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Mitch Irsfeld

TechNet Flash, Volume 14, Issue 3 - February 1, 2012
TechNet Flash Editor's Note from Mitch Irsfeld

Virtualize Your Way to the Cloud with Hyper-V

Virtual machines are computing environments implemented in software which abstracts the physical resources so that multiple operating systems can run simultaneously. But not all virtual machines are created equal.

If you are new to the concept of server virtualization, may we suggest some overview resources, including a great offer to download the free e-book from Microsoft Press, Understanding Microsoft Virtualization Solutions, penned by Mitch Tulloch. Chapter Two focuses specifically on Hyper-V 2008 R2, describing how it works, how to deploy and manage Hyper-V and how to create virtual machines.

The current edition of TechNet Magazine features an excerpt from Distributed and Cloud Computing: From Parallel Processing to the Internet of Things by Kai Hwang, Jack Dongarra, and Geoffrey Fox. The excerpt explains three classifications of virtual machine architectures: the hypervisor, host-based virtualization, and para-virtualization, which are differentiated by the position of the virtualization layer. Check out Cloud Computing: Virtualization Classes to see which architecture makes sense for you scenarios.

Still Better Together
Hyper-V is available as a free stand-alone hypervisor product (Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2008 R2 SP1) and as an installable role in Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1. As an integral part of Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1, Hyper-V provides great value, enabling IT pros to leverage their familiarity with Windows while providing a compelling solution for core virtualization scenarios, including production server consolidation, dynamic datacenter, business continuity, VDI, test, and development uses. See the white paper Top 5 Reasons to Choose Microsoft Hyper-V R2 SP1 over VMware vSphere 5 to learn why Hyper-V is not only the best solution for virtualizing Microsoft workloads, but also a better value than its competitors based on per-processor licensing cost.

Speaking of workloads, three additional white papers go in-depth on specific Microsoft workloads:

Going forward, Microsoft is working to support a new generation of Hyper-V machine virtualization on the Windows client OS. VMs are a handy way to try out new software and configurations in multiple test environments without risking changes to the PC you are actively using. The Building Windows 8 blog recently discussed how the team is Bringing Hyper-V to "Windows 8" to let you run more than one 32-bit or 64-bit x86 operating system at the same time on the same computer. Virtualization is going to play a radical new role in the enterprise, allowing a mix of applications and platforms to combine to solve IT challenges.

Try It Out
One the great features of Hyper-V is dynamic memory, which can reallocate memory among virtual machines to help you use physical memory more efficiently. Use the Hyper-V Dynamic Memory Configuration Guide to configure this feature once you have added the Hyper-V role and created a virtual machine.

After you familiarize yourself with virtualization and Hyper-V, download the Windows Server 2008 R2 with Service Pack 1 evaluation bits and get hands-on with the technology. There are a number of resources to assist your evaluation. Begin with the instructions for installing the Hyper-V role and configuring a virtual machine in the Hyper-V Getting Started Guide. For step-by-step instructions in testing Hyper-V in a production environment, see Getting to Know Hyper-V: A Walkthrough from Initial Setup to Common Scenarios.

As you begin your evaluation, it's a great idea to bookmark the TechNet Wiki article Hyper-V Gotchas, authored by Tony Soper and a community of IT experts, to follow best practices and avoid common mistakes.

And finally, if you're a PowerShell user, there are 80 functions in the PowerShell Management Library for Hyper-V from connecting to a virtual machine to backing up, exporting, and taking snapshots of VMs.

Thanks for reading,

Mitch Irsfeld
Editor, TechNet Flash

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