Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2008 R2 RTM & More.

Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2008 R2 RTM & More.

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Virtualization Nation,

It's been a very good busy since the Windows Server 2008 R2 & Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2008 R2 RTM announcements. We're pleased that these releases have been warmly met by our early adopter customers and industry analysts alike. A few quotes include:

"Market dominant VMware has something to fear." -PC Magazine

"Unlike VMware's offering, [Hyper-V] Live Migration doesn't cost extra and isn't particularly difficult to configure." -ZDNet

"Windows Server 2008 R2 is Microsoft's Best-Ever Server OS." ChannelWeb

In short, Windows Server 2008 R2 is getting rave reviews and Hyper-V is just one part of this extraordinary server release. For more info on the all up Windows Server 2008 R2 release, here's a good blog and for more on Windows Server 2008 R2 Hyper-V check out this blog.

Thanks To The Folks At Veeam

I'd also like give a shout out to the folks at Veeam. We're pleased by their announcement that their developing solutions for Windows Server 2008 R2 Hyper-V and Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2008 R2. While VMware is dissuading companies from developing for their free ESXi and making many question whether the free version is even supported or not, we are actively encouraging developers to develop for both Windows Server 2008 R2 Hyper-V and the free Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2008 and yes, MS Hyper-V Server 2008 R2 is a fully supported offering. Speaking Of Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2008 R2.

Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2008 R2 RTM Overview

With our customers input first and foremost, we developed Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2008 R2 to meet their requirements and you can see the results are dramatic.



Let me be very clear about line 1 "physical processor support" above. That refers to the number of physical processors (sockets) that Hyper-V Server supports, regardless of how many cores each processor up to a total of 64 logical processors. So, no Core Tax here.

One More Thing.

One thing our customers and partners requested was the ability to boot from flash. Customers told us they would like to purchase a server from their hardware partner of choice with Hyper-V included and they wanted the ability to choose whether it was on traditional spinning media or flash media.

You got it.


Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2008 R2 includes the unique ability (compared to Windows Server Hyper-V) to boot from flash. We're making the documentation available to our OEM partners as part of the OEM Preinstallation Kit (OPK). Boot from flash is specifically designed for our OEM partners who want to ship an embedded Hyper-V hypervisor and thus will be supported via our OEM partners.

Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2008 R2 Features

Live Migration image

New Processor Support

  • Improved Performance
  • Lower Power Costs

Enhanced Scalability (4x Improvement)

Networking Enhancements

  • Improved Network Performance
  • 10 Gb/E Ready

Dynamic Virtual Machine Capabilities

  • Live Migration
  • Hot Add/Remove Virtual Storage

Boot From Flash

Usability Enhancements

  • SCONFIG Enhancements


In short, Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2008 R2 addresses all the top customer asks: Live Migration, High Availability, Major Scalability Improvements and much more all while keeping it FREE. VMware's isn't even close to matching this value.

The Cost Of Live Migration

A few weeks ago, I blogged how Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2008 R2 would include Live Migration and High Availability at no cost. No strings attached. I did a simple comparison showing how much it costs to get Live Migration capability from Microsoft and VMware. Here's the summary:



Since I wrote that blog, I've read interesting articles where VMware is trying to divert the discussion as far from cost as far as possible and trying to develop new and interesting ways to justify the fact that VMware Live Migration costs a minimum of $2245 per processor. Despite the fact that $13,470, $26,940, $22,450 and $44,900 in licensing costs to use Live Migration are greater than $0, VMware claims to cost less.

(As a reminder, the numbers above are just the cost (tax) of the virtualization layer. This doesn't include hardware, storage or any of software running within the VM.)

What Do The Analysts Think?

Here's a quote from a recent article (May 2009), on ServerWatch from Schorschi Decker:

...VMware just costs way too much. This view of mine was reinforced in a recent meeting with VMware, where the discussion of VMware feature set, and the associated pricing became, well, to be fair, enthusiastic to be sure. It was professional, it was honest, and it was quite clear, that VMware was not hearing us. VMware has for the last 5 or 6 years, continued to add features, failed to enhance existing features in reference to scale and scope, for enterprise clients.

Let's Look At This Another Way

I thought I'd look at this from a completely different viewpoint. Simply stated:

With the money saved by using our freely available

Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2008 R2,

how much server hardware could you purchase?

Server Hardware Anyone?

I went up to a few weeks ago and spec'd out a few systems at various price points. Here are a few guidelines I used when I spec'd out these systems:

  • a minimum of 2 GB of memory per core
  • a local drive for boot from because when you use Live Migration, virtual machines reside on shared storage
  • added a quad-port 1Gb/E to all configurations to help mitigate against network I/O bottlenecks
  • on the high end system added a dual-port 8 Gb FC card to use with Multi-Path IO (MPIO) to enable failover and aggregation at the storage I/O layer

(BTW: Third party MPIO support from VMware jacks up the price yet again forcing you to the Enterprise Plus Edition at $3495 per processor which raises the price in the table above from $44,900 to $69,900 (a 56% increase), but I digress.)

Server Configurations

Configuration 1: For $13,833 ($4611 each), you could buy three HP ProLiant DL360 G5 servers, each configured with

  • Dual socket/Quad-Core Intel Xeon Processors E5405, each configured with
    • 16 GB of memory
    • 72 GB 10,000 RPM Drive
    • Dual 1Gb/E
    • Quad Port 1Gb/E PCI-E NIC
    • Redundant Power Supply


Configuration 2: For $15,606 ($5202 each), you could buy three HP ProLiant DL365 G5 servers, each configured with

    • Dual socket/Quad-Core AMD Opteron Processors x2356
    • 16 GB of memory
    • 72 GB 10,000 RPM Drive
    • Dual 1Gb/E
    • Quad Port 1Gb/E PCI-E NIC
    • Redundant Power Supply


Configuration 3: For $21,291 ($7097 each), you could buy three HP ProLiant DL360 G6 servers, each configured with

    • Dual socket/Quad-Core Intel Xeon Processors x5550
    • 16 GB of memory
    • 72 GB 10,000 RPM Drive
    • Dual 1Gb/E
    • Quad Port 1Gb/E PCI-E NIC
    • Redundant Power Supply


Configuration 4: For $45,900 (15,300 each), three HP ProLiant DL 585 G5 servers, each configured with

    • Quad socket/Quad-Core AMD Opteron Processors x8354
    • 32 GB of memory
    • 72 GB 10,000 RPM Drive
    • Dual 1Gb/E
    • Quad Port 1Gb/E PCI-E NIC
    • Dual Port 8 Gb PCI-E Fiber Channel
    • Redundant Power Supply

That's a heck of a lot of incredibly powerful, server systems to choose from. By using Hyper-V instead of VMware you can use the substantial $$$$ saved to reinvest in new server hardware. At this point, you just need to pick out a SAN.

Failover Cluster Configuration Program

One commonly asked question we hear is, "Do I need special storage to work with Live Migration? Is there a special Hyper-V Logo program?" NO. There are a couple of different options. To make things easy, you can choose a SAN that's validated via the Failover Cluster Configuration Program (FCCP) from our partners like Compellent, Dell, EMC, Fujitsu, Fujitsu Siemens, Hitachi, IBM, NetApp (Microsoft Storage Partner of the Year) or NEC for starters and you're ready to go. That said, FCCP is not required for support. Windows offers the largest, broadest ecosystem and our customers like having multiple options based on their business needs. To see if your storage is supported for Hyper-V Live Migration and Failover Clustering all you need to do is run the Microsoft Cluster Validate Tool provided in the OS to insure that the cluster is validated and thus supported.

Customers Win

In short, Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2008 R2 delivers more of everything compared to Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2008 V1:

  • Capabilities
  • Efficiency
  • Performance
  • Scalability
  • Flexibility
  • Ease of use

and Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2008 R2 also happens to be the ideal foundation for a VDI infrastructure.

More on that in a future blog.


Jeff Woolsey

Principal Group Program Manager

Windows Server, Hyper-V

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  • Boot from flash is nice, but is this also possible for Server 2008 core edition? Either way what do Enterprise customers loose by using the free edition of Hyper-v server compared to server core?

    By using hyper-v server you'd have to buy individual system center licenses and windows licenses for each VM... and that's probably more expensive that buying datacenter editions for both windows and system center.

    If im wrong please correct me :)

    Regards from a customer who's planning on migrating from VMWare to a Hyper-v R2 cluster in 2009 Q3-Q4

  • I am very optimistic about Hyper-V R2's release, and expect it to put alot of pressure on VmWare to lower their prices.

    As a veteran Virtualization engineer of both Microsoft and VmWare, there is no question Microsoft has alot of catching up to.  Hyper-V R2 is an excellent start int eh right direction, no argument there.

    I manage an enterprise revenue generating Virtualization environment, where a premium is placed on multiple os vendor support, featureset, scalibility and, above all Performance.

    I am a little taken back by the use of the word free by Microsoft.  In order to truly leverage the enterprise features by Hyper-V, there are many hidden costs.  But the up-front costs of Hyper-V are clearly lower than VmWare.

    So for my firm, the free doesn't matter if the performance is not there.  This is the part that I cannot wait to evaluate and look forward to reading the results of many Microsoft Engineers such as yourself.

    Congrats Microsoft!

  • @MartinDK - you should be able to get any Windows 7-based OS (7, Server 2008 R2 in full or server core mode, Hyper-V Server 2008 R2) running on flash using boot from VHD.

    I haven't seen the OEM notes but the method I used is available at (please excuse the self promotion but it took a while to work out the details!).

    Since then it's got even easier because there's even a tool to help you prepare the USB booting (!

    Of course, only Microsoft can comment on the supported route - and I expect that the OEM documentation that Jeff refers to is the only supported method.


  • Just a follow up to my previous comment (before someone else picks me up!)... running the OS from an inexpensive USB flash drive may be fine for a hypervisor that, once loaded into memory, requires little disk access but it's certainly not a recommended solution for a full operating system - for that you would need better quality flash memory, such as a solid state disk (SSD).

  • Hi,

    when will Hyper-V Server 2008R2 RTM released to public?

    I'm really looking forward to it :)

  • in the form of an annotated table was in good shape was a good work has been good thanks

  • thank you very good very good article

  • Really nice article!!!

  • Depresyon panik atak! Nice article!

  • asd

  • En esta dirección hay un art��culo muy interesante y detallado sobre como instalar y configurar de Hyper-V Server R2, echadle un vistazo.