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Hyper-V advantage ???

Posted on 2014-01-27
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Last Modified: 2014-11-12
We are a business that host only 3 web sites. We have 5 servers, 1 and 2 server as DC and load balanced web hosting, 3 and 4 are MS SQL servers, 5 exchange and file server.  

Question is their any advantage to use Hyper-V in our case? We have standard Ed so we have the ability of two virtual servers if need be but can't see the advantage.
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Question by:crundle32
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by:Cliff Galiher
Cliff Galiher earned 800 total points
ID: 39812553
Virtualization can provide better server utilization, power savings, and disaster recovery benefits. Ultimately, however, it is up to you to decide if those benefits are worth the effort in your environment. Every datacenter is unique and nobody can answer that question for you.
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by:Nick Rhode
Nick Rhode earned 400 total points
ID: 39812556
Typically the advantages are space, save power, and fast disaster recovery (depending on equipment).  I like virtualizing and if you plan to grow I would recommend it.  5 servers is really not bad and if you don't feel like implementing it now  you can setup a box with hyper-v as a test lab for perhaps future growth.  Virtualization saves quite a bit of money because you can setup multiple servers on 1 physical box vs paying the big bucks for servers which will only serve one purpose etc.
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by:rindi
rindi earned 400 total points
ID: 39812579
Yes, Virtualization is almost always an advantage. One big advantage is that the VM is hardware independent, you can easily move from one host to another (or restore the backup easily). If your hardware is up to the task you can also go with less physical servers, so the cost would be less. If your SQL and mail servers aren't at their limits you can also virtualize those, so you could virtualize all of your servers.
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by:Cliff Galiher
Cliff Galiher earned 800 total points
ID: 39812589
Just as a point of clarification, VMs are not always completely hardware independent. Moving a VM from an Intel based host to an AMD based host, for example, is not recommended and is clearly called out in the hyper-v documentation. So hyper-v knowledge and planning is important before deciding to virtualize.
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Lee W, MVP earned 400 total points
ID: 39812959
Cliff,

I've only seen issues/concerns with Hyper-V being cpu independent in clusters.  Otherwise, If the machine is shutdown and brought up, I've not seen/heard of issues.  Can you link to docs that might otherwise indicate a problem?

@crundle32,

I'll disagree in spirit a little with Cliff - Virtualization - UNLESS you have a good reason not to - has advantages for most everyone.  Most people have covered them (including Cliff), the advantages I see include:
LOWER License costs for Windows (as of 2012, though potentially in earlier versions too)
Disaster recovery can be enhanced (Hyper-V Replica)
Testing can be easier (make an exact copy of the VM for testing purposes)
Power Utilization should decrease (fewer physical servers)
Easy to upgrade hardware (just install a new system and migrate VMs - downtime is decreased).
Space required for the servers decreases. (Maybe not much of an issue for 5-6 servers)
High Reliability as you can now cluster all your VMs and potentially keep them running host system reboots

There are disadvantages:
VMs cannot operate as fast as they might if installed DIRECTLY to hardware.  BUT, in most cases, this is not a concern since hardware is almost always under utilized and type 1 Hypervisors (including Hyper-V) can provide - 80-90 of hardware capability to the VM guest.
VMs can have difficulty operating DIRECTLY with certain specialized hardware.  As a result, there CAN be the occasional system that simply NEEDS to be installed physically.
VMs can increase the complexity of your network... but in my opinion, this is slight and the benefits FAR outweigh the drawbacks.  (I once made a copy of my SQL, DC, and Web servers and brought with me on a trip so I can do development... FAR easier than bringing 4 laptops - would never have been possible on the plane.

How much / important these features are to you depends on who you are, but in most cases, it's not a question of "why should I virtualize", it's a question of "why shoudn't I virtualize"
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