microsoft product, it’s the most-compatible solution to implement into your environment. It’s also the most cost-effective solution and you really can’t beat Microsoft support.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: We are a Microsoft partner.
ITCS user
Independent Analyst and Advisory Consultant at Server StorageIO - www.storageio.com
Consultant
Review about Microsoft Hyper-V
Happy 20th Birthday Windows Server, ready for Server 2016? In case you have not heard,  is celebrating the 20th birthday (or anniversary) of Windows Server.  has a nice site with info graphics and timelines of where Windows Server has been and accomplished over the past 20 years. Some of you may remember from 20 years ago Windows Server with a different name aka Windows NT Server. Back in the day, if you recall (or read), server requirements were more in the 33 MHz vs. 3.3GHz range, 32MB of RAM Memory vs. 32GB to 320GB, 150MB HDD vs. 150GB SSD or 1.5TB HDD. Keep in mind that 20 years ago Linux was a relative new thing with Red Hat not yet quite household or more specific enterprise name. The various Unix (e.g. IBM AIX, HP HP-UX, Sun Solaris, DEC Unix and Ultrix among…

Happy 20th Birthday Windows Server, ready for Server 2016?

In case you have not heard,  is celebrating the 20th birthday (or anniversary) of Windows Server.


 has a nice site with info graphics and timelines of where Windows Server has been and accomplished over the past 20 years.

Some of you may remember from 20 years ago Windows Server with a different name aka Windows NT Server. Back in the day, if you recall (or read), server requirements were more in the 33 MHz vs. 3.3GHz range, 32MB of RAM Memory vs. 32GB to 320GB, 150MB HDD vs. 150GB SSD or 1.5TB HDD.

Keep in mind that 20 years ago Linux was a relative new thing with Red Hat not yet quite household or more specific enterprise name. The various Unix (e.g. IBM AIX, HP HP-UX, Sun Solaris, DEC Unix and Ultrix among many others) were still dominate, OS2 had peaked or close to, among others. Virtual Machines were Logical Partitions (LPAR) on Mainframes along with virtual PCs software and hardware assist boards.
IMHO there is no coincidence of Microsoft celebrating 20 years of WIndows Server going into the fall of 2016 and the upcoming release of .

What’s New in Server 2016 (TP5)?

If you have not done so, check out the latest Tech Preview 5 (TP5) of Windows  (get the bits e.g. software here to try) which includes Storage Spaces Direct (S2D) that leverages internal PCIe and drive formatSSD (NVMe, SAS, SATA) along with HDDs (SAS, SATA) for creating local and scale-out converged (desegregated) and hyper-converged (aggregated) solutions. In addition to S2D there is Storage Replica (SR) which is replication of local storage part of S2D (not to be confused with DFS or other replication).


Other enhancements include ReFS as the default file system instead of NTFS (don’t worry, NTFS like FAT does not go away yet). There are enhancements to Hyper-V including VM shielding, hot-plug virtual network adapters, enhanced Linux support and fail over priorities among others. Other enhancements include updates for AD including improved integration with on-premise as well as Azure AD for hybrid environments, PowerShell updates, Docker management including Linux (via Hyper-V) and Windows via Nano) container engines.

Speaking of Nano, if you had not heard, this is a new very light weight Windows Kernel that removes 32 bit WOW and GUI support. The result is that Nano is a very small physical (under 1GB image instance size) using less disk, less memory and less CPU to do a given amount of work, oh, and boots super fast, even without SSD. By not having all the 32 bit and GUI overhead, the intent with Nano is there should be fewer updates and maintenance tasks to do, while enabling Windows containers for SQL Server and other applications.


In addition to PowerShell, AD and other management enhancements, Windows Server 2016 (TP5) also enables bridging two worlds e.g. traditional on-premise (or cloud) based Windows Server and Public Cloud (e.g. Azure) and Private or Hybrid including Azure Stack. Note that if you have not heard of Azure Stack and are looking at cloud stacks such as OpenStack, do your due diligence and at least familiarize yourself with Azure Stack.

View more about WIndows 2016 TP5 enhancements here.

Where To Learn More

What This All Means

Congratulations Microsoft and Windows Server on 20th birthday (anniversary) you have come a long way.


With the new features and functionality in Windows Server 2016, looks like there is still a good future for the software defined server.

Read more here including how to get the 2016 TP5 bits to try yourself.

Ok, nuff said, for now… cheers GS

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
ITCS user
Architect at a tech consulting company with 51-200 employees
Real User
What is Hyper-V over SMB?
With the release of Windows Server 2012 Microsoft offers a new way to store Hyper-V Virtual Machine on a shared storage. In Windows Server 2008 and Windows Server 2008 R2 Hyper-V Microsoft did only offer block-based shared-storage like Fiber channel or iSCSI. With Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V Microsoft allows you to used file-based storage to run Hyper-V Virtual Machine from via the new SMB 3.0 protocol. This means Hyper-V over SMB allows you to store virtual machines on a SMB file share. In the past years I did a lot of Hyper-V implementations working with iSCSI or Fiber channel storage, and I am really happy with the new possibilities SMB 3.0 offers. The common problem of block storage is that the Hyper-V host has to handle the storage connection. That means if you use iSCSI or…

Hyper-V over SMB

With the release of Windows Server 2012 Microsoft offers a new way to store Hyper-V Virtual Machine on a shared storage. In Windows Server 2008 and Windows Server 2008 R2 Hyper-V Microsoft did only offer block-based shared-storage like Fiber channel or iSCSI. With Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V Microsoft allows you to used file-based storage to run Hyper-V Virtual Machine from via the new SMB 3.0 protocol. This means Hyper-V over SMB allows you to store virtual machines on a SMB file share. In the past years I did a lot of Hyper-V implementations working with iSCSI or Fiber channel storage, and I am really happy with the new possibilities SMB 3.0 offers.

The common problem of block storage is that the Hyper-V host has to handle the storage connection. That means if you use iSCSI or fiber channel you have to configure the connection to the storage on the Hyper-V host for example multipath, iSCSI initiator or DSM software. With Hyper-V over SMB you don’t have to configure anything special because SMB 3.0 is built-in to Windows and supporting features like SMB Multichannel are activated and used by default. Of course you have to do some design considerations but this is much less complex than an iSCSI or Fiber Channel implementation.

How did they make it work

The first thing which was important was speed. SMB 3.0 offers a huge performance increase over the SMB 2.x protocol and you totally have to think about it in a different way. There are also a lot of other features like SMB Direct (RDMA), SMB Multichannel or Transparent Failover and many more which help in terms of performance, security and availability, but more on this supporting features in the next post.
Hyper-V over SMB Multichannel

Why Hyper-V over SMB?

Well I already mentioned a lot of reasons why you should use Hyper-V over SMB, but if you think about it there are there main reasons why you should use it.

Costs – Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V allows you to build cluster up to 64 nodes and if you build a clusters this size with fiber channel storage this will be quiet an investment in terms of fiber channel hardware such as HBAs, Switches and cables. By using Hyper-V over SMB you can reduce cost for infrastructure dramatically. Sure maybe you have already invested in a fiber channel storage and a fiber channel infrastructure and you don’t have to change that. For example if you have 100 Hyper-V hosts you may have about 200 HBAs and you also need fiber channel switches. What you could do with Hyper-V over SMB, you could create a Scale-Out File Server Cluster with 8 nodes which are attached to the fiber channel and present the storage to the Hyper-V hosts by using a SMB file share. This would save you a lot money.

Flexibility – Another point which I already mentioned is flexibility. By using Hyper-V over SMB you are removing the Storage dependency from the Hyper-V host and add the storage configuration to the Virtual Machine. In this case you don’t have to configure zoning or iSCSI initiators which is making life for Virtualization Administrators much easier. Here are two examples how IT teams can reduce complexity by using Hyper-V over SMB. First in small IT departments you may not have a dedicated storage team and if you have to add an new Hyper-V host or if you have to reconfigure your storage this can be a lot of difficult work for some people who haven’t much experience with the storage. In enterprise scenario you may have a dedicated Storage and a dedicated Virtualization team and in the most cases they have to work really closely together. For example if the Virtualization team adds another Hyper-V host, the Storage team has to configure the Storage for the host on the Storage site. If the Storage team makes changes to the Storage the Virtualization team eventually has to make changes to the Hyper-V hosts. This dependencies can be reduced by adding a layer between Storage and the Hypervisors and in this case this could be a Scale-Out File Server.

Technology – The third point in my list is technology. Microsoft is not really mention this point but since I have worked with different options like iSCSI, fiber channel or SMB I am a huge fan of SMB 3.0. Fiber channel is a great but expensive technology and people who have worked with iSCSI know that there can be a lot of issues in terms of performance. SMB 3.0 has some great supporting features which can help you increase performance, RDMA which is a technology which can increase networking performance by multiple times and SMB Multichannel which allows you to use multiple network adapters for failover and load balancing are working very well and let you make the most out of your hardware. Another part can be security if you think about encrypting iSCSI networks via IPsec you know that this can be something complex, with SMB Encryption there is a very easy solution for that on the SMB scenario.

I hope I could give you a quick introduction to Hyper-V over SMB and why it’s a good idea consider this in your deployment plans. In the next post I will quickly summarize the supporting features in SMB 3.0.

Disclosure: The company I work for is a Microsft Partner

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
ITCS user
CEO at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
Consultant
Setup on a DAS can split functions to as many servers as needed improved backups and uptime.

What is most valuable?

Quick boots Fast up time and install

How has it helped my organization?

Setup on a DAS can split functions to as many servers as needed improved backups and uptime.

What needs improvement?

Cannot copy paste within the app Some bugs were not fixable and I had to reinstall core OS

For how long have I used the solution?

3 Years

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

No

How are customer service and technical support?

Customer Service: Good Technical Support: Good

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

VMware

How was the initial setup?

Straightforward

What about the implementation team?

In-house

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Yes

What is most valuable?

  • Quick boots
  • Fast up time and install

How has it helped my organization?

Setup on a DAS can split functions to as many servers as needed improved backups and uptime.

What needs improvement?

  • Cannot copy paste within the app
  • Some bugs were not fixable and I had to reinstall core OS

For how long have I used the solution?

3 Years

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

No

How are customer service and technical support?

Customer Service:

Good

Technical Support:

Good

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

VMware

How was the initial setup?

Straightforward

What about the implementation team?

In-house

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Yes

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user345411
IT Administrator at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
Consultant
The main improvement to our organization is its scalability and the ability to support our system by running our applications simultaneously.

Valuable Features

It's scalable and stable. Working on Hyper-V is a wonderful experience. It supports our systems in parallel, providing us results that meet our needs. Moreover, providing more and more new features everyday such as Live Migration, CSV and so on.

Also, assigning physical NICs to each VM is wonderful with Hyper-V, as it distributes load and performs well. Otherwise, all VMs bottleneck to a virtual switch which is bound to just one physical NIC.

Improvements to My Organization

The main improvement to our organization is its scalability and the ability to support our system by running our applications simultaneously. It ultimately helps us with customer satisfactions and productivity, Failover clustering is another amazing benefit to my organization as we have dramatically reduced the downtime.

Room for Improvement

The networking component of the setup needs to be less complex.I have one physical server with four built in LAN ports (NIC1, NIC2, NIC3 & NIC4) and I want three more VMs on it. In order to distribute the traffic load, I want to assign one NIC to each VM with one for the physical server. This means whenever L needs remote access for management purpose it will utilize NIC4, but this needs to be simpler to setup.

Use of Solution

I've used it for more than two years.

Deployment Issues

We have four physical cards in a Poweredge R710 server with three VMs on it. We have assigned one NIC to each VM, with one for management purposes and remote access.

Stability Issues

Initially we were using only one NIC for all VMs, physical servers, and for remote purposes as well. After assigning one NIC to each machine, the performance improved and is now excellent and reliable.

Scalability Issues

We've scaled sufficiently.

Customer Service and Technical Support

Customer Service:

8/10

Technical Support:

8/10

Initial Setup

The initial setup and configuration is not too complex, but completing the networking part is a bit complex.

Implementation Team

All implementation was done in-house.

Other Advice

You should evaluate this product as it’s very easy to manage.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user327432
Technical Support Specialist at PCMS Datafit
Consultant
I'm able to save space by running multiple Operating Systems and Services on only one physical device, but I wish importing/exporting were more robust and more user-friendly.

What is most valuable?

It's free minus initial licensing for the OS. You can centrally manage multiple Hyper-V hosts rather easy with no extra licensing fees vs VMware vCenter. Having used both I still have a preference for VMware (especially for P2V situations), but for home/small offices Hyper-V is a great alternative. Hyper-V is included in Windows 8 and Windows 10 with minimal loss to functionality (mainly no Hyper-V replica).

How has it helped my organization?

I use this in my home lab, and I am able to save space by running multiple Operating Systems and Services on only one physical device.

What needs improvement?

I have not gotten to configure virtual SANs, but I wish there were more solutions for storage options. Virtual SANs aside, Server 2012R2 does provide a rather easy way to setup iSCSI targets with local storage. I wish importing/exporting were more robust and more user-friendly. Creating templates would be nice. I will say Hyper-V replica for clustering/failover is pretty sweet. P2V situations are a little more convoluted than with VMware, but still relatively easy. You just have to create a VHD image of the physical machine then attach it to a new virtual machine.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've used it for one or two years.

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

No issues encountered.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

No issues encountered.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I run an i7 quad core with a total of 8 processing threads and 24GB of RAM. I have eight VMs on a Hyper-V host, but not all run at the same time. The most I’ve had run is five, and everything ran pretty smoothly.

How are customer service and technical support?

Technical support is very limited. Knowledge-base articles on TechNet and public forums are all that is really available.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

This is my first enterprise deployment of a virtual machine infrastructure. I used Hyper-V because it was already on my host OS.

How was the initial setup?

Deployment is easy, enable the feature using the wizard, reboot, and access the management console to start making VMs. Implementation is easy, if you can’t set it up yourself, you don’t belong in IT.

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

It's free, minus the license for the host OS.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I like VMware ESXi, I am aware they offer a free version as well. When I have time and resources, I would like to implement a new infrastructure using that. I’m very familiar with ESXi because we use that in our work infrastructure.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
ITCS user
Microsoft System Engineer at Summit Technology Solution
Vendor
You can move from server to server without downtime with Live Migration in a VM.

Valuable Features:

1. Improved Windows stability 2. Hyper-V stability 3. Live migration 4. Enhanced session mode 5. Clustering

Improvements to My Organization:

Enhanced Session Mode is a feature thats allow you to copy and past inside the virtual machine. Live Migration in a virtual machine where you can move across your Hyper-V physical servers with or without user interaction, and in a virtual machine you can move from server to server without downtime.

Valuable Features:

1. Improved Windows stability

2. Hyper-V stability

3. Live migration

4. Enhanced session mode

5. Clustering

Improvements to My Organization:

Enhanced Session Mode is a feature thats allow you to copy and past inside the virtual machine.

Live Migration in a virtual machine where you can move across your Hyper-V physical servers with or without user interaction, and in a virtual machine you can move from server to server without downtime.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: My company integrates Microsoft solutions for our customers.
ITCS user
Manager IT at a energy/utilities company with 501-1,000 employees
Vendor
I have less down time in case of a disaster and have saved on hardware and electricity costs.

Valuable Features:

- One-window management of servers - Less down time in case of a disaster - Easy to use and manage

Improvements to My Organization:

After deploying this, we have saved hardware and electricity costs.

Room for Improvement:

Not yet rectified.

Use of Solution:

I've used this technology since 2010. It is a really amazing product. By shifting almost my all physical servers into one Box "Host Machine", I am relaxed now. 

Deployment Issues:

Not yet

Other Solutions Considered:

I have also deployed VMware.

Valuable Features:

- One-window management of servers

- Less down time in case of a disaster

- Easy to use and manage

Improvements to My Organization:

After deploying this, we have saved hardware and electricity costs.

Room for Improvement:

Not yet rectified.

Use of Solution:

I've used this technology since 2010. It is a really amazing product. By shifting almost my all physical servers into one Box "Host Machine", I am relaxed now. 

Deployment Issues:

Not yet

Other Solutions Considered:

I have also deployed VMware.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
ITCS user
Systems Engineer at a financial services firm with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
You can automate the deployment of a new Hyper-V host, but the networking part is difficult to setup.

What needs improvement?

They need to make the initial configuration more straightforward, as the networking part is confusing.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've used it for three years.

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

I find out that for smaller shops, that have under 50VMs with a 1gb network, you don't need separate iSCSI traffic for your data. I know that all the best practices tell you to separate the traffic, but what I am seeing, is a much better Hyper-V performance if you keep ISCSI traffic with your data traffic. If you can use CIFS instead of the iSCSI, go with CIFS, HyperV loves CIFS.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We did have problems, and you need to make sure that the LUNs have enough space. If you run out of space, you will need to spend a few hours to bring the VMs up.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

If you know what you are doing, you can automate the deployment of a new Hyper-V host with a PXE boot and VMM.

How are customer service and technical support?

Customer Service:

5/10.

Technical Support:

It's 5/10 as it is like a lotto, you never know who you will get on other side. Sometimes you get an expert, and sometimes you get a beginner.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We previously used VMware. The primary reason to switch to Hyper-V was the cost, as Hyper-V is for free.

How was the initial setup?

The networking part is confusing for the beginners

What about the implementation team?

We did it in-house.

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

Hyper-V is free, however if you build clusters, you should get a manager to centralize the management. If you are big enough and you have some money, I strongly recommend System Center, which includes VMM and other great tools like Orchestrator. You can automate building your VMs and even your application tiers. Also with VMM, you can automate spinning up new Hyper-V hosts with PXE boot. I configured, I used it, and it works perfectly.

If you are small shop go with a third party Hyper-V manager like 5nine. It is cheap, they even have a free version, and also a converter from VMware is free. I am using it right now and it works great. It includes alerting.

If for some reason you cant get either, you can manage your clusters directly from fail over cluster manager. It is just more manual work than with the tools above.

What other advice do I have?

For the cost, it has almost the same features as VMware. If you are a Microsoft shop, then get Hyper-V with System Center to connect to Windows Azure and you are all set.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user240039
Lead Architect at a tech services company with 501-1,000 employees
Consultant
Not equal or superior to VMware’s ESXi
“We are 4x cheaper with better technology versus VMware.” I’ve been fairly open in my opinion against the latest round of Microsoft FUD coming out of their Worldwide Partner Conference this week but I felt strongly enough by the utter crap coming out of their mouths to respond in a post. It’s not so much about the claim to be 4x cheaper than the VMware Cloud Suite…but more the outright incorrect claims that their technology is somehow superior to that of VMware’s. I’ve found myself in the position to have been exposed to both Hyper-V and ESXi (not counting the Management and Orchestration suites) and in fact I cut my teeth in the Virtualization world on Hyper-V…so unlike others out there who see things only through the rose colored glasses Microsoft seem to sew onto peoples…

“We are 4x cheaper with better technology versus VMware.”

I’ve been fairly open in my opinion against the latest round of Microsoft FUD coming out of their Worldwide Partner Conference this week but I felt strongly enough by the utter crap coming out of their mouths to respond in a post.

It’s not so much about the claim to be 4x cheaper than the VMware Cloud Suite…but more the outright incorrect claims that their technology is somehow superior to that of VMware’s.

I’ve found myself in the position to have been exposed to both Hyper-V and ESXi (not counting the Management and Orchestration suites) and in fact I cut my teeth in the Virtualization world on Hyper-V…so unlike others out there who see things only through the rose colored glasses Microsoft seem to sew onto peoples faces… I go by a real world operational perspective that’s not blinkered.

So here it is…Microsoft Hyper-V is not the equal or superior to VMware’s ESXi! And rather than go through feature by feature..In the interest of keeping this post short and to the point, I would challenge anybody to sit someone who has had zero exposure to the Virtualization market to evaluate both Hyper-V and ESXi side by side…without bias or without prejudice there is no doubt in anyone's mind that no logical person would choose Hyper-V as the better hypervisor platform over ESXi. To reinforce that…ESXi will come out on top.

It’s that simple!

Of course I now fall firmly with the side of VMware and some will argue that my own view is blurred but I can tell you that my current opinions are based on fact and experience…not desperate attempts to discredit otherwise far far superior technology…but then again…Microsoft have made a habit of this so it doesn’t surprise me.

Kevin Turner you are a disgrace!

Read more: http://www.crn.com.au/News/389695,vmware-google-apple-catch-a-spray-in-turners-keynote.aspx?utm_source=feed&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=CRN+All+Articles+feed#ixzz37Vca3hea

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user234735
Technology Consultant, ASEAN at a tech services company with 501-1,000 employees
Consultant
Hyper-V 2012 R2 vs. VMware vSphere 5.5
I was won with Hyper-V 2012R2 recently and the table below based on customer RFP (edited). This articles all about technical, there is not related with TCO/ROI, licensing cost, “political”, etc. Another to noted is the Windows Server 2012 licenses is based on 2 socket CPU, meanwhile VMware vSphere is based on 1 socket CPU. With Windows 2012R2 Datacenter, you will eligible to have unlimited Guest OS licenses. Also System Center 2012R2 licenses based on 2 socket CPU. Enjoy it, and let me know if I missed something or need some updated. Requirements Hyper-V 2012R2 VMware vSphere 5.5 Host Server Hardware Requirements • 32 Logical CPUs minimum • 128GB RAM or more Support: • 320 Logical Processor…

I was won with Hyper-V 2012R2 recently and the table below based on customer RFP (edited). This articles all about technical, there is not related with TCO/ROI, licensing cost, “political”, etc. Another to noted is the Windows Server 2012 licenses is based on 2 socket CPU, meanwhile VMware vSphere is based on 1 socket CPU. With Windows 2012R2 Datacenter, you will eligible to have unlimited Guest OS licenses.

Also System Center 2012R2 licenses based on 2 socket CPU.

Enjoy it, and let me know if I missed something or need some updated.

Requirements Hyper-V 2012R2 VMware vSphere 5.5
Host Server Hardware Requirements
• 32 Logical CPUs minimum
• 128GB RAM or more
Support:
• 320 Logical Processor
• 4TB RAM
Support:
• 320 Logical Processor
• 4TB RAM
VM Guest Hardware Specification
• Up to 16vCPUs
• Up to 64GB RAM
• At least support for 2 vNICs
• Virtual CPU per Host
• Virtual Hard disk support for up to 10TB
Support:
• 64vCPUs
• 1TB RAM
• 12 vNIC supported
• 2048 vCPU per Host
• 64TB Virtual Disk
Support:
• 64vCPUs
• 1TB RAM
• 10 vNIC supported
• 512 vCPU per Host
• 62TB Virtual Disk
Host clustering Support:
• Support for at least 8 nodes
• Support for at least 90 running VMs or more
• VM Replication technology to enable DR scenarios
Support:
• 64 nodes per Cluster
• 8,000 VMs per Cluster
• Hyper-V Replica
Support:
• 32 nodes per Cluster
• 4,000 VMs per Cluster
• vSphere Replication
• VM Failover priority and startup priority • YES • YES
• Concurrent based migration without downtime of VMs Live Migration with unlimited VMs vMotion, 4VM (1GbE) and 10VM (10GbE) per Host
• Storage migration without downtime of VMs Live Storage Migration Storage vMotion
• No shared storage based migration without downtime of VMs Shared Nothing Live Migration vMotion
• High Availability of VMs Windows Server Failover Cluster VMware HA
• Dynamic Workload balancing across host cluster • Hyper-V High Availability • VMware DRS
• Live merge of VM snapshots • Intelligent Placement with System Center VMM • Center Snapshot Manager
• Supported with Hyper-V Backup • Supported with vSphere Data Protection
Support for VM workload migration without downtime, VM workload storage migration without downtime and host clustering features Intelligent Placement (VMM) for VM workload without downtime. And Storage Tiering by Windows Server 2012R2 for Storage Workload. DRS and Storage DRS
Support for VM Templates and automated VM creation of Windows Server OS workloads YES YES
Support for managing multi Hypervisors – preferably VMware and Hyper-V System Center 2012R2 support for managing multi hypervisor (Hyper-V, VMware and XenServer) vCenter vCAC
Granular administration model Supported with Windows Server 2012R2 Active Directory Supported with Windows Server 2012R2 Active Directory
Monitoring and alerting of virtual infrastructure coving all components from the hardware level to the Hypervisor to the running VMs, VM OS health and Applications monitoring Supported with System Center 2012R2 vCenter Operations Manager
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
ITCS user
System Architect at a manufacturing company with 10,001+ employees
Vendor
Microsoft Hyper-V 3.0 from a vSphere lover's perspective.
Microsoft is making claims that Windows Hyper-V Server 2012 is the best virtualization platform for Windows. I have to say that they have caught my interest with Windows Server 2012, Hyper-V version 3 and Systems Center Virtual Machine Manager (SCVMM) 2012. So I have been hard at work getting deep into the products, first by updating all my lab systems. Unfortunately Windows Server 2012 is not in general release yet so all my setup and testing is being done with the release candidate and/or technical preview software. In saying this, you can’t really compare the software solutions to the current release versions of VMware vSphere, vCenter Server, etc as I may tend to do. And if you don’t know, VMWorld 2012 is right around the corner and I expect there to be additional product updates…

Microsoft is making claims that Windows Hyper-V Server 2012 is the best virtualization platform for Windows. I have to say that they have caught my interest with Windows Server 2012, Hyper-V version 3 and Systems Center Virtual Machine Manager (SCVMM) 2012. So I have been hard at work getting deep into the products, first by updating all my lab systems. Unfortunately Windows Server 2012 is not in general release yet so all my setup and testing is being done with the release candidate and/or technical preview software. In saying this, you can’t really compare the software solutions to the current release versions of VMware vSphere, vCenter Server, etc as I may tend to do. And if you don’t know, VMWorld 2012 is right around the corner and I expect there to be additional product updates. Especially since VMware has been an industry leader and innovator in this space for many years now.

Let’s skip past the details of the features that one or the other offers and outline my findings and my opinions of Hyper-V. The first thing most people will ask is whether Hyper-V better than vSphere' Well the answer is “Yes” and “No”. I would still say that I like vSphere better but that’s because I’m a bit bias having used it for so long. But I do see the great potential that is to be had by implementing Hyper-V and System Center VMM, especially for enterprise clients that are primarily using Microsoft Windows Server along with System Center solutions.

Here’s what I think so far about what Microsoft is bringing to bare for virtualization.

CONS:

  • I found Hyper-V to be a bit more complex to configure some of the features that vSphere seems to make really simple like High Availability (HA) which requires the Failover Clustering feature.
  • There are features that I haven’t found yet in Hyper-V like Enhanced vMotion to aid in dong Live Migrations between different processor families.
  • I did not see a comparable solution to Distributed Resource Scheduler (DRS) or Storage DRS. These are two features that yield great returns by automatically balancing VM workloads across multiple host resources using vMotion and Storage vMotion.
  • There’s a lot going on with SCVMM which mean you have a bit to wrap your head around. But some may say the same thing about vCenter.

PROS:

  • My first Pro is the last Con. There is a lot going on with SCVMM. While it was a little overwhelming once you do get your head wrap around it you’ll see that you can do more than just server virtualization. You can build a private cloud with self service and all. VMware offers vCloud Director which is a separate solution with additional licensing and cost.
  • With Datacenter Edition of Windows Server gives you can virtualize an unlimited number of virtual machines. This also includes the virtual machines operating system licenses if your running Windows Server. VMware can’t even offer that since Microsoft owns the OS.
  • If your already licensed to use System Center 2012 you will get SCVMM and more at no additional cost. This is because Microsoft has decided to bundle many of the management products and change their licensing model. More details can be found here. If you have a previous version of the management software an upgrade path could be available and worth it giving the additional software you’ll gain.
  • Oh and I can’t forget the fact that SCVMM will let you use Hyper-V, vSphere, and Citrix virtualization host servers as platforms to build on. This is not available with vCenter since it only supports managing VMware virtualization hosts.

The new version of Windows Hyper-V does not have 100% feature parity with VMware vSphere 5 and vCenter combo but you get so much those additional features might not matter much. Microsoft is clearly going to give VMware some serious competition when it’s released.

Microsoft Hyper-V 3.0 from a vSphere lovers perspective. originally appeared on theHyperadvisor by Antone Heyward

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user142614
Datacenter and Cloud Architect with 1,001-5,000 employees
Vendor
If you don't have a need for complex apps then Hyper-V is the correct solution to choose
I've used Hyper-V 2012 for 6 months for deployment of new VM's. The speed of the VM's has improved the way we function, although the storage features could use some improvement. Overall, I gave Hyper-V 4 stars although we did encounter issues with deployment and there were times when it was not stable which caused the VM to reboot without notice.  Before implementing Hyper-V, we also evaluated options from VMware. If you don't have a need for complex apps then Hyper-V is the correct solution to choose. We chose to implement in-house and our setup cost was $4,100.

I've used Hyper-V 2012 for 6 months for deployment of new VM's. The speed of the VM's has improved the way we function, although the storage features could use some improvement. Overall, I gave Hyper-V 4 stars although we did encounter issues with deployment and there were times when it was not stable which caused the VM to reboot without notice. 

Before implementing Hyper-V, we also evaluated options from VMware. If you don't have a need for complex apps then Hyper-V is the correct solution to choose. We chose to implement in-house and our setup cost was $4,100.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user92241
IT Manager with 51-200 employees
Vendor
Virtual Networking: VMware vs. Hyper-V
We've been busy building out our new Server 2012/Hyper-V infrastructure in support of our move to all new and shiny Exchange 2013, SharePoint 2013, Lync 2013 and Office 2013 along with our move to Windows 8 on all the client machines. We made the decision to move off VMware ESXi as our virtualization platform and onto Hyper-V as we are first and foremost a Microsoft shop. Server 2012 and Hyper-V now offer a compelling platform for virtualization and, frankly, if we can do what we want to do with products from one vendor rather than multiple vendors then so much the better. Hyper-V is no longer a poor relation to VMware in terms of performance or capabilities and, believe me, I was the most “dyed in the wool” rabid VMware user for many years so I’m not saying this just to toe…

We've been busy building out our new Server 2012/Hyper-V infrastructure in support of our move to all new and shiny Exchange 2013, SharePoint 2013, Lync 2013 and Office 2013 along with our move to Windows 8 on all the client machines. We made the decision to move off VMware ESXi as our virtualization platform and onto Hyper-V as we are first and foremost a Microsoft shop. Server 2012 and Hyper-V now offer a compelling platform for virtualization and, frankly, if we can do what we want to do with products from one vendor rather than multiple vendors then so much the better. Hyper-V is no longer a poor relation to VMware in terms of performance or capabilities and, believe me, I was the most “dyed in the wool” rabid VMware user for many years so I’m not saying this just to toe the company line. I firmly believe that it’s now pretty much a level playing field between VMware and Microsoft.

During our migration we have been learning about the subtle differences between the two platforms and have had to adjust our thinking accordingly. Virtual networking, and specifically “virtual switches”, is one area where we have had to really make a conscious effort to adjust how we look at things and how we configure things. Let me explain …

In both VMware and Hyper-V you have to deal with virtual switching to “bridge” the virtual machines hosted on a virtualization host to your physical network. Both platforms allow you to create virtual switches that act pretty much the same a physical layer 2 switches and both platforms require you to create at least one virtual switch before VM’s can be connected to the outside world. But while the overall concept is the same the execution varies rather a lot between the two platforms.

VMware Virtual Switch

In VMware I can create a virtual switch and attach one or more physical NIC’s to the switch. If I create a virtual switch with 2 NIC’s then the switch would have theoretical throughput of 2Gbps assuming both underlying physical NIC’s were gigabit. When I attach VM’s to the switch the VM’s would route traffic over both NIC’s (in theory). I know in practice that traffic might “ping pong” across the NIC’s as they aren’t actually teamed together (bonded) but the point is the switch provides “bigger” bandwidth than a switch with only one NIC attached. (You can bond NIC’s for switches but that is beyond the scope of this blog.) Think of the switch as providing “load balancing” across the attached NIC’s as well as a certain amount of redundancy as the switch (and the attached VM’s) can survive a component NIC failure and keep connectivity in place. Our VMware configs usually had a couple of switches configured, each with a couple of NIC’s, and each switch would support multiple VM’s. VMware virtual switches normally do NOT have an IP assigned to the switch as underlying VMware doesn’t attempt to bind an IP to the physical NIC.

Here is the list of physical NIC’s in my lab ESXi box, one NIC is currently connected to the physical network:

image thumb Hyper V vs VMware Virtual Networking

And here is the current switch configuration:

image thumb1 Hyper V vs VMware Virtual Networking

In this case the switch is the default one created at installation time. It includes the single cabled NIC I have in place right now. Note that there are actually two networks configured – VM Network and Management Network. The Management Network actually has an IP address assigned as that is the IP address for the VMware host itself. In many cases when a VMware host has many NIC’s the Management Network might have a NIC all to itself. The VM Network provides switch connectivity to the VM’s attached to it and an IP address is NOT assigned to the network. Note: as there is only one NIC assigned to the switch connectivity to both the host and the VM’s would be lost if the NIC failed or was disconnected from the network.

image thumb2 Hyper V vs VMware Virtual Networking

As you can see I have now added a second virtual switch (it has a NIC that is NOT cabled in to the physical network at this point). I have removed the VM Network from the first virtual switch (vSwitch0) and added a new network, VM Network 2, to the second virtual switch (vSwitch1). Now I have completely segmented my management network (physical host access) from my virtual machine network (virtual machine access). In this case the host would be accessible from the physical network as its switch (vSwitch0) has an operational NIC attached. The Server 2012 VM on vSwitch1 would NOT be accessible from the physical network as its switch does not have an operational (cabled in) NIC attached.

image thumb3 Hyper V vs VMware Virtual Networking

And now I have removed the second virtual switch, added the second NIC to the first virtual switch and moved the Server 2012 VM back on to the VM Network on the switch. In this case both the host and the VM would be accessible from the physical network as the switch has at least one operational NIC attached to it.

VMware virtual switching is pretty configurable and elastic.

Hyper-V Virtual Switch

Hyper-V virtual switches do NOT have the same ability to bind multiple NIC’s into a switch config, at least not at the virtual switch level. Traditional Hyper-V “external switches” work on the paradigm of one physical host NIC being bound to the switch. If you have a server with a whole bunch of NIC’s then you would need to create a virtual switch for each NIC that you want to use with Hyper-V. Each switch can support multiple VM’s attached to it, just like VMware, but each switch can only have the one physical NIC bound to it.

With the advent of Server2012 and Hyper-V 3 the single NIC constraint can be circumvented by TEAMING NIC’s at the Server 2012 level through Server Manager. The resulting tNIC can then be selected as the “NIC” for a Hyper-V virtual switch and the virtual switch would then have the aggregated bandwidth of the underlying NIC’s. The caveat here is that the PHYSICAL SWITCH on the other end of the cables from the NIC’s has to also allow for port teaming either via a manual set up or via LACP.

The other thing to understand is that the virtual switch will “take over” most of the characteristics of the NIC/tNIC assigned to it. That means the virtual switch will take on the IP address – DHCP or STATIC – of the underlying NIC as the NIC is just a NIC to the Windows Server host. This is very important to understand when you are setting up Hyper-V, specially so on a single NIC server.

Here is the adapter configuration on my lab Hyper-V server:

image thumb4 Hyper V vs VMware Virtual Networking

This is pretty similar to my VMware server, I have two physical NIC’s but only one is actually cabled into the physical network at this time. You’ll also note the “vEthernet” connection, this is the single Hyper-V virtual switch that has been created on this box.

In the Hyper-V Manager on the server I see the following for the virtual switch config:

image thumb5 Hyper V vs VMware Virtual Networking

This is the switch that I created to support my first Hyper-V VM’s. It is created as an “External Network” which means that it provides connectivity between the attached VM’s and the physical network beyond the Hyper-V host. And, importantly, it is set to, “Allow management operating system to share the network adapter”. This is critical in a single NIC server or, as in my case, when there is only one connected NIC on a multi-NIC machine. This setting is analogous to the VMware “Management Network” in that it is what allows the Server 2012 host to “share” the NIC with the Hyper-V guests attached to the switch. If I had created this switch and NOT selected this setting I would have ended up NOT being able to access the HOST over the network as the switch would NOT share the NIC between the VM’s and the host (single operational NIC, remember?). When this setting is selected, the switch will take on many of the characteristics of the underlying NIC including its network address settings (DHCP or Static); therefore, the switch will bind itself to the IP assigned to the HOST.

This is a really important concept to grasp because I cannot create a switch and assign multiple NIC’s to it (as mentioned previously). If I have a server with a bunch of NIC’s and I go and create one virtual switch per physical NIC AND I select the “Allow management setting …” then I will be binding multiple IP addresses to my host and that is probably not what I want to do. In our office our sysadmin, Louis, was wondering why all of a sudden the Hyper-V host had pulled a bunch of DHCP addresses; the answer was he created a bunch of switches all of which had management turned on which, in turn, required an IP and the default setting is DHCP.

Note that the switch IP, if there is one, has no bearing on the IP’s assigned to the VM’s nor do the VM’s require the switch to have an assigned IP. If a switch has an IP then it is there strictly to provide connectivity passthrough to the host.

As you might imagine, it is not as easy to configure Hyper-V virtual networking to be as “elastic” as VMware virtual networking, VMware still outshines Microsoft in this regard. You CAN use NIC teaming at the Server 2012 level to create tNIC’s (teamed NIC’s) that can then be incorporated into Hyper-V virtual switches but there are caveats that have to be met. Your physical switches must “understand” how you have teamed the NIC’s and be configured (or configure themselves) accordingly. Also, depending on how the NIC’s are teamed there is the possibility of tNIC failure if an underlying teamed NIC fails. If a tNIC in a Hyper-V switch fails then the switch itself will fail. This is very different behaviour from that of the VMware virtual switching that I have discussed and it is something you need to understand as you move from VMware to Hyper-V.

Conclusion

VMware still has the edge on Microsoft when it comes to simple virtual switching (and simple is what we deal with in the SMB world). But the edge is slim and Hyper-V does offer real value and a compelling use argument. Like anything else in IT, you need to understand the strengths and weaknesses of the products you select and design your environment accordingly. I hope this discussion of VMware and Hyper-V virtual switching will help you in your endeavours.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Chris Rodinis
Vice President at a tech vendor with 51-200 employees
Reseller
Leaderboard
Hyper-V can be run on this Dell PowerEdge
Hyper-V can be run on this Dell PowerEdge C6220.  Here is a brief upbeat compelling video overview of the Dell PowerEdge C6220 and C6220 II. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aJZs2EUy9Vg

Hyper-V can be run on this Dell PowerEdge C6220. 

Here is a brief upbeat compelling video overview of the Dell PowerEdge C6220 and C6220 II. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aJZs2EUy9Vg

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user79785
Director of IT with 51-200 employees
Vendor
Replica, Cost and Stability are very valuable but support has only been average - has proven to be hit-or-miss

What is most valuable?

There are a few features that make the product stand out:
  1. Replica: We have Replica running in our NY & London datacenters and can (and on a couple of occasions, have) fail over servers quickly and cleanly. Failback also worked like a charm.
  2. Cost: It’s no secret that H-V is much less expensive than VMware; we are saving many thousands a year in licensing & support. It also sets up for future costs savings as the business grows.
  3. Stability: Since we implemented the H-V solution we have reported outstanding uptimes.

How has it helped my organization?

The prime example is the simplicity and cost savings of our new DR/BCP solution. By consolidating our two disparate corporate AD2008/VMWare domains into a single Hyper-V/AD 2012 domain we have:
  1. Drastically reduced the complexity of the environment. NO more kludges or 3rd-party software to get systems like Exchange, Lync or AD Users conversing seamlessly.
  2. About $150K a year in colocation costs. With our private cloud we have a built-in DR/BCP solution on existing infrastructure, no need to farm out to a colo provider.

What needs improvement?

To be determine – we will be conducting a review of the R2 release in the second quarter of 2014.

For how long have I used the solution?

We’ve had the system in place since January 2013 and it went into full production in May 2013.

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

Not outside the usual challenges in learning a new application. We had 4 months to design, install and run the new domain in parallel to former environments.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Outside of needing to keep the VM hosts patched (we did have an issue with a driver related to storage), no.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Zero – we have a pretty robust infrastructure in place for the number of staff. Clustered DL385’s & EMC VNXe at each datacenter will allow us to scale out and up easily (we are using around 12% of capacity on the VNXe and can drop additional servers into the cluster if there’s a spike in use or we make acquisitions).

How are customer service and technical support?

Customer Service: Good.Technical Support: Average. I say that as my experience with MSFT Support in general has proven to be hit-or-miss with the first-level support. The second-level support is much better and I haven’t had to go beyond them for solutions.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We had VMware/AD 2008 in place at the two companies; the US infrastructure was already built out with SAN and meshed networking so we had to play catch-up with the UK datacenter. The switch was made at the behest of the group CEO – what the boss wants the boss gets!

How was the initial setup?

Pretty straightforward without any major surprises. The online documentation written up by MSFT and the legion of fans proved to be invaluable. The setup of Replica proved to be very easy.

What about the implementation team?

Implementation was done mostly by in-house staff (2 of us) and we needed a hand from a VAR for some of the clustering setup.

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

Between the additional hardware/software and consultant costs we spent around $80K.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

No – we felt the two best solutions were VMware & MSFT as we had been using VMware and had many years of experience with MSFT products.

What other advice do I have?

  1. Do not be afraid to work $$$ into the budget in case you need assistance from a 3rd-party.
  2. Test in parallel and do not be a hero and try to do it whole-hog at once.
  3. Do not postpone the DR/BCP part of the project. If you are building out a new infrastructure DO THIS FIRST. We were forced to push this to the back of the project and it bit us for a few days; in the end you do what the executives say but having file/application/server/site disaster recovery is an absolute must before you migrate production data.
  4. If you haven’t gone too far with it do a review of R2; it provides many improvements in the VM & Replica features.
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
ITCS user
Infrastructure Expert at a tech services company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Consultant
Even better than before
Last time I wrote a review on Hyper V for 2008 R2, which is the product I was using at the time. Having had experience with Hyper V "3.0", the version included in 2012, I figured it was time to update my review. Pro's Hyper-V definitely has its pros! - This version of Hyper-V is even more in depth than before, bringing it up to par with and even surpassing vSphere in some ways. - PowerShell scripting has been greatly expanded upon, allowing for more automation and centralized management. - Exporting a VM and importing it into a new server, or setting up fail-over clustering is easier than ever! - The integration with the new server manager and the existing MMC substructure is superb. Cons: The cons are the same as the last time. - Individual licensing costs for each server. - If you…

Last time I wrote a review on Hyper V for 2008 R2, which is the product I was using at the time. Having had experience with Hyper V "3.0", the version included in 2012, I figured it was time to update my review.

Pro's

Hyper-V definitely has its pros!

- This version of Hyper-V is even more in depth than before, bringing it up to par with and even surpassing vSphere in some ways.

- PowerShell scripting has been greatly expanded upon, allowing for more automation and centralized management.

- Exporting a VM and importing it into a new server, or setting up fail-over clustering is easier than ever!

- The integration with the new server manager and the existing MMC substructure is superb.

Cons:
The cons are the same as the last time.

- Individual licensing costs for each server.
- If you aren't using Hyper-V Core and are running Hyper-V on top of the full Server 2008 R2 platform, then you have less resources to allocate to your Virtual Machines.
- Except through RDP or SCVMM, there is no way to access the VM's on alternative platforms (like Mac or Linux).

All in all, Microsoft Hyper-V is an excellent platform and a great competitor for VMWare, and it keeps improving with each iteration!

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user8256
Senior Manager of Infrastructure with 501-1,000 employees
Vendor
Configuring and Managing Hyper-V Replica
Management Considerations Hyper-V servers are managed locally using the Hyper-V Manager interface or remotely using the Hyper-V Remote Server Administration Tools (RSAT) or System Center Virtual Machine Manager (SCVMM). If the configuration is a Hyper-V Failover Cluster, the Failover Cluster Management interface is used. Configuration and Management UI Hyper-V Replica settings are configured in the Hyper-V Manager interface for standalone Hyper-V servers and the Failover Cluster Manager interface for Hyper-V Failover Clusters. Configuration Settings Configuring a Standalone Hyper-V Replica Server 1. In the Hyper-V Manager interface, Click on Hyper-V Settings in the Actions pane 2. In the Hyper-V Settings dialog box, Click on Replication Configuration 3. In the Details…

Management Considerations
Hyper-V servers are managed locally using the Hyper-V Manager interface or remotely using the Hyper-V Remote Server Administration Tools (RSAT) or System Center Virtual Machine Manager (SCVMM). If the configuration is a Hyper-V Failover Cluster, the Failover Cluster Management interface is used.

Configuration and Management UI
Hyper-V Replica settings are configured in the Hyper-V Manager interface for standalone Hyper-V servers and the Failover Cluster Manager interface for Hyper-V Failover Clusters.

Configuration Settings

Configuring a Standalone Hyper-V Replica Server
1. In the Hyper-V Manager interface, Click on Hyper-V Settings in the Actions pane
2. In the Hyper-V Settings dialog box, Click on Replication Configuration
3. In the Details pane, Select Enable this computer as a replica server
4. Choose an Authentication method to include the port that will be used (The default ports are 80 for HTTP and 443 for HTTPS). There are default firewall rules already in place that just need to be enabled when replication is enabled on the Hyper-V server.
5. Configure Authorization and storage. This includes designating a specific location to store replica virtual machine files if the default location is not to be used. Should you not desire to allow all Primary servers to be serviced, there is an option to allow only specific servers (Primary servers) to send replication requests. If you want to allow all servers within the domain, a wildcard character can be used (e.g. *.contoso.com). When using a wildcard, only one storage location can be specified. If individual server entries are used, different storage locations for replica files can be configured. Complete all entries for the Primary Server, Storage Locations, and Security Tag information. Click Apply or OK when finished.

Configuring a Hyper-V Replica Failover Cluster
A Failover Cluster consists of multiple physical servers also known as nodes. Each node must have the Hyper-V role installed as well as the Failover Clustering feature. Installation of the Hyper-V role has already been covered. To install the Failover Clustering feature:
1. In Server Manager, start the Add Roles and Features Wizard (ARFW) by first choosing the Dashboard view and then choose Add Roles.
2. Step through the ARFW choosing the local node and making the following choices:
a. Installation Type: Role-based or Feature-based installation
b. Server Selection: Choose local node
c. Server Roles: Make no selections and click Next
d. Features: Choose Failover Clustering
e. Confirmation: Review the information and click Install (a reboot is not required when installing the Failover Clustering feature)
f. Results: Ensure the result is a successful installation of the Failover Clustering feature.
3. Complete this action across all nodes that will be members in the cluster
NOTE: The Failover Clustering feature can also be installed from the command line interface (CLI) by using the Deployment Image and Service Management (DISM) command line tool. At a command prompt, type: dism /online /enable-feature /featurename:Failover-Clustering. A reboot is not required to complete the installation.

After the Failover Clustering feature is installed and a Failover Cluster is created, the Hyper-V Replica Broker Role needs to be configured. To create the Hyper-V Replica Broker role:
1. Open the Failover Cluster Manager interface (located under Tools in the Server Manager Menu bar)
2. In the left-pane, connect to the cluster
3. With the name of the cluster highlighted in the left-hand pane, click on Configure Role in the Actions pane
4. The High Availability Wizard initializes
5. Select Hyper-V Replica Broker in the Select Role screen
6. Complete the wizard by providing a properly formatted NetBIOS name and IP address (as needed) which serves as the connection point (Client Access Point (CAP))when configuring virtual machines for replication
7. Ensure the Role comes Online and is able to failover between all nodes in the cluster

Configuring the Failover Cluster as a Replica cluster

With the Hyper-V Replica Broker Role configured in the cluster, the cluster can be configured as either a Primary cluster or a Replica cluster. This is accomplished using the Highly Available Hyper-V Replica role. To accomplish this:
1. Open the Failover Cluster Manager interface (located under Tools in the Server Manager Menu bar)
2. In the left-pane, connect to the cluster
3. With the name of the cluster highlighted in the left-hand pane, click on Roles in the details pane under the Navigate category
4. Right-click on the Role and choose Replication Settings
5. In the Hyper-V Replica Clustering Broker Configuration screen, make the appropriate selections as needed to configure the cluster as a Replica server.

This action implements the configuration across all nodes in the cluster. Keep in mind this does not automatically enable the correct firewall rules in each node of the cluster nor does it properly configure authentication if certificates are being used. Those actions will have to be completed by the administrator on each node in the cluster. When using certificate based authentication in a Failover Cluster, all of the cluster nodes and the Client Access Point (CAP) supporting the Hyper-V Replica role will need machine certificates.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user8256
Senior Manager of Infrastructure with 501-1,000 employees
Vendor
Enabling a Virtual Machine for Replication
Replication is configured on a per virtual machine basis. Virtual machines running on Primary site Hyper-V servers (or Hyper-V Failover Clusters) are configured to replicate to Replica servers (or Replica Failover Clusters) at remote sites. 1. In Hyper-V Manager, in the Details pane, Click on a virtual machine 2. With a virtual machine selected, Right-click and choose Enable Replication. This starts the Enable Replication wizard 3. In the Specify Replica Server screen, enter either the NetBIOS or the Fully-Qualified Domain Name (FQDN) for the Replica Server in the Replica Server box. (Note: If the Replica server is a Failover Cluster, ensure the connection point for the Hyper-V Replica Broker is used). Click Next 4. If Remote WMI is enabled, then Hyper-V Replica automatically…

Replication is configured on a per virtual machine basis. Virtual machines running on Primary site Hyper-V servers (or Hyper-V Failover Clusters) are configured to replicate to Replica servers (or Replica Failover Clusters) at remote sites.
1. In Hyper-V Manager, in the Details pane, Click on a virtual machine
2. With a virtual machine selected, Right-click and choose Enable Replication. This starts the Enable Replication wizard
3. In the Specify Replica Server screen, enter either the NetBIOS or the Fully-Qualified Domain Name (FQDN) for the Replica Server in the Replica Server box. (Note: If the Replica server is a Failover Cluster, ensure the connection point for the Hyper-V Replica Broker is used). Click Next

4. If Remote WMI is enabled, then Hyper-V Replica automatically fills the port and authentication settings
5. In the Choose Replication VHDs screen, deselect the disk(s) you do not want to replicate for the virtual machine and then click Next
6. Replication changes are sent to a Replica server every 5 minutes. In the Configure Recovery History screen, make selections for the number and types of recovery points to be sent to the Replica server. If Only the latest point for recovery is chosen, then there will be only the parent VHD that is sent during Initial Replication and all changes are merged into that VHD. If Additional recovery points is chosen, set the number of desired additional recovery points (Standard Replicas) that will be saved on the Replica server. The final selection in this screen, Replicate incremental VSS copy every : (available only if Recovery History is enabled) can be used to save Application-consistent Replicas for the virtual machine on the Replica server. After completing the selections, Click Next

7. In the Choose Initial Replication Method screen, several methods can be used to perform an initial replication for the virtual machine to the Replica server. The default selection is to Send initial copy over the network. This starts replication immediately over the network to the Replica server. If immediate replication is not desired, it can be scheduled to occur at a specific time on a specific date. If the administrator does not want to consume the bandwidth due perhaps to the large amount of data that needs to be replicated, he can choose Send initial copy using external media. This method copies all the virtual machine data to a portable storage device that can then be sent to a Replica site and the initial replication can be completed there by importing the data. The final option available to an administrator is Use an existing virtual machine on the Replica server as the initial copy. A restored virtual machine or snapshot of a virtual machine on the Replica server will be used as the initial copy. Make a selection and then Click Next

8. In the Completing the Enable Replication Relationship Wizard, review the information in the Summary and then Click Finish
9. A pop-up dialog box is presented indicating replication was successfully enabled for the virtual machine. In the dialog box is a Settings button that can be used to configure the network the replica virtual machine will connect to on the Replica server. This can be useful because the replica virtual machine is not connected to any network on the Replica server by default
The Enabling Replication process will start and should complete successfully (i.e. a virtual machine is created on the Replica server and delta replication commences. If the Replica server is a Failover Cluster, the virtual machine is made highly available). If any errors occur, refer to the troubleshooting section later in this document.

Once the replication relationship is established and if Send initial copy over the network was selected (Default setting), the Status column for the configured virtual machine will indicate Sending Initial Replica. Progress as a percentage of the total replication is also displayed.
Note: If a virtual machine is being replicated to a Failover Cluster (using the Hyper-V Replica Broker), a highly available virtual machine is created in the cluster. This allows the replica to be migrated to other nodes in the cluster if needed.
If Send initial copy using external media was selected, the Status for the virtual machine will indicate an Initial Replication in Progress. In this case, the progress reflects the copying of the virtual machine files to a location other than the Replica Server (perhaps a portable storage device) so the files can be transported to the Replica server location and then the Initial Replication can be completed by importing the files on that server. Once the import process completes, the Replication State for the virtual machine in the Primary Site will reflect a new Replication State of Replication Enabled.
If Use existing restored virtual machine as initial copy was selected, the virtual machine files restored from a backup on the Replica server will be used for Initial Replication (IR). Before delta replication actually begins, a quick resynch is executed.

Hyper-V Replica implements the standard Hyper-V virtual machine folder structure on the Replica server in the location specified when the Replica server (Replica Failover Cluster) is configured. A Hyper-V Replica folder is created as the root folder in the specified location. Under the Hyper-V Replica folder is a series of subfolders as seen here -

NOTE: The Snapshots folder is not created unless Recovery History is configured for the virtual machine.

The folders support the necessary files for each virtual machine configured to replicate with the Replica server. The virtual machines are identified by Globally Unique Identifiers (GUID) as seen here -

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user8256
Senior Manager of Infrastructure with 501-1,000 employees
Vendor
Management Tasks for Hyper-V 2012
The Hyper-V Manager interface is used to manage standalone Hyper-V Primary, Replica servers, and the virtualized workloads running on those servers. The Failover Cluster Manager interface is used if the Primary or Replica servers are part of a Hyper-V Failover Cluster. Hyper-V Replica management tasks can be categorized as follows:  Hyper-V Server Primary Site Management Tasks  Hyper-V Server Replica Site Management Tasks  Virtual Machine Primary Site Management Tasks  Virtual Machine Replica Site Management Tasks  Modifying Virtual Machine Replication Settings Note: In the above list, Hyper-V Failover Cluster can be substituted for 'Hyper-V Server'. Hyper-V Server Primary Site Management tasks involving the Hyper-V Server at a Primary Site include:  Ensure the Hyper-V…

The Hyper-V Manager interface is used to manage standalone Hyper-V Primary, Replica servers, and the virtualized workloads running on those servers. The Failover Cluster Manager interface is used if the Primary or Replica servers are part of a Hyper-V Failover Cluster. Hyper-V Replica management tasks can be categorized as follows:
 Hyper-V Server Primary Site Management Tasks
 Hyper-V Server Replica Site Management Tasks
 Virtual Machine Primary Site Management Tasks
 Virtual Machine Replica Site Management Tasks
 Modifying Virtual Machine Replication Settings
Note: In the above list, Hyper-V Failover Cluster can be substituted for 'Hyper-V Server'.

Hyper-V Server Primary Site
Management tasks involving the Hyper-V Server at a Primary Site include:
 Ensure the Hyper-V server (Hyper-V Failover Cluster) at the Primary site is configured as a Replica server to support Reverse Replication for a Planned Failover event

To configure the Hyper-V server at the Primary site as a Replica server:
1. In the Hyper-V Manager interface, Click on Hyper-V Settings in the Actions pane
2. In the Hyper-V Settings dialog box, Click on Replication Configuration
3. In the Details pane, Select Enable this computer as a Replica server
4. Choose an Authentication method to include the port that will be used (if not using the default port)
5. Configure Authorization and storage. This includes designating a specific location to store replica virtual machine files if the default location is not to be used. Should you not desire to allow all Hyper-V Primary servers to be serviced, you have the option to allow only specific Hyper-V servers (Primary servers) to send replication requests. Click Apply or OK when finished
Note: In a Replica cluster, use the Hyper-V Replica Broker role to configure the cluster nodes for replication.

 Monitor the Replication Health of virtual machines configured for replication

To monitor the Replication Health of a virtual machine configured for replication:
1. Open Hyper-V Manager
2. In the details pane, Right-click on one of the Column Headings and select Add\Remove Columns
3. Choose Replication Health in the Available Columns list, click Add to move it to the Displayed Columns list
4. Move the new column to the desired location in the listing and click OK

 Monitor Hyper-V Replica specific Performance counters using Performance Monitor

To monitor Hyper-V Replica performance:
1. Click the Start button, then click Run and type perfmon.msc and press ENTER
2. In the navigation tree, expand Monitoring Tools, and then click Performance Monitor
3. In the menu bar above the Performance Monitor graph display, either click the Add button (+) or right-click anywhere in the graph and click Add counters from the menu. The Add Counters dialog box opens
4. In the Available Counters section, select counters to view in the Performance Monitor display. The counters for Hyper-V Replica are virtual machine specific and are listed under Hyper-V F Counter VM
5. Choose the desired counters and instances (virtual machines) then click the Add button to add the counters
6. When finished, click OK
For more information Performance Monitor, visit the Performance Monitor Getting Started Guide (http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dd744567(WS.10).aspx) on TechNet.

 Evaluate Hyper-V Replica log data using the Microsoft-Windows-Hyper-V-VMMS\Admin log

To review Hyper-V Replica log data:
1. In the Server Manager Menu Bar, Click on Tools and choose Event Viewer from the list
2. In the navigation tree, expand Application and Services Logs, expand Microsoft, expand Windows, expand Hyper-V-VMMS
3. Click on Admin
Hyper-V Replica event messages are registered in the Hyper-V-VMMS channel.

Hyper-V Server Replica Site
Management tasks involving the Hyper-V Server at a Replica Site include:
 Ensure the Hyper-V server (Hyper-V Failover Cluster) at the Replica site is configured as a Replica server
To configure the Hyper-V server at the Primary site as a Replica server:
1. In the Hyper-V Manager interface, Click on Hyper-V Settings in the Actions pane
2. In the Hyper-V Settings dialog box, Click on Replication Configuration
3. In the Details pane, Select Enable this computer as a Replica server
4. Choose an Authentication method to include the port that will be used (if not using the default port)
5. Configure Authorization and storage. This includes designating a specific location to store replica virtual machine files if the default location is not to be used. Should you not desire to allow all Hyper-V Primary servers to be serviced, you have the option to allow only specific Hyper-V servers (Primary servers) to send replication requests. Click Apply or OK when finished

Note: In a Replica cluster, use the Hyper-V Replica Broker role to configure the cluster nodes for replication.

 Monitor the Replication Health of virtual machines configured for replication

To monitor the Replication Health of a virtual machine configured for replication:
1. Open Hyper-V Manager
2. In the details pane, Right-click on one of the Column Headings and select Add\Remove Columns
3. Choose Replication Health in the Available Columns list, click Add to move it to the Displayed Columns list
4. Move the new column to the desired location in the listing and click OK

 Monitor Hyper-V Replica specific Performance counters using Performance Monitor

To monitor Hyper-V Replica performance:
1. Click the Start button, then click Run and type perfmon.msc and press ENTER
2. In the navigation tree, expand Monitoring Tools, and then click Performance Monitor
3. In the menu bar above the Performance Monitor graph display, either click the Add button (+) or right-click anywhere in the graph and click Add counters from the menu. The Add Counters dialog box opens
4. In the Available Counters section, select counters to view in the Performance Monitor display. The counters for Hyper-V Replica are virtual machine specific and are listed under Hyper-V Replica Counter VM
5. Choose the desired counters and instances (virtual machines) then click the Add button to add the counters
6. When finished, click OK
For more information Performance Monitor, visit the Performance Monitor Getting Started Guide (http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dd744567(WS.10).aspx) on TechNet.

 Evaluate Hyper-V Replica log data using the Microsoft-Windows-Hyper-V-VMMS\Admin log

To review Hyper-V Replica log data:
1. In the Server Manager Menu Bar, Click on Tools and choose Event Viewer from the list
2. In the navigation tree, expand Application and Services Logs, expand Microsoft, expand Windows, expand Hyper-V-VMMS
3. Click on Admin
Hyper-V Replica event messages are registered in the Hyper-V-VMMS channel.

Virtual Machine - Primary Site
Management tasks involving virtual machines at the Primary Site include:
 Planned Failover - This action initiates a failover of a virtual machine from a Primary to a Replica server. This is a 'planned' event as opposed to a Failover action, which is unplanned. Since it is a 'planned' event, there should be no data loss. This action executes a series of checks prior to executing the failover. One check determines if the Primary server has also been configured as a Replica server. This is done because the assumptions are first, the virtual machine being failed over to a Replica server will eventually be moved back to the Primary server and second, the Primary server will become the Replica server for the virtual machine that is being failed over. This action provides an Administrator the flexibility to execute the failover of a virtual machine to a replica server in a controlled manner before a disaster occurs

To execute a Planned Failover for a virtual machine:
1. Open Hyper-V Manager
2. In the details pane, select a virtual machine
3. With the virtual machine selected, Right-click and select Replication and then choose Planned Failover
4. A list of Pre-Requisites and Actions is presented. If the Virtual Machine has not been shut down and the Primary Server not configured as a Replica Server, complete those tasks before proceeding. By default, Start the replica virtual machine after Failover is checked (uncheck if this is not the desired action for the virtual machine after a Planned Failover completes)
5. Click on the Failover button.
6. If the Failover is successful, a pop-up dialog box appears reporting the Failover completed successfully (Note: If the option to start the virtual machine after the Planned Failover was left checked, then the virtual machine will be started on the Replica server). Close the dialog box.
7. If the Planned Failover does not complete successfully, review the information contained in the General Methodology for troubleshooting the virtual machine Failover process in the troubleshooting section.

 Pause Replication - This action pauses replication for the selected virtual machine. The Replication Health column in the Hyper-V Manager interface (if selected for display) reflects a Warning Status

To Pause Replication for a virtual machine:
1. Open Hyper-V Manager
2. In the details pane, select a virtual machine that is not paused
3. With the virtual machine selected, Right-click and select Replication and then choose Pause Replication
4. The Replication Health, if visible, in Hyper-V Manager, will be updated and the Replication Health for the virtual machine will indicate a Warning. The State column still shows the Virtual Machine as Running
5. Right-click on the Virtual Machine, select Replication and then click on View Replication Health. The health report reflects an accurate Replication State which should be Replication Paused

 Resume Replication (Available only if replication has been paused for a virtual machine) - This action resumes replication for the selected virtual machine (the action must be executed in the same site where replication was Paused). The Hyper-V Replica Network Services component re-establishes a connection to the Replica server (if needed) and replication resumes. If the virtual machine was in a Resynch Required state, Resume Replication performs a resynchronization. A resynchronization essentially compares blocks between the Primary and Replica VHDs and then sends the delta blocks to the Replica. Scenarios where this can happen include, but may not be limited to, a failure occurred on the Primary server when changes were being made to the replication log or, if the Primary is a Failover Cluster, an unplanned cluster failover occurred. The Replication Health column in Hyper-V Manager interface (if selected for display) reflects a status of Normal

To Resume Replication for a virtual machine:
1. Open Hyper-V Manager
2. In the details pane, select a paused virtual machine
3. With the virtual machine selected, Right-click and select Replication and then choose Resume Replication
4. The Replication Health, if visible, in Hyper-V Manager, is updated and the Replication Health for the virtual machine is Normal

 View Replication Health - This action provides data about the replication events for a virtual machine.
A Replication Health Report can be saved as a CSV file. A Replication Health Report indicates if it is being viewed as either a Primary or a Replica virtual machine (see a sample of a Replication Health Report on a Replica virtual machine later in this guide)

To view Replication Health for a virtual machine:
1. Open Hyper-V Manager
2. In the details pane, select a virtual machine
3. With the virtual machine selected, Right-click and select Replication and then choose View Replication Health
4. The Replication Health Report for the virtual machine is displayed. The report can be saved as a CSV file by clicking on Save as … Button

 Remove Replication - This action stops replication for the virtual machine. All connections for the virtual machine to the Replica server are terminated. The Replication Health in Hyper-V Manager on the Primary server, if selected for viewing, is Not Applicable. A corresponding action must be accomplished on the Replica server. Failure to execute this same action on the Replica server will result in errors should a Hyper-V Administrator attempt to re-enable replication for the virtual machine (more information is provided in the Troubleshooting section)

To Remove Replication for a virtual machine:
1. Open Hyper-V Manager
2. In the details pane, select a virtual machine
3. With the virtual machine selected, Right-click and select Replication and choose Remove Replication
4. Acknowledge the pop-up Warning by clicking on Remove Replication
5. The Replication Health column, if displayed, indicates Not Applicable for the virtual machine
6. Connect to the Replica server and execute Steps 1-5. This will remove replication for the virtual machine on the Replica server and will initiate a merge for all the replica information for the virtual machine
7. The Replication Health column, if displayed, indicates Not Applicable for the virtual machine
8. Additional cleanup action is required on the Replica server. In Hyper-V Manager, Right-click on the virtual machine and choose Delete. Acknowledge the pop-up Warning by clicking on Delete. This removes the virtual machine reference in Hyper-V Manager. Some data files remain on the Replica server in the storage location specified for the replication data. To recover storage space, manually remove the data.

 Enable Replication (Available only if replication is not enabled for a virtual machine) - This action enables replication for a virtual machine

To Enable Replication for a virtual machine:
1. Open Hyper-V Manager
2. In the details pane, select a virtual machine
3. With the virtual machine selected, Right-click and select Enable Replication
4. Review the information in the Before You Begin screen and click Next
5. In the Specify Replica Server screen, provide the name for the Replica Server using the Fully Qualified Domain Name (FQDN) or NetBIOS format. There is also the option to Browse Active Directory for the server. If the Replica Server is configured correctly, the Specify Connection Parameters screen is populated. If not, an error is registered and an option to Configure Server is available to configure the server to be a Replica Server. If data compression is not desired, Uncheck the box Compress the data that is transmitted over the network. Click Next
6. In the Choose Replication VHDs screen, ensure all disks to be replicated are Checked and then click Next (i.e. uncheck those disk you do not want replicated. An example might be a disk functioning as a repository for the virtual machine page file)
7. In the Configure Recovery History screen, select as desired. For an explanation of the options, review the section on Enabling a virtual machine for replication. Click Next
8. In the Choose Initial Replication Method screen, select as desired. For an explanation of the options, review the section on Enabling a virtual machine for replication. Click Next
9. Review the information in the Summary screen, and click Finish
Once replication has been enabled for a virtual machine, the Replication Health column, if visible, in Hyper-V Manager will be updated. Once the Initial Replication (IR) has been completed, the Replication Health for a virtual machine will be Normal.

Virtual Machine - Replica Site
Management tasks involving virtual machines at the Replica Site include:
 Failover - This action executes a process that starts a virtual machine on the Replica server using a replica (Recovery Point) selected by the Hyper-V Administrator. This is an unplanned event unlike the Planned Failover action, which is a planned event. Executing a Failover for a virtual machine could result in data loss depending on which recovery point is selected

To Failover a virtual machine:
1. Open Hyper-V Manager
2. In the details pane, select a virtual machine
3. With the virtual machine selected, Right-click and select Replication and then choose Failover
4. In the next screen, choose a recovery point from the drop-down listing of all the recovery points associated with the virtual machine and then click Failover
5. The virtual machine starts and the Replication Health indicates Warning. If the Primary server remains the same, the Replication Health for the virtual machine that was recovered is also Warning. To complete the process and remove the Warnings, either Cancel Failover or configure Reverse Replication and allow Initial Replication to complete. If a new Replica Server is needed, configure Reverse Replication to the new Replica server.

 Test Failover - This action allows a Hyper-V Administrator to test a virtual machine on the Replica server without interrupting the production workload running on the Primary server. The network configuration for the test virtual machine is disconnected by default so as not to interfere with the production workload. If network connectivity is to be tested, the recommendation is to create a separate test network and connect the test virtual machine to that network. The virtual machine created and started has the same name as the original virtual machine with a modifier of Test added on to the end

To start a Test Failover for a virtual machine:
1. Open Hyper-V Manager
2. In the details pane, select a virtual machine
3. With the virtual machine selected, Right-click and select Replication and then choose Test Failover
4. In the next screen, choose a recovery point from the drop-down listing of all the recovery points associated with the virtual machine and then click Test Failover. A new test virtual machine is created but is not started. At this point, the virtual machine can be started and then a connection can be made to the virtual machine and a verification process can be completed

 Stop Test Failover (Available only if a test is already running for the selected virtual machine) - This action stops a test that is in progress for the selected virtual machine. The virtual machine is stopped and deleted from Hyper-V Manager (Note: If the Test Failover is being executed on a Replica cluster, the Test-Failover role that is created in Failover cluster Manager will have to be manually deleted)

To stop a Test Failover for a virtual machine:
1. Open Hyper-V Manager
2. In the details pane, select the virtual machine being tested, not the test virtual machine that is running. Right-click on the virtual machine, select Replication and then choose Stop Test Failover
3. The test virtual machine is stopped if it is running and is removed from Hyper-V Manager as the test is completed

 Pause Replication - This action pauses replication for the selected virtual machine. The Replication Health column in Hyper-V Manager, if selected for viewing, indicates a Warning
To Pause Replication for a virtual machine:
1. Open Hyper-V Manager
2. In the details pane, select a virtual machine that is not paused
3. With the virtual machine selected, Right-click and select Replication and then choose Pause Replication
4. The Replication Health, if visible, in Hyper-V Manager, is updated and indicates a Warning

 Resume Replication (Available only if replication has been paused for a virtual machine on the Replica server) - This action resumes replication for the selected virtual machine. If a 'resynch' is required for the virtual machine, that action will be initiated on the Primary server. The Replication State column, if selected for viewing in Hyper-V Manager, indicates Replication Enabled

To Resume Replication for a virtual machine:
1. Open Hyper-V Manager
2. In the details pane, select a paused virtual machine
3. With the virtual machine selected, Right-click and select Replication and then choose Resume Replication
4. The Replication Health, if visible, in Hyper-V Manager, is updated and indicates Normal

 View Replication Health - This action provides data about the replication events for a virtual machine.
A Replication Health Report can be saved as a CSV file. A Replication Health Report indicates if it is being viewed on either a Primary or a Replica server

To View Replication Health for a virtual machine:
1. Open Hyper-V Manager
2. In the details pane, select a virtual machine
3. With the virtual machine selected, Right-click and select Replication and then choose View Replication Health
4. The Replication Health Report for the virtual machine is displayed. The report can be saved as a CSV file by clicking on Save as…
 Remove Replication - If a Remove Replication action is executed on the Replica server, a corresponding action must be executed on the Primary Server. This action stops replication for the virtual machine. Prior to re-enabling replication, the virtual machine must be deleted in Hyper-V Manager on the Replica server. This destroys the virtual machine on the Replica Server. If the virtual machine is not deleted, a Replication error is reflected in Hyper-V Manager and associated error logs are registered (more information is provided in the Troubleshooting section)

To Remove Replication for a virtual machine:
1. Open Hyper-V Manager
2. In the details pane, select a virtual machine
3. With the virtual machine selected, Right-click and select Replication and then choose Remove Replication
4. Acknowledge the pop-up Warning by clicking on Remove Replication
5. The Replication Health column, if displayed, indicates Not Applicable
6. A process will start to merge all recovery point data into the VHD that was initially replicated
7. Connect to the Primary server. In Hyper-V Manager, the virtual machine Replication Health indicates Normal
8. Execute Steps 1-5. This removes replication for the virtual machine on the Primary server
9. The Replication Health column, if displayed, now indicates Not Applicable on the Primary server. If Step 8 is not accomplished before the next 5 minute replication interval, Replication Health will indicate Critical
10. Additional cleanup action is required on the Replica server. In Hyper-V Manager, Right-click on the virtual machine and choose Delete. Acknowledge the pop-up Warning by clicking on Delete. This removes the virtual machine reference in Hyper-V Manager. Some data files remain on the Replica server in the storage location specified for the virtual machine. To recover storage space, manually remove this data

 Cancel Failover - This action is available if a Failover action was executed for a virtual machine. This allows a Hyper-V Administrator to cancel the Failover action if, for example, he decides the recovery point chosen was not the desired one. After cancelling the Failover, another recovery point can be selected and another Failover process initiated. A Failover can only be cancelled if the virtual machine state is Failed over - Waiting Completion. If a Reverse Replication has been completed, the Failover can no longer be cancelled
To Cancel Failover for a virtual machine:
1. Open Hyper-V Manager
2. In the details pane, select a virtual machine that has a Replication Health of Warning but viewing the Health Report shows Failover Complete
3. With the virtual machine selected, Right-click, select Replication and then choose Cancel Failover
4. Acknowledge the pop-up Warning by clicking on Yes. On the Replica server, the virtual machine is turned off and the Replication Health indicates Normal. On the Primary server, the Replication Health shows Critical.
5. To clear the Critical health state, right-click on the virtual machine and select Replication and then choose Resume Replication

 Reverse Replication - This action is available if a Failover action was executed for a virtual machine. This allows the Hyper-V Administrator to designate a Hyper-V server as a Replica server for the virtual machine that was recovered

To enable Reverse Replication for a virtual machine:
1. Open Hyper-V Manager
2. In the details pane, select a virtual machine that has a Health of Warning
3. With the virtual machine selected, Right-click, select Replication, and then choose Remove Recovery Points. This merges all the recovery points into the original VHD. This completes Failover but Replication Health still indicates Warning
4. With the virtual machine selected, Right-click, select Reverse Replication
5. Complete the Reverse Replication wizard by either selecting the Primary server (the default) as the Replica y server or choosing another Replica server. Keep in mind that if the selected Hyper-V server has not been enabled as a Replica server and the appropriate firewall rule enabled, the Reverse Replication process will fail

 Remove Recovery Points - This action is available only during a Failover scenario. When this action is executed, all recovery points (snapshots) for a Replica virtual machine are deleted. When the action is executed, a pop-up dialog box is presented to the user indicating all recovery points will be removed and Cancel Failover will no longer be available. The user must acknowledge the pop-up by clicking either Yes or No. If Yes is selected, the Failover is committed and the recovery points are merged down into the base VHD for the virtual machine. At this point Reverse Replication can be configured to clear the Warning for Replication Health and an Initial Replication can begin to the new Replica Server

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user9222
Engineer at a outsourcing company with 51-200 employees
Vendor
Hyper-V 2008 – VMs Show Host MAC Address In ARP Cache
Recently while working with a customer that was migrating from Hyper-V 2008 R2 to Hyper-V 2012, I came across an issue where VMs on the original host were having odd intermittent network connectivity issues. As I dug into the problem, I realized that when I ran arp -a on any of the Hyper-V hosts, VMs on the original host were showing up in the ARP cache with a MAC address of the physical host, instead of their virtual MAC address. As it turned out, it was the drivers for the Broadcom NICs in this particular system. Windows Server 2008 does not support NIC teaming natively, and instead relies on the 3rd party drivers to support teaming. Due to a bug in some versions – possibly all, I have not been able to confirm this as of yet – of the Broadcom drivers, Hyper-V 2008 hosts using a…

Recently while working with a customer that was migrating from Hyper-V 2008 R2 to Hyper-V 2012, I came across an issue where VMs on the original host were having odd intermittent network connectivity issues. As I dug into the problem, I realized that when I ran arp -a on any of the Hyper-V hosts, VMs on the original host were showing up in the ARP cache with a MAC address of the physical host, instead of their virtual MAC address.

As it turned out, it was the drivers for the Broadcom NICs in this particular system. Windows Server 2008 does not support NIC teaming natively, and instead relies on the 3rd party drivers to support teaming. Due to a bug in some versions – possibly all, I have not been able to confirm this as of yet – of the Broadcom drivers, Hyper-V 2008 hosts using a Broadcom teamed interface will advertise the hosts’s MAC address to the physical switch rather than the VM’s virtual MAC.

The workaround was to break the team, and only use one physical interface during the migration to 2012. This resolved the MAC issues, and since Windows/ / Hyper-V 2012 supports native NIC teaming, the issue did not occur on the new hosts.

Disclosure: The company I work for is partners with several vendors - http://www.latisys.com/partners/strategic_partnerships.html

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user9222
Engineer at a outsourcing company with 51-200 employees
Vendor
Hyper-V As An Enterprise Solution: Are We There Yet?
For my first post here on Hypervisor Agnostic, I thought it would be appropriate to open up with a debate that I’ve been sucked into as of late due to a project I’ve been involved with at work. Has Hyper-V finally reached the point that it can go toe to toe with VMware as an enterprise hypervisor product? Or is Hyper-V merely an entry level solution for small businesses that lack the budget to invest in VMware? My answer is yes, Hyper-V is an enterprise product, but is it right for your enterprise? The answer to that is a little more complicated. To appreciate where Hyper-V is today, you have to understand where it began. Microsoft first entered the virtualization market when MS bought the Virtual PC product line from Connectix back in in 2003. Virtual PC was originally a…

For my first post here on Hypervisor Agnostic, I thought it would be appropriate to open up with a debate that I’ve been sucked into as of late due to a project I’ve been involved with at work. Has Hyper-V finally reached the point that it can go toe to toe with VMware as an enterprise hypervisor product? Or is Hyper-V merely an entry level solution for small businesses that lack the budget to invest in VMware? My answer is yes, Hyper-V is an enterprise product, but is it right for your enterprise? The answer to that is a little more complicated.

To appreciate where Hyper-V is today, you have to understand where it began. Microsoft first entered the virtualization market when MS bought the Virtual PC product line from Connectix back in in 2003. Virtual PC was originally a virtualization program for Apple Macintosh computers that ran various x86 versions of Windows (and other x86 OSes) on MacOS. Today, that doesn’t seem like anything special, because modern Macs can dual boot Windows with no problem. But back in those days, Macs and “IBM clones” were based on entirely different processor architectures, and getting Windows to run on a Mac was no small feat. To be fair, getting Windows to run stable on any hardware in the 90s was a minor miracle, but I digress. The point is, Connectix had a pretty decent little virtualization engine for the time, and MS wanted it for their own. From Virtual PC came Virtual Server, which was designed to run on Windows Server platforms, and run other server operating systems. It was designed to compete with VMware Server, another Type 2 hypervisor (a virtualization engine that runs as a program within a conventional operating system). But Type 1 baremetal hypervisors like VMware’s ESX were starting to become affordable, viable solutions, and Type 2 platforms started to become relegated to desktops rather than data centers.

So in order to get in on the baremetal hypervisor party, Microsoft announced that Windows Server 2008 would include Hyper-V – a free, baremetal hypervisor system that offered better performance than Virtual Server. Hyper-V ended up being a separate download from the RTM version of Server 2008, and it was somewhat underwhelming when it was released, being years behind what ESX and Citrix Xen were capable of. There was no way to migrate a VM from one node to another without downtime, VMs in a failover cluster had to be placed on their own LUNs, guest operating system support was very limited, as were the specs of virtual machines. 2008 R2′s release of Hyper-V improved in many of these areas, offering clustered storage, live migration of VMs, and a slightly expanded list of guest operating systems supported.

But it was Hyper-V 2012 that Microsoft really came out swinging, offering specs that (on paper at least) out-scale VMware, improved live migration, along with storage migration (previously only available with System Center Virtual Machine Manager), a completely rebuilt networking stack, and several other features that helped to close the gap between Hyper-V and VMware.

But the gap is still there, and that is the the point of this initial blog post. I’ve spent the better part of this past year working with Hyper-V 2012, and there are some things I absolutely love about it, and some things I loathe. Here’s my run down of what’s good, and what’s bad.

Scalabiltiy

MS advertises that Hyper-V can support 64 nodes in a cluster, as compared to VMware’s 32 nodes. They also claim Hyper-V nodes can support 4TB of RAM, 320 logicial processors, and can support VMs with 1TB of RAM. To me, speccing out a hypervisor like that seems somewhat ridiculous. I’m much more of a fan of “scale out” than “scale up” – I’d rather have 12 nodes in a cluster with 256GB of RAM than 3 nodes with 1TB each. Sure, Hyper-V can support 64 of those nodes with 1TB of RAM. I don’t, however, want to be the guy who has to handle maintenance on that cluster, and wait on all the VMs filling up that 1TB of RAM to migrate from node to node when I want to install Windows updates.

Still, it is great that Hyper-V finally supports VMs with decent specs. I don’t foresee myself ever needing to give a VM one terabyte of memory, but it’s a lot better than 32 or 64GB, and the ability to add more than 4 virtual CPUs is a much needed improvement. Combine that with a new virtual hard disk format that offers much larger sizes, and Hyper-V VMs can be built to a decent scale. That does, however, leave the door open for a lot of overbuilt VMs, but that’s another rant for another day.

Clustering

This is one area where Hyper-V is really positioned to eat VMware’s lunch. If we compare apples to apples, ie free product vs free product, Hyper-V has one significant advantage over VMware’s free ESXi offering: free Hyper-V can be part of a Windows fail over cluster. Free ESXi is standalone only – and has a pretty limited RAM cap to boot.

So if you want a cheap, highly available virutalization solution, Hyper-V is the way to go. The freebie version of Hyper-V (meaning the standalone, downloadable version – not enabling the Hyper-V role in Windows 2012) is not feature limited compared to its Windows Server brethren. To get HA/fail over capability in VMware’s product, you’re going to spend several thousands of dollars.

But the drawback to this is that it’s built around Windows Failover Clustering, which has it’s own set of issues. First of all, let’s not forget Windows cluster’s reliance on Active Directory.

If you virtualize all your domain controllers, and have some kind of network issue that prevents a node from finding a domain controller, hilarity will ensue, and by hilarity, I mean a bunch of VMs dying/failing over. Second, management of many clustered nodes is possible without System Center Virtual Machine Manager, but it is controlled chaos at best. Once Hyper-V nodes are clustered, you should generally do all node & VM management from the Windows Failover Cluster management console if you’re not using SCVMM. However, MS didn’t include a way to manage Hyper-V networks from the Failover Cluster manager, so you still have to do that through the standalone Hyper-V management console, and do it one by one. Yes, you can script it through PowerShell, and from what I can see, PowerShell seems to be the only “one stop shop” for dealing with Hyper-V. Without PowerShell, you’ll find your self bouncing back and forth between Windows control panel, Hyper-V manager, and Failover cluster manager in order to handle most day to day tasks. It’s do-able, but it’s ugly. VMware’s management is much more streamlined and intuitive.

Live Migration vs. vMotion

vMotion is the feature that allowed VMware to take over the virtualization world – the ability to move VMs from node to node with no downtime was huge, and no one else ever figured out how do it quite as well, or as fast. But there are some limitations – you can only do 4 concurrent vMotion operations per host in 5.1 on anything less than 10GB network links. With a 10GB NIC, you can do up to 8 per host. MS took the “let the administrator decide” approach with Hyper-V 2012, and you can now set the concurrent number of live migrations to whatever you want. Off the top of my head, I believe Hyper-V 2008 R2 only allowed on live migration at a time, so this is a huge improvement.

That said, before you think you’re going to team a couple of 1GB NIC ports in your Hyper-V host and crank the max number of migrations up to 10, 15, 20, or beyond, keep in mind that there’s a very good reason VMware sets the limits they do on vMotion. There’s more to the equation than just the network here – host memory, storage I/O, andCPU usage on host are all impacted during migrations. So, take a cautious approach to this, and steadily increase the live migration count on your Hyper-V hosts rather than deciding right off the bat that 12 is a great number to start off with.

That said, if you have a dedicated live migration network with decent bandwidth, and your hosts can handle it, 10 simultaneous live migrations at a time can significantly decrease your cluster maintenance times.

Resource Handling

This is one of those Coke vs Pepsi, Ford vs Chevy, Mac vs PC type debates. VMware zealots absolutely hate the fact that Hyper-V does not allow memory over commitment, and view it as a sign of Hyper-V’s inferiority. Hyper-V fanboys think that handing out resources you don’t have is a bad thing, and that Hyper-V’s dynamic memory is the way to handle fluctuating memory demands. This is one thing I am 100% on the Hyper-V side of the fence on. Look, it’s great that VMware doesn’t have any hard and fast limits on resource assignment. It’s great that DRS can see that a host is getting low on memory, and can move a memory hungry VM to a host with more free memory. But sometimes, the the cluster ends up over committed, a node goes down, and there’s no hosts with resources to satisfy those now homeless VMs. Or, an admin set the cluster to allow VMs to power on even if the resources aren’t there. If the memory isn’t there, and VMware can’t find any VMs that are hoarding memory they’re not actually using, then you end up with VMs swapping their RAM to disk. Outside of a critical productions system being down, a critical production system swapping RAM to disk is pretty much my worst case scenario. It’s ugly.

Hyper-V allows you to assign a startup value for a VM’s RAM, as well as a minimum/maximum value. When a VM reaches a defined threshold, it will request more memory from the host, until it reaches the maximum value. When it’s not using the RAM, it will release it until it reaches the minimum value. Yes, this requires a bit more management overhead. But this is one of those things I’d rather have some degree of control over than just leaving the hypervisor to its own devices.

Guest Operating System Support

This is one area where VMware runs away with. If you’re a primarily Windows shop running current versions of Windows, then Hyper-V’s got you covered. But if you’re running any Unix-like servers other than a very narrowly defined subset of popular Linux distros, Hyper-V can’t do much for you. And, of those supported Linux distros, you’d find some features like dynamic memory, are Windows exclusive.

And if you want to run archaic versions of Windows, you’re out of luck on Hyper-V as well – you’re limited to what MS currently provides support for, which is generally 2 versions behind whatever the latest version is. But if you feel the need to run Windows 3.1, Windows 98, or Windows 2000, the VMware’s got your hookup.

I know, surprise surprise – the Windows based hypervisor is geared toward Windows guest OSes. But if Microsoft really wants Hyper-V to make a dent in the enterprise, they need to come to grips with the fact that some companies run other operating systems that are not Red Hat, CentOS, SuSe or Ubuntu.

Wrapping It All Up

So as of September 2012, with the release of Windows 2012 R2 next month, Hyper-V has supplanted Citrix Xen as the clear number 2 hypervisor platform. in my mind. It can do at least 90% of what VMware can do, at a fraction of the cost. But is that last 10% worth the price?

For small businesses, and smaller enterprise customers that are running primarily Windows in their server rooms and data centers, Hyper-V is priced to move, even if you tack on the cost of SCVMM to manage it – pretty much a must for larger clusters. At the high end of the scale in heterogeneous environments, VMware is still the king of high availability and load balancing, and management is much more streamlined. Even with SCVMM (which brings an entirely new set of headaches, but again, more on that at another time) the thought of trying to manage a 64 node Hyper-V cluster makes my head spin.

So yes, Hyper-V is there. But VMware’s not going anywhere any time soon.

Disclosure: The company I work for is partners with several vendors - http://www.latisys.com/partners/strategic_partnerships.html

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user9222
Engineer at a outsourcing company with 51-200 employees
Vendor
Hyper-V has made great strides since it was first released alongside Windows 2008
Hyper-V has made great strides since it was first released alongside Windows 2008. If I were a SMB/small enterprise running mostly a Windows shop and looking into virtualization, I would definitely give it a serious look - it can do most everything I would need for a lot less than vSphere. However, vSphere is still the king as far features, specifically when it comes to availability and DR. That said, the growth of KVM & Openstack and the community surrounding them excite me more than anything coming down the pipe for either Hyper-V or vSphere. Disclosure: The company I work for is partners with several vendors - http://www.latisys.com/partners/strategic_partnerships.html

Hyper-V has made great strides since it was first released alongside Windows 2008. If I were a SMB/small enterprise running mostly a Windows shop and looking into virtualization, I would definitely give it a serious look - it can do most everything I would need for a lot less than vSphere. However, vSphere is still the king as far features, specifically when it comes to availability and DR.

That said, the growth of KVM & Openstack and the community surrounding them excite me more than anything coming down the pipe for either Hyper-V or vSphere.

Disclosure: The company I work for is partners with several vendors - http://www.latisys.com/partners/strategic_partnerships.html

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user8919
Engineer at a outsourcing company with 51-200 employees
Vendor
Has come a long way...but the fact that it uses CSVs... is always going to be a problem
One thing that I haven't seen mentioned yet and would just like to point out is Microsoft lacking to have a true cluster file system. I think Hyper-V has come a long way (very ruff start) but the fact that it uses CSVs, which is just NTFS with a bunch of duck tape... is always going to be a problem. They have made the right steps to enhance their Core server and try to get a lightweight platform to run their hypervisor on but that file system needs to change.

One thing that I haven't seen mentioned yet and would just like to point out is Microsoft lacking to have a true cluster file system. I think Hyper-V has come a long way (very ruff start) but the fact that it uses CSVs, which is just NTFS with a bunch of duck tape... is always going to be a problem. They have made the right steps to enhance their Core server and try to get a lightweight platform to run their hypervisor on but that file system needs to change.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user8256
Senior Manager of Infrastructure with 501-1,000 employees
Vendor
Enhanced Session Mode on Hyper-V 2012 R2
One of the new features or improved feature on Windows Server 2012 R2 is the enhanced session mode through virtual machine connection. Hyper-V and the Virtual Machine Connection tool now support redirection of local resources to a virtual machine session. This feature provides similar type of device redirection to a virtual machine as you get with a Remote Desktop Connection session. Enhanced Session Mode In previous versions of Hyper-V the Virtual Machine Connection utility only provided redirection of the virtual machine screen, keyboard, and mouse along with limited copy / paste functionality. To get additional redirection abilities a Remote Desktop Connection to the virtual machine could be initiated, but this would require a network path to the virtual machine. Starting with…

One of the new features or improved feature on Windows Server 2012 R2 is the enhanced session mode through virtual machine connection. Hyper-V and the Virtual Machine Connection tool now support redirection of local resources to a virtual machine session. This feature provides similar type of device redirection to a virtual machine as you get with a Remote Desktop Connection session.

Enhanced Session Mode

In previous versions of Hyper-V the Virtual Machine Connection utility only provided redirection of the virtual machine screen, keyboard, and mouse along with limited copy / paste functionality. To get additional redirection abilities a Remote Desktop Connection to the virtual machine could be initiated, but this would require a network path to the virtual machine.

Starting with Hyper-V in Windows Server 2012 R2 Preview, Hyper-V can now redirect local resources to a virtual machine session through Virtual Machine Connection tool. The enhanced session mode connection uses a Remote Desktop Connection session via the virtual machine bus (VMBus), so no network connection to the virtual machine is required.

The following local resources can be redirected when using the Virtual Machine Connection tool.

· Display configuration

· Audio

· Printers

· Clipboard

· Smart cards

· USB devices

· Drives

· Supported Plug and Play devices

This feature is enabled by default in Client Hyper-V and is disabled by default on Hyper-V running on Windows Server.

The following guest operating systems support enhanced session mode connections:

· Windows Server 2012 R2 Preview

· Windows 8.1 Preview

Practical applications

In previous versions of Hyper-V the way to copy files to and from a virtual machine was via a Remote Desktop Connection session or a network file copy, but these require a working network connection. When connecting to a virtual machine using the Virtual Machine Connection tool you could only copy and paste a limited amount of ASCII text to the virtual machine.

Enhanced session mode allows you to redirect local resources to the a virtual machine in the same way as you can with Remote Desktop Connection, but you do not need network connection to the virtual machine. You only need to be able to connect to the server running Hyper-V where the virtual machine is running.

Enhanced session mode can useful in the following scenarios:

· Troubleshooting a virtual machine without the need for a network connection to the virtual machine.

· Login to the virtual machine via smart card

· Printing from a virtual machine to a local printer

· Developers can now fully test and troubleshoot applications running in a virtual machine that require USB and sound redirection without the need to use Remote Desktop Connection.

Configuring Enhanced Session Mode

Configuration of enhanced session mode is done in the following areas:

· Server settings –Enhanced Session Mode Policy

· User setting –Enhanced Session Mode

· Guest operating system

Server settings – Enhanced Session Mode Policy

This setting affects all virtual machines running on the server running Hyper-V.

The Allow enhanced session mode setting will determine to allow or not allow enhanced session mode connections to virtual machines running on the server running Hyper-V. If this setting is enabled Hyper-V will allow enhanced session mode connections to a virtual machine when the following conditions are met:

· An enhanced session mode connection has been requested by the Virtual Machine Connection tool.

· The virtual machine is running an operating system which supports enhanced session mode.

· The Remote Desktop Service is running in the virtual machine.

When the Allow enhanced session mode setting is disabled, connections from the Virtual Machine Connection tool will use a basic session.

NOTE: The default setting for the Allow enhanced session mode is:

  • Hyper-V on Windows Server 2012 R2 Preview – Disabled
  • Client Hyper-V – Enabled

User settings – Enhanced Session Mode

This setting will determine if the Virtual Machine Connection tool will attempt to use enhanced session mode when available in a guest operating system. When Use enhanced session mode is enable device redirection will take place when the following conditions are met:

· Allow enhanced session mode is enabled on the server running Hyper-V.

· The virtual machine is running an operating system which supports enhanced session mode.

· The Remote Desktop Service is running in the virtual machine.

Guest operating system

The following is a list of the guest operating systems that support enhanced session mode connections.

· Windows Server 2012 R2 Preview

· Windows 8.1 Preview

Additionally the Remote Desktop Service needs to be running and the user account you be using to log on to the virtual machine needs to be a member of the Remote Desktop Users local group or the local Administrators group.

NOTE: Remote Desktop Services group policy and local group policy settings are enforced for enhanced session mode connections. So if there is a policy in effect that does not allow the redirection of printers, printer redirection in a Virtual Machine Connection session will be blocked as it would be for regular Remote Desktop Connection sessions.

Disclosure: The company I work with is partners with several vendors

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
ITCS user
IT Administrator at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
Consultant
Hyper-V 2012
Hyper-V 2012 is a good virtualization product that is suitable for small businesses. The 2012 edition is very simple to use and performance so far is exceptional. I am using Server 2012 with the Hyper-V role in a small remote office to run infrastructure virtual servers. The setup is very simple, install the Hyper-V role. Configure where you want to save the virtual machine files, and then select to add a new virtual machine. You can apply the desired hardware specs, and one feature that really stands out is dynamic memory allocation. The host server will scale the guest memory allocation as needed and it works very well. There are better virtualization solutions for large deployments, but for small businesses or a small remote office that only requires a couple of servers, Hyper-V is…

Hyper-V 2012 is a good virtualization product that is suitable for small businesses. The 2012 edition is very simple to use and performance so far is exceptional. I am using Server 2012 with the Hyper-V role in a small remote office to run infrastructure virtual servers.
The setup is very simple, install the Hyper-V role. Configure where you want to save the virtual machine files, and then select to add a new virtual machine. You can apply the desired hardware specs, and one feature that really stands out is dynamic memory allocation. The host server will scale the guest memory allocation as needed and it works very well.
There are better virtualization solutions for large deployments, but for small businesses or a small remote office that only requires a couple of servers, Hyper-V is hard to beat for the cost (included with the OS).

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user5496
Consultant at a tech consulting company with 51-200 employees
Consultant
Microsoft Hyper-V vs VMware vSphere
One topic that gets discussed quite often is Microsoft Hyper-V vs VMware vSphere, and a quick Google search for comparisons will return at least several hundred thousand hits. There seems to be a large number of posts and articles trying to make a case that one is better than the other by listing and comparing features of the hypervisors themselves one by one. The purpose of this post is not to claim that one platform is better than the other. Is that the best way to really compare the different virtualization technologies as a whole, or should we take a step back and really look at differences in approach for the virtual infrastructure and/or virtual ecosystems' Microsoft: In my opinion, Microsoft is defining and building their virtualization infrastructure as an extension or expansion…

One topic that gets discussed quite often is Microsoft Hyper-V vs VMware vSphere, and a quick Google search for comparisons will return at least several hundred thousand hits. There seems to be a large number of posts and articles trying to make a case that one is better than the other by listing and comparing features of the hypervisors themselves one by one. The purpose of this post is not to claim that one platform is better than the other. Is that the best way to really compare the different virtualization technologies as a whole, or should we take a step back and really look at differences in approach for the virtual infrastructure and/or virtual ecosystems'

Microsoft:

In my opinion, Microsoft is defining and building their virtualization infrastructure as an extension or expansion of their current ecosystem, with System Center at the center of their universe. If you look at the System Center 2012 product page on Microsoft’s website, System Center product details are broken down into two different areas:

    1. Cloud and Datacenter Management
    2. Client Management & Security

Is this really a big surprise' Absolutely not, since it clearly makes more sense to build on what you already have in place than to reinvent the wheel. The majority of virtual machines that are running on the Hyper-V platform are running Windows, and System Center already has a solid foundation of features and capabilities for managing Windows environments. These features include:

  1. Application Delivery
  2. Mobile Device Management
  3. Virtual Desktop Management
  4. Endpoint Protection
  5. Compliance and Setting Management
  6. Software Update Management
  7. Power Management
  8. Operating System Deployment
  9. Client Health and Monitoring
  10. Asset Intelligence
  11. Inventory

VMware:

In my opinion, VMware is looking to create a completely isolated and separated ecosystem that consists of a collection of appliances with different capabilities working independently and making up the features within the infrastructure, including:

  1. vSphere
  2. vCloud Director
  3. vCloud Connector
  4. vCloud Network and Security
  5. vCenter Site Recovery Manager
  6. vCenter Operations Manager Suite
  7. vFabric Application Director
  8. vCloud Automation Center

 

Conclusions:

One of the main differences that I see in the two approaches is that Microsoft wants virtualization, cloud, and datacenter management to be an extension of the infrastructure, whereas VMware would like the vCloud Suite to be the complete infrastructure. This starts with VMware developing vCloud as an Infrastructure-as-a-Service to fulfill their promise of the software-defined datacenter.

Click here to read my complete review on TheVirtualizationPractice.com

Disclosure: My company The Virtualization Practice is sponsored by some vendors in this market

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
ITCS user
Engineer at a tech vendor with 10,001+ employees
Vendor
Windows 2012 Hyper V: Huge Improvements

Valuable Features:

Scalability Improvements: Support for up to 4TB physical memory, up to 320 Logical Processors, up to 64 nodes cluster which can support 8000 VM's Migrations: Supports many types of migration scenarios such as live migration, live storage migration limited by only hardware capability. Management and Integration: Lots of management tools, integration with system center makes it a backbone of Microsoft's cloud infrastructure.

Room for Improvement:

Apart from windows and some flavors of Linux, it does not support any other virtual guests.

Other Advice:

If your infrastructure is based on MS products then this is a hypervisor to go for. Virtualization of some of the components such as domain controllers are supported by Microsoft only on Hyper- V.
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user3870
Senior Manager of Engineering with 1,001-5,000 employees
Vendor
Hyper-V 2012 - Well done Microsoft

Valuable Features:

The best hypervisor in the market! From Server 2008 to Server 2012 Hyper-v technology has evolved rapidly.As more organisations are using virtualisation, key features like VM replication, Virtual SAN Manager and Live migrations - enable organisations to design fail over and backup solutions, without the need to purchase other products.We have been evaluating Hyper-2012 server core for 3 months, up to now - we have had no issues with any virtual machines or the underlining operating system.

Room for Improvement:

To manage Windows Hyper-V Server 2012, you need an additional server 2012 server. Not very cost effective - I think Microsoft should consider pushing a Hyper-V Management console update to Server 2008 R2 to be able to manage Hyper-V 2012.Hyper-V is definitely our preferred Hypervisor. With its simple configuration console, setting up a Virtual Server is very simple. Multiple Hyper-V servers are easier to manage when integrated into a domain network, when you have a standalone server (especially server core) it can be difficult to manage.

Other Advice:

Hyper-V is a must have if you have a subscription with Microsoft’s MSDN program
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user1851
Head of Data Center at a transportation company with 501-1,000 employees
Vendor
Great hypervisor with snapshot capability and failover, but it has limitations.

Valuable Features:

Great Hypervisor with snapshot capability, and fail over clustering integration. Also possible to manage with Virtual Machine Manager.

Room for Improvement:

P2V are not live, and there's some limitation on max hard drive space for VMs and the ability to recover VHD file space after files within the VM have been deleted.

Valuable Features:

Great Hypervisor with snapshot capability, and fail over clustering integration. Also possible to manage with Virtual Machine Manager.

Room for Improvement:

P2V are not live, and there's some limitation on max hard drive space for VMs and the ability to recover VHD file space after files within the VM have been deleted.
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
ITCS user
Infrastructure Expert at a tech services company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Consultant
Microsoft has a winner with Hyper-V

Valuable Features:

Hyper-V definitely has its pro's, some of which are painfully apparent.- The first one is that it is a Microsoft product, which is baked into its Server 2008 and 2008 R2 platforms. You also have the option of a Hyper-V server core, which is only the Hypervisor (this allows for more resources to be dedicated to the individual VM's). - It has Powershell scripting support built in and also excellent Virtual Networking technology.- The VM's are portable. That means that each VM is stored in a single VHD file, which can be transferred to another server and configured and ready to run in less than a minute.- It fully integrates into the Windows environment, allowing access via MMC consoles to change settings and create/administer virtual machines remotely.

Room for Improvement:

The only cons I can really think of are as follows:- Individual licensing costs for each server. - If you aren't using Hyper-V Core and are running Hyper-V on top of the full Server 2008 R2 platform, then you have less resources to allocate to your Virtual Machines. - Except through RDP, there is no way to access the VM's on alternative platforms (like Mac or Linux).I use Hyper-V almost exclusively for all my virtualization needs. From a Network Administrators viewpoint, specifically one catering to a Windows client base, there is no better choice than Hyper-V. Like I said before, it fully integrates into the Windows environment, allowing access via MMC consoles to change settings and create/administer virtual machines remotely.

Other Advice:

All in all, Microsoft Hyper-V is an excellent platform and a great competitor for VMWare.
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user1083
Manager of Operations at a aerospace/defense firm with 1,001-5,000 employees
Vendor
Hyper-V is a solution for virtual machines with better scalability, better dynamic memory management, and excellent virtual storage management.

Valuable Features:

The proven technological prowess of Microsoft has produced yet another wonder for virtual machines - Hyper-V. The Windows Server 2008 R2 Hypervisor, is indeed a step towards the virtual world. Gone are those days where you start to scratch your head for low disk space and complicated hardware and networking solutions. The excellent features included in Hyper-V are dynamic memory management, better end user virtual performance, 3D Graphics enhancements, and good quality of media streaming. There is a significant change in Hyper-V for Live migration. This is a step taken by Microsoft to give tough competition to VMWare. Hyper-V with its 64 logical processors has got a new edge in its VM performances. There is a quantum change in previous releases of Hyper-V that is better in SP1 than in SP2.

Room for Improvement:

To optimize the performance of your desktops and servers, you need to install extra RAM and multiprocessors to use Hyper-V. Hyper-V is useful for X64 platforms. VMware has got the edge over Hyper-V in the case of X86 platforms. The latest release of Hyper-V has got better scalability than its previous one. Hyper-V lags in the case of Maximum VM RAM (64GB), where VMware provides 255GB VM RAM. In its earlier version it has got also a smaller number of nodes that can be added in a single cluster which is 16. The number is 32 in the case of VMware.

Other Advice:

Microsoft with its better reach and excellent customer support is always a preferable choice. Although VMware may still be leading the enterprise market, there is neck to neck competition between Hyper-V and VMware. Moreover, in its latest version, Hyper-V has enhanced some excellent features, like additional capability of Memory for VM, running up to 1TB. It has also increased the single VM RAM capacity up to 64GB. There is also an enhancement of 160 logical processors per Hyper-V host, 1024 virtual machines per host, 64 nodes per cluster, 4000 virtual machines per cluster, and 32 virtual processors.
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user1065
Senior Manager of Data Center at a integrator with 51-200 employees
Vendor
An easy and scalable solution for your enterprise virtualization needs

Valuable Features:

Pros of Hyper-V are- 1) Dynamic memory allocation for the virtual machines by efficient usage real time memory distribution architecture 2) More number of virtual machines per Hyper-V host through VDI technology 3) One of the best features in Hyper V is of live migration of running virtual machines and instances to another server in case of a failure 4) Dynamic I/O redirection using cluster node connectivity 5) Inbuilt Powershell feature to automate backup instances 6) Good virtual network and networking support for enhanced utilization of resources

Room for Improvement:

Few cons of Hyper-V are- 1) Licensing costs 2) Vulnerable to server failure 3) Lacks advanced features of virtualization platform 4) More consumption of CPU, memory and need more disk I/O bandwidth than physical servers

Other Advice:

The hypervisor based server visualization product, launched from Microsoft along with Microsoft Server 2008 R2, greatly helps in managing high availability, load balancing, resource sharing, and fail over clustering. It is a reliable solution, from enterprises to small scale industries, to make the best use of server resources and reducing costs. It enables multiple instances of machines to run together on the same server, which maintains redundancy.
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user1011
Manager of Data Center at a insurance company with 51-200 employees
Vendor
Reduce the DataCenter overhead cost with Hyper-V

Valuable Features:

• The ROI on Hyper-V is enormous. It is cheaper than any other enterprises visualization tool. • Hyper-V Replica can replace SAN, especially where SAN might be overloaded. • It is dynamic and scalable.

Room for Improvement:

It lacks a built-in cloning function, you have to use the traditional export/import.

Other Advice:

Visualization technology brought succor to IT enterprises users. The cost of acquiring multiple servers and its general maintenance has been drastically reduced. One physical or hardware machine can host multiple visual servers Windows Server Hyper-V is one of the best visualization servers in the market today. The new Hyper-V’s dynamic memory feature is a big plus. It can automatically expand the memory allocation to accommodate more workload from different virtual machines. Other attractive features, that the new Hyper-V includes are, Live storage migration, utilization of up to 4TB memory per host RAM, Virtual Machine converter, replica services, RemoteFX, etc. I added the Hyper-V role in Windows Server 2008 R2 without any issue. Installation of the guest server was also smooth. Guest VM backup in Hyper-V is quite simple with great features such as, multiple destinations selection and Backup drive mirroring.
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.