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Hyper V vs Microsoft Hyper V Server

Posted on 2010-09-16
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Last Modified: 2013-11-06
Hi and thanks for taking a moment. I am trying to set up  a virtual environment. I have a Windows 2008 server with 8 gb of RAM and 1TB of disk space, 64 bit that will be my physical host. I would like to run 4 virtuals on this. It is a non production environment. I would like to run 1 virtual for terminal services, 1 virtual for sql server, 1 virtual as a normal file server, and 1 for an iis server.

I am new to virtuals and need to know what the differences are between the Hyper V role available in server 2008 and Microsoft Hyper V Server. Am trying to understand the pros and cons. Its also important that  the virtuals to stay powered up. I essentially need the platform to run as a service. (Unlike VMWare which does not run as a service, although I am more familiar with VMWare).

If anybody can help me understand which option (the Hyper V role or Microsoft Hyper V Server) would be better for my particular scenario, it would be greatly appreciated.

Jason
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Question by:jazzcatone
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bgoering earned 125 total points
ID: 33695832
Actually if you install VMware Server 2.02 it will run as a service. Another option may be ESXi that is a bare metal hypervisor. I have experienced uptimes of well over a year with ESX...
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by:Lee W, MVP
Lee W, MVP earned 188 total points
ID: 33695932
Hyper-V and ESXi are NOT services.  They act as the underlying interface to the OS.  The freely downloadable Microsoft Hyper-V server is essentially Server 2008 R2 Server Core with the Hyper-V Role and that's it.

If you install Server as the full install and add the Hyper-V role, Hyper-V "slips under" the OS - so it's STILL not a service.  Though there will be support services listed.

You have your choice - you can use Virtual Server or VMWare Server and those operate a services but they also have a significant performance hit compared to ESXi and Hyper-V.  Both ESXi and Hyper-V are considered Bare Metal Hypervisors and as a result, perform MUCH better than those that are installed as services.
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by:kevinhsieh
kevinhsieh earned 125 total points
ID: 33696619
Hopefully you have another domain controller lying around...  :-)

Both Windows 2008 R2 with Hyper-V and Hyper-V Server 2008 R2 will do the same thing and have the same capabilities* and should have basically the same performance. One could argue that the Hyper-V Server is theoretically slightly faster because you won't have GUI overhead, but I doubt that you'll see the difference.

This this is your first experience with virtualization, I would install Windows 2008 R2 Full installation and then add the Hyper-V role. The management tools will get installed also. The Hyper-V Server just presents you with two shell prompts, which is a pretty intimidating place to start. You need to install the management tools on another machine to get started.

*Hyper-V Server 2008 R2 and Windows 2008 R2 Enterprise are essentially the same. If you only have Windows 2008 R2 Standard, you won't be able to cluster Hyper-V.
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by:Lee W, MVP
Lee W, MVP earned 188 total points
ID: 33696719
I will say managing and setting up a Hyper-V core install (or the free version of Hyper V) can be a huge PITA without the management tools, so I agree, best to setup with the GUI full install of Windows.  The server core install (free HyperV) is faster, but only slightly and not noticeably in most cases - it's faster the same way 125 miles per hour is faster than 120 miles per hour.  
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by:jazzcatone
ID: 33697325
Turned out after more investigation that I am pretty sure my  processor on what would be the physical host does not support hardware virtualization. I go to add the Hyper V role but it gives me an error that I am must enable this feature in the bios. Yet the setting is nowhere to be found in setup (F2) menu. I am considering going with VMWare instead.
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by:kevinhsieh
kevinhsieh earned 125 total points
ID: 33697524
What's your hardware and processor? I would think that just about everything sold in the last 3 years would support Hyper-V.
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by:frederi
frederi earned 62 total points
ID: 33700178
Hyper-V is quite sensitive on this subject of hardware compatibility. I already had issues on that with hardware that was supposed to be supported.
In your case, if you really want an hypervisor that runs as a service, as leew said; you should use VMware Server or MS Virtual Server. They should also be less sensitive about hardware compatibility.
But then wyou will depend on your host OS stability to offer the kind of always on service you're referring to.
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by:jazzcatone
ID: 33701978
Processor is an Intel(R) Pentium(R) Dual CPU E2200 @2.20GHZ . Checked this site http://ark.intel.com/Product.aspx?spec=sla8x .

The option for Intel @ Virtualization Technology is marked as not available. Also ran the securable.exe (http://www.grc.com/securable.htm) It says no as well.    
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by:bgoering
bgoering earned 125 total points
ID: 33702136
Sounds like a candidate for VMware - I know ESX(i) 3.5 will run without the VT, as will VMware Server or Workstation. Not sure about 4.x.
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by:Lee W, MVP
Lee W, MVP earned 188 total points
ID: 33702710
Microsoft Virtual Server should also work.  But frankly, I would replace the CPU/Motherboard/Computer.  VMWare Server and Virtual Server will have a SIGNIFICANT performance hit compared to HyperV or ESXi.
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by:jazzcatone
ID: 33769604
All very helpful info. Thanks much.
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