Conversion to Hyper V - guest OS selection

jjwolven used Ask the Experts™
We are considering moving to Hyper-V from ESX, but that could be up to 1 yr in the future. In the meantime, I want to create my VMs in a way that is easy to move.

In this case we are reviewing the use of Win 2016 Datacenter vs. Standard. We will definitely be using Datacenter for the Hyper-V host, but have questions about the guest OS to use.
Many of the additional features of Datacenter seem to be focused on using it as the Hyper-V server

1. If we use Standard as the guest OS will we lose access to any of the additional Datacenter features
2. Does Datacenter use significantly more resources than Standard?
3. Does Datacenter licensing apply to all guests even if they are Standard?
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Distinguished Expert 2018

If your VM count is not more, I suggest go with standard edition because cost difference is hugh

The add-on features you get with 2016 data center hyper-v as compared to standard would be unlimited hyper-v containers, shielded VMs, host guardian support and unlimited VMs
Out of above only unlimited OSE (VMs) would be attractive feature

What physical server config you have and how many VMs you planning to host on per server

approximate datacentre edition license cost is  6 times greater than standard

standard edition allows you to run 2 VM instances free and data center allows unlimited

If you want to run at more than 12 VMs on single host, then data center edition is justified, again if you need cluster you need one more data center instance which will double the cost
In that case you get 8 x stanard edition licenses to build cluster and save money

Note that above is just example and you should contact Microsaoft licensing expert / TAM to get actual picture and loss / profit stats wrt licensing
Distinguished Expert 2018

further, on data center editions it does not matter if you are using standard or data center guest

I did not hear any issues on data center about more resource consumption as compared to standard unless you are running numerous VMs on data center
Network Engineer
1. Yes. *
2. No.
3. Yes.

I recommend installing Standard instead of Datacenter for the guests, unless there is a specific Datacenter feature you need in the guest. There are very, very few feature differences between Standard and Enterprise in a guest VM. The only significant difference that immediately comes to my mind, is that NPS on Standard limits you to 50 RADIUS clients, and Datacenter is unlimited. This is only an issue if you use NPS and have a larger network. The issue from a licensing perspective is say that you have a host with Datacenter licensing applied. Your VMs also run Datacenter. Everything is fine. Now you need to temporarily move 1 or 2 VMs over to another host. That other host would also need to have Datacenter licensing applied, even if it only has 1 or 2 VMs on it. This is true regardless of the hypervisor (ESX1, Hyper-V, KVM, etc.)

Unless you plan on using the Hyper-V features only available in Datacenter, I would recommend that you use Hyper-V Server, or stick with VMware. I have been using Microsoft virtualization since before Hyper-V was even released, but we're looking at moving everything to VMware.

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