image Wow things have changed.  I first got started with virtualization in 2000/2001 with VMWare Workstation 3.x as a way to clean up my “office” in the one bedroom apartment I was renting.  Just over three years ago at the first EnergizeIT event, we demo’d failover clustering in Virtual Server 2005 R2 SP1, and blowing up a power supply at the same time.  Many people who were there still ask about that demo.  And now Rick and I are building a a 2-node Hyper-V Server R2 cluster for TechDays 2009.  From an application that sits on top of the OS, to an OS that provides the virtualization platform (technically a hypervisor is an OS as it has a kernel, memory and device manager).  Times change…

Other things have changed too, like price.  The company I worked for actually paid for Virtual Server 2005 Enterprise Edition!  Now Hyper-V is included in the OS and Microsoft Hyper-V Server is completely free.  And with R2 there is some increased functionality!  Hyper-V R2 includes a few new features like support for VDI, or Virtual Desktop Infrastructure; support for 6-Core CPUs, and maybe most importantly is Live Migration.

Live Migration has been the one thing that a lot of people have asked for and thanks to the introduction of Cluster Shared Volumes in R2 we can now migrate running virtual machines from one node in a cluster to another without interruption!  And this can all be done for free with Microsoft Hyper-V Server R2.  You provide the hardware, we provide the free software to “Git ‘er done!”.

Download the Hyper-V Server R2 RTM today and give it a whirl, and if you are not a fan of the command line grab the eval of System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2008 R2 to simplify the management of your new Hyper-V Server R2 cluster!  Try it out and them come to TechDays where you’ll see how to go From Zero to Live Migration!