What is new with Hyper-V in Windows Server 2012

I’ve been reading a lot lately about what people have been saying about Microsoft’s latest go at a hypervisor and many say that now with Hyper-V 2012, Microsoft is catching up to VMware in the enterprise virtualization arena (one example from ZDnet).  So what is all the fuss about…really.  I’ll identify some of the key points of what Hyper-V 2012 is bringing to the virtualization world. To summarise:

  • 32 Virtual CPUs and 512GB to a Virtual Machine
  • VHDX File Format for Virtual Hard Disks (16TB of Storage)
  • Native NIC teaming
  • 64 Node Clustering
  • Cluster-Aware updating
  • Hyper-V Replica (Replication of Virtual Machines)

Two of my favourite additions though are the Cluster-Aware Updating and Hyper-V Replica features.
Cluster-Aware Updating helps to manage down time by maintaining availability during windows update time, so you pretty much schedule when you want the updates to occur and let the cluster take care of the rest, automatically moving Virtual Machines,  maintaining services and availability and then moving them back once the server has restarted and updates are completed. Hyper-V Replica, which performs asynchronous replication of VMs to a replica site (either stand alone or cluster).

The last point has been my biggest gripe with using Hyper-V, how do we achieve DR with a relative low-cost.  We already have all the hardware but the licensing and software costs to perform replication were astronomical.  Now our DR solution is quite straight forward and cost-effective thanks to Server 2012.

This post is by no means exhaustive, but simply the features that stand out to me, and the reasons as to why we are planning to move to Windows Server 2012 and Hyper-V 2012.

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