Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2008 R2 review
Microsoft is determined to keep the pressure on the established virtualisation players and with Hyper-V R2 has added some crucial features. We see how it fares in this review.
Hyper-V Server 2008 R2 is an edition of Server 2008 Core with one feature only: the ability to host virtual machines. Although it is a free offering, it actually makes sense to run a stripped-down host operating system in this context, for security, for performance, and to keep the host as generic as possible.
Additionally, upgrading a server that needs more power goes from a painful migration experience to something that is near-trivial.
Virtualisation also ties in with another trend that of cloud computing. Once servers are virtualised, it's possible to move them to and from cloud providers.
Hyper-V was new in Windows Server 2008. The company is trying to catch up with well-established competitors, particularly VMware, which has more advanced features as well as a strong hold on the market. Hyper-V relies on a hardware hypervisor, a virtualisation feature of the CPU, which means it requires a processor that supports Intel VT or AMD-V, as well as hardware Data Execution Prevention. Notoriously there are many quite recent Intel processors that don't support this so check your hardware carefully. It is 64-bit only, though guests can be 32-bit or 64-bit.
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