imageI think one of everybody's favorite word is FREE.  In any language that is just a great word.  Well today we are going to combine that word with Hyper-V.  As in Free Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2012!  Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2012 is a hypervisor-based server virtualization server.  Hyper-V Server is a dedicated stand-alone product that contains the hypervisor, Windows Server driver model, virtualization capabilities, and supporting components such as failover clustering.  It has the same features as the Hyper-V role in the full version of Windows Server - including up to 320 logical processors per Hyper-V host, up to 4TB of physical memory, Live Migration, Storage Migration, Virtual Machine Replication, Clustering…etc.!  Did I mention it is free?

Now this server does not contain all the robust set of features and roles as the Windows Server 2012 operating system.   However, this is a fantastic server if you just want to have a pure Hyper-V host for your datacenters.  Even better, Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2012 gives you a great chance to kick the tires of Hyper-V 2012.  To get a trial of Hyper-V server please go here: http://aka.ms/hypervserver   As we go through the rest of this series whenever we have a topic on Hyper-V keep the Hyper-V server in mind.  It can do the job. For example, Keith’s post on Network Virtualization applies to this server as well!

To test Microsoft Hyper-V Server:

  1. Review the System Requirements for Hyper-V Server 2012
  2. Download Hyper-V Server 2012 for FREE
  3. Install Hyper-V Server 2012

After you install the Hyper-V Server 2012 you will see a screen similar to this one:

sconfig

Hyper-V server in a nutshell is a Windows Server 2012 core server with the Hyper-V role server installed by default.  Depending on the nature of your environment you will have a little bit of work to do.  Specifically around managing the server.  You will have some configuration of the tools, and this server can be fully remotely managed.  Here are some additional steps to look at:

  1. Configure drivers (if needed) on Hyper-V Server 2012
  2. Configure Admin Password, IP Address and Domain for Hyper-V Server 2012

To learn more about the Hyper-V server check out this TechNet article: Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2012 

So what are some next steps you can accomplish with Hyper-V Server 2012, take a look at this great post Keith wrote on how to migrate to this powerful server:  Migrating to Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2012 from 2008 R2 and VMware

We hope you are enjoying the series and check out the features by taking a look at these downloads:

If you missed any of the parts you can find the rest of the series here: 31 Days of Our Favorite Things in Windows Server 2012.