Getting Started

Server virtualization offers companies the opportunity to run multiple operating systems on a single physical machine. This enables the consolidation of underutilized servers onto a smaller number of fully utilized machines. By implementing virtualization companies can minimize operational and capital expenditure costs associated with deploying and operating the servers required for enterprise applications.

Windows Server 2008 provides the Hyper-V technology to accommodate server consolidation through virtualization of multiple operating system instances onto a single physical server. Hyper-V is provided as a core part of Windows Server 2008 or as a stand-alone product to make it as easy as possible for customers to embrace virtualization in their organization. There are several key scenarios for implementing Hyper-V:

  • Server Consolidation – Minimize server footprint, operational and capital expenditure (TCO) associated with running applications by consolidating multiple physical servers onto one box.

  • Testing and Development – Using virtual machines, developers and architects can quickly provision new machines to try out new technology and scenarios in a safe environment that accurately reflects the characteristics of a physical environment. Virtualization enables new machines to be provisioned running on a wide platform of operating systems without new hardware being required. This provides a great platform for testing and development environments.

  • Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery – Hyper-V includes powerful business continuity and Disaster Recovery features such as live backup and quick migration which enables businesses to meet their service level agreements.

  • Dynamic Data Center – By combining Hyper-V with the Microsoft System Center suite of tools, organizations can automate virtual machine configuration and monitoring. For more information about System Center Virtual Machine Manager, see

The information in this guide directly relates to the Server Consolidation and Testing and Development scenarios for Hyper-V. The other two were out of scope for this guide.

This topic provides an overview of Hyper-V and describes the benefits of using Hyper-V to host servers running Enterprise-level applications in a production environment.

For more information about Hyper-V, see the topic “Virtualization and Consolidation with Hyper-V” at

When deciding which server virtualization technology to adopt, it may be of value to compare Microsoft’s latest virtualization technology, Hyper-V, to the previous version of Microsoft server virtualization technology, Virtual Server 2005. The following table describes key differences between Hyper-V and Virtual Server 2005.

Virtualization FeatureVirtual Server 2005 R2Hyper-V

32-bit virtual machines



64-bit virtual machines



Multi-processor virtual machines


Yes, 4 core VMs

Virtual Machine Memory Support

3.6GB per VM

64GB per VM

Managed by System Center Virtual Machine Manager



Support for Windows Clustering Services



Host side backup support (VSS)



Scriptable / Extensible

Yes, COM

Yes, WMI

User Interface

Web Interface

MMC 3.0 Interface

This section provides an overview of Hyper-V features in Hyper-V Feature Overview, and provides an overview of Hyper-V architecture in Hyper-V Architecture.

The test scenarios described in Testing BizTalk Server Performance on Hyper-V were performed with BizTalk Server 2006 R2 and SQL Server 2005. BizTalk Server 2006 is fully supported when installed on a supported operating system that is running on Microsoft Virtual Server 2005 or on Windows Server 2008 Hyper-V. Support for SQL Server 2005 when installed on a supported operating system that is running on Windows Server 2008 Hyper-V is provided as “commercially reasonable” support. “Commercially reasonable support” is defined as all reasonable support efforts by Microsoft Product Support Services (PSS) that do not require code fixes for SQL Server 2005. Versions of SQL Server developed after SQL Server 2005 will be fully supported when installed on a supported operating system that is running on a Windows Server 2008 Hyper-V virtual machine. For more information about the supportability of BizTalk Server 2006 and SQL Server 2005 running in a virtual machine environment, review the following Microsoft Knowledge Base articles: