Hyper-v as a server role in production environment?

Posted on 2013-05-09
Last Modified: 2014-11-12
does install Hyper-v as a server role on top of windows OS a bad idea in production environment?  To me it's not real Virtualization and it's wasting system resource and windows OS might corrupt, need to patch very often, etc. And the time to rebuild it taking long time when disaster occurs. I have been using vmware esxi so far and I am very happy with it. But haven't tried the hyper option. Please share with me your experience and advices, thanks.
Question by:okamon
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Expert Comment

by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 39154541
How is it not real?  It's a type 1 hypervisor.

I don't consider ESXi a real virtualization solution since it's just using a heavily modified linux kernel.  Seem like a fair statement?  It's equivalent to your statement.

ESXi still needs patching.  Whether you patch or not is another story.  Rebuild takes 20 minutes.  Less if you build an image.  And why wouldn't you be using Replica and/or a cluster?
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Expert Comment

by:Carol Chisholm
ID: 39154550
Hyper-V is certainly ready for production especially on server 2012.
You can run it on server core and you will have very few patches (there is not much in server core to patch) and you have an extremely robust and cheap solution.
LVL 118
ID: 39154604
Your points are valid, but both Microsoft Hyper-V and VMware vSphere (ESXi) are very good production hypervisors.

ESXi does have a very small foot print (less than 1GB), installation time is very quick, it can be installed on a USB flash drive or SD card for embedded use on a server.

Both need to be patched, and we do see more monthly "Windows" patches than we do ESXi patches. Maybe this is because "Windows" is more of a target,

ESXi has support for more OS.
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Expert Comment

by:Nagendra Pratap Singh
ID: 39154687
I have seen Hyper-V crash a lot in a certain production environment.

The reason was NOT hyper-v but faulty RAM and the client was made aware of this but they were not interested to fix it. They were not happy with saving the money on hypervisor alone.

Hyper-V works well.

Author Comment

ID: 39155464
I am not talking about server core hyper-v or hyper-v server here.  I meant to install it as a role after I do the full installation of windows 2012. So this is comparable with esxi? and this is still considered as type 1 hypervisor? I don't think rebuild only takes 20 mins... Full server installation takes more than that, I will have to install bunch of windows updates too.
LVL 118
ID: 39155501
Yes, it's a Type 1 Hypervisor.

But you are correct, if using Server with a GUI, you will need to apply updates.

But a true comparison is without the GUI, and manage it remote like ESXi! (you cannot manage ESXi from the host, Hyper-V does have a benefit there, if you use Server with a GUI)

But you could also argue, that after installing ESXi 5.1 GA Build 799733 , you will need to install updates to make it current!

e.g. apply - ESXi 5.1 Update 1 Build 1065491
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Assisted Solution

by:Carol Chisholm
Carol Chisholm earned 150 total points
ID: 39155521
hancocka is right. The valid comparison is windows core with Hyper-V.
If you are determined to use esxi then why bother asking us.

Hyper-V is still Hyper-V and a type 1 hypervisor whatever you decide to run beside it. Other roles just slow the server down, increase the attack surface and the number of things you have to patch

But recommended config is server core and believe me there are very few updates to server core.

And in a normal production environment you should not be re-installing frequently
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LVL 118
ID: 39155558
Windows 2012 Datacenter Server Core installation (without a GUI) takes me -  

(8m 24s , and install was completed!)

After getting devices, ready, restart and the login appears

(11m 18s)

(longest time was inserting the serial number!)
LVL 118
ID: 39155627
ESXi 5.1 Update 1 installation

(7m 2s for installation to be completed.)

After reboot, starting services and devices

(8m 37s complete at login DCUI)
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Expert Comment

by:Carol Chisholm
ID: 39155716
:) not much difference if you are prepared. And really not much time for either. okamon can make a valid choice. There are the cost factors depending on the size of the install and also the learning curve, though Hyper-V is not very complicated.

Author Comment

ID: 39157164
I don't understand why hyper-v running on top of full windows OS is Type 1 Hypervisor...
From what I know Type 1 hypervisor as running directly on the hardware with VM resources provided by the hypervisor. Type 2 hypervisor runs on a host operating system to provide virtualization services. So why it's not considered as Type 2?

Like vmware server, it's installed on windows os and it's Type2.
LVL 118
ID: 39157214
Its not Hyper-V communicates directly with Bare Metal.
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Accepted Solution

Lee W, MVP earned 150 total points
ID: 39157231
Perhaps you should read the FREE ebook "Understanding Microsoft Virtualization Solutions" -

It's a little outdated in that it doesn't include details on the enhancements to Hyper-V in 2008 R2 SP1 or in 2012, but the core technology is still the same.

Starting with Page 23 (as numbered) "Understanding Hypervisors" and the relevant details conclude on page 30.  In particular, Figure 2-5 on page 27.

(The ebook *IS* a little MS preachy, but that doesn't make the technical details incorrect).

In VERY short, when you add the role to a server, the Hypervisor sits directly on top of the hardware and the HOST OS becomes the "Parent" partition VM and other VMs are Child Partitions.
LVL 118

Assisted Solution

by:Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE)
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE) earned 150 total points
ID: 39157247
just to add to @leew last post...

VMware Server, VMware Workstation, VMware Player, or Oracle Virtualbox are Applications which are installed on a Windows PC.

when the Hyper-V Role is added to Windows, it *CHANGES* how Windows functions.

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