My Favorite Features of Hyper-V 3.0 on Windows Server 2012
The recent release of Hyper-V 3.0 on Windows Server 2012 is very exciting to all of us in the virtualization industry. I was lucky to get my hands on the product early and thought I would share my top five favorite features and of course, the benefits of Hyper-V 3.0 on Windows Server 2012. We will also be discussing these in more depth at our next Chicago area virtualization event on August 30, 2012.
What it is: Replicates virtual machines between Hyper-V 3.0 hosts.
Why it’s cool: Because our engineer testing it exclaimed, “This is awesome!”…No, really, it’s cool because you can replicate your virtual machines from your production site to your alternate/recovery site – all with the built-in capabilities of Hyper-V 3.0.
Why it matters for business: If you’ve been holding off on a pragmatic disaster recovery plan due to cost and complexity, Hyper-V Replica would be a great solution upon which to build your DR strategy.
Storage Live Migration
What it is: Migrates Hyper-V virtual disks from one storage array to another without any downtime.
Why it’s cool: Our engineers have been drooling over this feature ever since they saw it on a competing product. It’s built into the base functionality of Hyper-V 3.0, which means you don’t have to fork over a fortune for an upgraded license to take advantage of this “premium” feature.
Why it matters for business: Next time you invest in a shiny new SAN and want to quickly make use out of that investment, use the Storage Live Migration feature instead of manually copying things around. You’ll be glad you listened….you’re welcome.
Shared-Nothing Live Migration
What it is: Live-migrates virtual machines between hosts without shared storage.
Why it’s cool: This is a cool bonus feature that is actually quite useful. And yep, it’s built into Hyper-V 3.0.
Why it matters for business: If you want to virtualize your servers and don’t have enough dough for a SAN at the moment, you can now take advantage of the planned downtime benefits of server virtualization without a SAN using Hyper-V 3.0.
SMB File Share Support
What it is: Deploys Hyper-V over SMB (Server Message Block – Microsoft’s file sharing protocol) version 3.0. Hyper-V can now store virtual machine files on your network shares.
Why it’s cool: This is the icing on the cake (which, by the way is the most coveted part of cake in my household!) Microsoft really didn’t have to add this functionality, but now that they have, it just makes a lot of sense.
Why it matters for business: If you want to quickly get up and running with virtualization and start piloting the technology using your file server infrastructure, this feature nicely fits the bill.
Live Snapshot Management
What it is: Merges and purges virtual machine snapshots on the fly.
Why it’s cool: VM snapshots are very useful, but Hyper-V admins really disliked the fact that with the previous version, you had to take the VM offline in order to manage the snapshots. Well, Redmond heard the groans loud and clear! You can now clean up your snapshots while the VM is running. Tell your admins about this improvement, and then take two steps back and watch them jump up and down with unbridled joy….
Why it matters for business: If you have business-critical virtual machines that must run 24×7, and you’ve hesitated applying important patches due to the lack of an easy way to back out, this feature will make it much more manageable to keep those machines running in tiptop shape.