Bare metal hypervisor is here, along with new training, services

Bare metal hypervisor is here, along with new training, services

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"Bare metal" was my attempt at being dramatic ;-)

Anyway, I really wanted you to know that the standalone hypervisor, Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2008, was released today for download. This is the no-cost, bare metal hypervisor. Think ESXi, but with Windows and not Linux. More on this in a bit. Today we also announced new virtualization training and certification program. You're qualified to take this training if you have Windows Server experience. Get more info here; I'm told the cost for training is dependent on the country, but generally ranges from US $90-$130. Click here if you need the currency conversion rate.

Before I get back to Hyper-V Server 2008 (and yes, it's different than Windows Server 2008 server core with Hyper-V), today's announcement also said that System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2008 will be released in a few weeks. The word is: "by end of October", and "there's still some more fine tuning and quality checks to do with early adopter customers." So net-net, SCVMM won't be released next week as announced here, but a couple weeks after.

So what exactly is Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2008? Following are some bits I've collected that you might not see/read on the Web site or TechNet (or maybe you will).

  • Hyper-V Server 2008 was built using the Windows hypervisor and other components, including base kernel and driver technologies. Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2008 shares kernel components with Windows Server 2008.
  • Microsoft Hyper-V Server  2008 contains a sub-set of components that make up Server Core deployment option of Windows Server 2008, and has a similar interface and look and feel. But as you know, Server Core has roles like DNS, DHCP, file. Hyper-V Server 2008 is just virtualization.

  • Because Hyper-V Server 2008 shares kernel components with Windows Server 2008, we don't expect special hardware drivers to be required to run Microsoft Hyper-V Server.

  • The maximum number of guest instances that can run on Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2008 is 128 (of course this is dependent on the hardware, memory and workloads). Additionally, each guest OS must have a valid license.

  • Hyper-V Server 2008 runs/upports all the guest OSes supported by its big brother, WS08 Hyper-V. See here for a complete list.

  • Windows Server licenses are not included with Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2008. Client access licenses (CALs) are only required for Windows Server and all Windows Server images that are virtualized, regardless of virtualization platform (e.g., ESXi). No CALs are required for Hyper-V Server 2008.

I hope this has helped. Check out the technical resources page for more.



Update #1: as John pointed out in the comments, it took longer than expected for the download site to be ready for you to download this morning. Sorry about that. 

Update #2: I was reminded that now that WS08 Hyper-V and MS Hyper-V Server support up to 24LP (see KB article 956710), that the actual maximum supported VMs is 192. This is assuming all 192 VMs are uni-processor.

Update #3: Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2008 will be available in the following languages:

  • English (EN-US)
  • German (DE-DE)
  • Japanese (JA-JP)
  • French (FR-FR)
  • Spanish (ES-ES)
  • Chinese Hong-Kong (ZH-HK)
  • Chinese Simplified (ZH-CN)
  • Korean (KO-KR)
  • Portuguese (Brazil) (PT-BR)
  • Chinese Traditional (ZH-TW)
  • Italian (IT-IT)
  • Russian (RU-RU)


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  • 18:00 GMT - the download link on the Hyper-V Server page doesn't work!

    John Rennie

  • Ah, OK, 18:20 GMT and it works now :-)

    John Rennie

  • PingBack from

  • I took some screenshots of my Hyper-V Server installation & initialization process...  I'm glad it ships with less available components!

  • [Disclaimer: I work for VMware, but comments made here are my own and do not necessarily reflect the views of my employer.]

    > Think ESXi, but with Windows and not Linux.

    This statement seems to imply that ESXi is based on or uses "Linux". That's not the case. Unlike the regular ESX server, there is no Linux service console in ESXi. Similarly, it's my understanding that the "bare metal" Hyper V is distinctly different from regular Windows Server 2008, or even Server 2008 core.

    In other words, I think this statement of comparison is flawed on both sides ;-).

  • Microsoft released a new server hardware virtualization product yesterday: Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2008.

  • Microsoft brings its bare-metal hypervisor platform, Hyper-V Server 2008, to market and makes it a freely downloadable virtualization product

  • Naked Hyper-V requires (at a minimum) an MMC on Vista SP1 to remotely manage. This is bogus. I can manage Xen on XP, so what is up with Microsoft?

    Even the HV manager MSU file requires Vista to unpack the MMC.

    XP may be retired, but its still the defacto desktop in Corp USA. If you want to make corp inroads with H-V, make a XP MMC Manager.

  • Hi guys - it's great to see Hyper-V Server but why is it so big?  If this is really just a bare metal hypervisor and the "bits" that are needed to manage it, why does it need a 1GB image which installs to a 2.7GB footprint, uses just over 300MB of RAM and runs 30-odd processes, just shy of 50 services and has another 30-or-so services that are stopped. Hyper-V Server doesn't seem to be the Hyper-V hypervisor without Windows…

    On another note @edwaleni5 - it seems perfectly reasonable to me that Vista SP1 (i.e. the current version of the Windows client OS) is needed to run the MMC Snap-In for Hyper-V but other options are:

    1. For free, try the PowerShell Management Library for Hyper-V (PowerShell is available for XP).

    2. For large enterprises, System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2008 - and that has a web portal for management from non-supported clients.


  • I’ve got multiple blog posts on the go in Windows Live Writer at the moment, one talking of the relative

  • I’m Zane Adam, senior director of virtualization and System Center. It’s been a while since my last post, and wanted to update you on our standalone hypervisor, Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2008 R2 Last Fall we released Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2008, a standalone

  • Last Fall we released Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2008, a standalone hypervisor-based virtualization product that is available for free. We continue to add more features and value to this product in the upcoming release, Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2008 R2.