I have been evaluating Windows Server 2008 since the recent release of the base product to retail sale. The highly anticipated virtualization hypervisor or Hyper-V is not part of the commercial product currently available, but Microsoft plans to have it available within six months of the initial product release. In this first installment of a series of SearchServerVirtualization blogs, I’ll go through my steps as I am taking a look at the beta implementation of the Hyper-V environment.
Evaluation installations of Windows Server 2008 with the beta Hyper-V are available for download from Microsoft. Installation of the base operating system is indistinguishable from the current retail versions. If you are going to evaluate the virtualization platform, start with Microsoft’s release notes and make sure you have adequate hardware available for the environment. The Hyper-V release notes outline specific system models and configuration items that need to enabled to permit operation of the hypervisor. If you are even remotely considering a Microsoft virtualization implementation, start with the release notes to get an idea of the operating environment requirements.
How does Hyper-V fit into Windows?
The Hyper-V hypervisor exists as a server role to the Windows Server 2008 installation. In my lab scenario, I will be using Windows Server 2008 Standard Edition, 64-bit with the full installation (instead of the core installation, which is explained later). For the Hyper-V beta, 64-bit processing is required. For the server role, adding the Hyper-V role is like most other roles in the Windows Server configuration, through the Server Manager as shown below:
The Hyper-V implementation on Windows Server 2008 is uniquely different from other enterprise virtualization products in that the virtualization engine may exist in line with other roles. For example, you would not want to make your VMware ESX server a file server or install a networking role like DNS or DHCP. The difference is that the other platforms are purpose-built environment only, where Hyper-V on Windows Server 2008 will integrate with other roles should you want to on your virtual environment. This configuration would be a full install of Windows Server 2008.
The alternative is the core installation of Windows Server 2008, where you can install Hyper-V and Windows Server 2008 without a Start Menu and Windows Explorer environment. The core installations of Windows provide only a PowerShell command line interface and specified server roles, including Hyper-V.
Now that I have your attention, I need to keep you on the edge of your seats until next week. As I’ll have some exposure to virtual machines running on the Hyper-V. You will see it here for more information on the beta Hyper-V!