Windows Hyper-V Beta what’s that ??? (Updated 12/13/2007)



Windows Hyper-V was previously called “Windows Server Virtualization” and shipped in the Windows Beta as a prerelease.  Now Hyper-V Beta (different name same cool product) is shipping with the latest Windows RC bits. Get it here http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyId=8F22F69E-D1AF-49F0-8236-2B742B354919&displaylang=en).  Also see the press release here http://blogs.technet.com/windowsserver/archive/2007/12/12/Yes_2C00_-Virginia_2C00_-there-is-a-Hyper_2D00_V-beta.aspx.


So what is Hyper-V?  Simply put Hyper-V is Microsoft’s next generation virtual machines product.  It replaces Microsoft Virtual Server and has a whole new architecture along with lots of interesting enhancements.  In the redesign from Virtual Server Hyper-V became a hypervisor based product rather than use ring compression (rings are isolation levels used by operating systems to prevent apps and the kernel from interacting without tight controls).  The goal of moving to a hypervisor based solution is improved security and performance.


Some of the interesting enhancements to name just a few are;



  • X64 Support (both root and guests)

  • 10 level deep snapshots

  • Pass-through drives

  • Supports Multiprocessors guests

As the person responsible for performance inside the Hyper-V product team I’m confident is saying you’ll see the hypervisor investment is really paying off.  As you use the product I’d love to get your feedback on Hyper-V performance.  Please post a comment.

Comments (14)

  1. Paul says:

    Is there some way to get 100mb or Gigibit network drivers? After install, the network driver is only 10mb. Seems like we could get better network performance if the virtual nic is the same as the actual nic.

    ~ Paul

  2. Tony Voellm says:

    Paul,

    Please send me email directly on the 10mb issue via the link to left.

    Are you talking about the root or guest ?

     Thanks,

       Tony

  3. MS says:

    Are there any changes to Hyper-V in Windows 2008 RC1 compared to RC0?

  4. Tony Voellm says:

    Yes there are many changes from RC0 to RC1.  RC0 was a prerelease and had limited hardware support.  RC1 has broader coverage, lots of bug fixes, improved performance, …  all expected as a product marches toward RTM.  Hope you enjoy it.

  5. Is there going to be a version for Vista?

  6. Piethein Strengholt says:

    I’m planning to buy a second sata harddrive (80gb) for my laptop (core2 duo, 64bit), because I do not own a lot of 64bit production ready hardware… Do you think it would be possible to do some small tests with Hyper-V on my laptop? The base requirements are Intel 64bit with VT right?

  7. Tony Voellm says:

    Lambros,

    Hyper-V is part of Windows Server.  If you want a Virtual Machine Solution for Vista you can download VirtualPC from http://www.microsoft.com for free.  The architecture is completely differnt so the performance and capabilities are completely different.  However if what you want is a Virtual Machine for Hacking / Dev / Test / AppCompat it works well enough.

     Tony

  8. Tony Voellm says:

    We have not done a lot of laptop testing yet.  My plan is to start running on my laptop pretty soon.  We did a bunch of power management so it should work ok.  You are correct you need to have VT (INTEL) or SVM (AMD), run Windows Server 2008 (aka Longhorn), and set "Execute Disable".

    80GB of disk is ok is you want a VM with 20GB.

    One thing to be sure of is to have about 4GB of RAM so you can set 512MB to 2GB+ in a VM depending on the GuestOS you want to run.

     Tony

  9. Tony Voellm says:

    Sorry about the misinformation on RC1.  Looks like whatever is after RC1 (RC1+/RC2??) will have the new Beta bits – bug fixes, more hardware support, performance improvements, …  One way to be sure is if you see the “Hyper-V” role and the EULA says beta.  Anything titled “Windows Server Virtualization” is prerelease.

     Tony

  10. John Paul Cook says:

    Using a client’s specific workload of custom applications, Hyper-V on my laptop outperformed VMware ESX.

  11. I’ve done some testing with both RC0 and RC1 and I have noticed a big difference in the way that performance monitor reports CPU utilizaiton between the two.  I’m still finalizing my results with RC1, so can’t say how the performance compares yet, but there does appear to be some differences.  Check it out on my blog – http://www.delltechcenter.com/page/Virtualization+Frontier

    In RC1 it is referred to as Hyper-V when you install it and in RC0 it was called Windows Server Virtualization.  So it looks to me like there are new bits with RC1.

    Thanks – Todd

  12. Tony Voellm says:

    Todd – RC0 has Hyper-V preview (aka WSV) and RC1 / RTM of WS08 have Hyper-V Beta.

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