Overview of Windows Server 8 Hyper-V 3.0 features

At the BUILD conference Microsoft revealed the new features of Windows Server 8. This will be the most impressive new Windows Server version ever released by Microsoft. Lots of great new features. Some already known for some weeks. Here a short overview. For a more detailled overview see the links at the end of this posting.

I will focus on the enhancements for Hyper-V 3.0 included in Windows Server 8. A lot of impressive new features. It will bring Hyper-V very close to VMware vSphere 5 in a lot of scenario’s. Good is good enough for much less money!

  • Live storage migration. Move the virtual disk files to another volume while the VM remains online
  • Hyper-V Replica. Replication of virtual machines over the netwerk from any storage to any storage. Very good feature for affordable Disaster Recovery
  • NIC teaming support in Windows Server 8. No more third party drivers for nic teaming
  • Graphical User Interface can be switched on and off.
  • Placement of virtual disk files on fileservers (SMB) or NFS!
  • scalability.
    • In the beta a Hyper-V host support up to 160 CPU cores;
    • 2 TB of RAM
    • 4000 virtual machines per cluster
    • 63 nodes per cluster
  • De-Duping on storage and network. Identical files (for example DLL’s in operating system) will only be stored once on storage layer saving lots of storage (and $$$)
  • unlimited number of concurrent Live Migrations. Untill now only 1 VM could be live migrated to another servers. Other Live Migrations were queued.
  • IP address mobility. This features enabled a virtual machine to be moved/live migrated to a diferent network (cloud, different subnet) without changing the IP-adress. VMware recently announced a same sort of networking feature called VXLAN.
  • Offloaded Date Transfer (ODX). ODX enables Hyper-V to take advantage of the storage features of a backend shared storage subsystem. When performing file copies on an ODX enabled SAN the OS hands off all of the data transfer tasks to the SAN providing much high file copy performance with zero to minimal CPU utilization. There is no special ODX button. Instead ODX works in the backend. ODX requires the storage subsystem to support ODX.
  • Server Manager new user interface Metro style
  • Virtualization-Aware Domain Controllers. You now can safely make a snapshot of a virtualized domain controller and reverse to the snapshot without getting in trouble. Domain controllers running as a VM can also be cloned.
  • New format for virtual disk files: VHDX. This has a max size of 16 TB per VHDX. The new format also provides improved performance, support for larger block sizes and is more resilient to corruption
  • Extensible Virtual Switch. Enables Quality of Service and Multi tenants. Also has an API which enabled third party software to capture network traffic for reporting and analyse.  
  • Built in anti-virus agent

Windows Server 8 will bring us this! at Hyper-v.nu
Windows Server 8: Hyper-V 3.0 Evens the Odds with vSphere
Mark Minasi newsletter on Windows Server 8. Very detailled overview
Windows Server 8 overview by Aidan Finn

Impatient Hyper-V IT Pros Guide to Windows Server 8 Demos as a overview of recorded demos of  Hyper-V 3
Hyper-V: “Version 3 kills them all” good overview of Hyper-V 3 features

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About Marcel van den Berg
I am a technical consultant with a strong focus on server virtualization, desktop virtualization, cloud computing and business continuity/disaster recovery.

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