Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2008 R2 RTM and RTW.

Hyper-V Server 2008 R2 is available to download now.  This free virtualisation platform from Microsoft is based on the Core installation.  It’s a stripped down version of Windows intended solely for virtualisation.  Given that it doesn’t have the free guest OS licenses, it seems like a solution to me for things like VDI (Remote Desktop Services) or small implementations like branch offices or certain SBS/EBS scenarios.

The big change (other than all the cool stuff like Core Parking, increased scalability, VMQ, SLAT, etc) is that this version of Hyper-V Server adds cluster support and Live Migration.  Yes, clusters and Live Migration in a free virtualisation platform.

My concern is the Core installation.  I’ve problems with that in terms of trouble shooting and hardware management applications.  I know I’m not alone as other adventurous types have tried Core installs like me and walked away.  I’d like to see a Core installation that still has a GUI so we can still use those apps from the OEM’s to do things like VLAN tagging, check hardware, etc.  But I’m not everyone and I guess there’s an audience out there for Hyper-V Server seeing as MS has updated it.

“Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2008 R2 is a stand-alone product that provides a reliable and optimized virtualization solution enabling organizations to improve server utilization and reduce costs. With the addition of new features such as live migration and expanded processor and memory support for host systems, it allows organizations to consolidate workloads onto a single physical server and is a good solution for organizations who are consolidating servers as well as for development and test environments.

By having the ability to plug into existing IT infrastructures Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2008 R2 enables companies to reduce costs, improve utilization and provision new servers. It allows IT professionals to leverage existing patching, provisioning, management and support tools and processes. IT Professionals can continue to leverage their individual skills and the collective knowledge of Microsoft tools, minimizing the learning curve to manage Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2008 R2. In addition, with Microsoft providing comprehensive support for Microsoft applications and heterogeneous guest operating systems support, customers can virtualize with confidence and peace of mind.“

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