In my last post, I provided some facts related to Microsoft’s virtualization and private cloud offerings to help ensure that our customers and partners have accurate information as they’re exploring technology options and making investments in their infrastructure.  Some of these facts are related to providing customers with a scalable and economical private cloud solution that will grow with them and their businesses without imposing taxes on that growth. Other aspects of the post touch on the technical capabilities Microsoft offers, such as deep physical and virtual application insight and the broad extensibility of System Center to work with third party and custom solutions.

Today I wanted to explore some of the top reasons for choosing Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 with Hyper-V, which we’ve also compiled into a brief whitepaper you can find at this link. These top reasons include:

1.  Tremendous Industry Recognition & Strong Adoption by Customers

Hyper-V has experienced strong market growth since its introduction with market share expanding 409% (from 4.9% to 24.8%) from calendar Q3 2008 to Q3 2011, as noted in the IDC WW Quarterly Server Virtualization Tracker from December 2011.  Hyper-v also been positioned by top industry analysts as a Leader in x86 Server Virtualization Infrastructure.

Customers, including Target, CH2M HILL and many others, are running their businesses on Hyper-V.  You can find details on these customers and more through the broad portfolio of case studies available at this link.

2.  Built-in Virtualization & Familiarity with Windows

Hyper-V exists in 2 variations; as a free standalone product called Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2008 R2 SP1, and as an installable role in Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1. Since Hyper-V is an integral part of Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1, it provides great value by enabling IT Professionals to continue to utilize their familiarity with Windows while minimizing the learning curve.

Since its launch in 2008, we have continued to evolve Hyper-V to deliver even more capabilities, increase scalability and enhance performance.  Recent feature additions include Dynamic Memory, so customers can better utilize the memory resources of Hyper-V hosts by balancing how memory is distributed between running virtual machines. Another is Live Migration so customers with multiple Hyper-V physical hosts in their datacenters can easily and rapidly move running
virtual machines, VMs, to the best physical computer for performance, scaling, or optimal consolidation without affecting users; thereby reducing costs and increasing productivity.

With the upcoming release of Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V there are even more improvements to performance and scalability to help customers transform their organization’s cloud computing environment.

3.  Hyper-V as the Best Choice for Virtualizing Microsoft Workloads

Microsoft has published third-party validated lab results that prove best-in-class performance for Microsoft workloads, including SharePoint 2010, Exchange Server 2010, and SQL Server 2008.  Also available is recent data highlighting SQL Server 2012 running on Hyper-V with performance within 88% of a physical server and scaling to 2,090 OLTP transactions per second.

The results demonstrate that Hyper-V can provide enterprise ready support for tier-1 datacenter applications, while maintain high levels of scalability and performance.

4.  Comprehensive Management Capabilities with System Center 2012

With System Center 2012, customers don’t have to settle for a cobbled together collection of management offerings (see the video in item #1 of this post), but instead have a highly integrated solution for managing across their entire environment including their physical, virtual, private and public cloud environments.

Some of the System Center 2012 differentiated capabilities include:

    • Support for multi-hypervisor management
    • Support for third party integration and process automation
    • Ability to manage applications via a single view across private clouds and Windows Azure
    • Deep application diagnostics and insight for Windows and .NET based environments
    • Technologies like Server Application Virtualization, which enable you to abstract your applications from the underlying private cloud infrastructure.

All of this is delivered in a unified solution which is available in the Datacenter edition license which covers unlimited virtual machines.

5.  Per Physical Processor Pricing with Unlimited Virtualization Rights

The licensing advantages of the Microsoft virtualization and private cloud offerings over the competition were covered fairly extensively in my previous blog post.  The simple way to understand the situation is that Microsoft private cloud solutions are licensed on a per processor basis with unlimited virtualization rights. Microsoft’s licensing allows you to get the cloud computing benefits of scale with unlimited virtualization and lower costs – consistently and predictably over time.  The private cloud solutions from VMware charge you more as you grow and are licensed by either the number of VMs or the virtual memory allocated to those VMs.

You can find the details in this whitepaper as well as running server virtualization and private cloud calculations for yourself with these tools.

I hope the above information has provided you with some useful facts to help you while you’re investigating virtualization and private cloud infrastructures.

Thanks for reading.

--- Edwin