Whats new in Hyper-V 3 (Windows Server 2012)

Our whole server infrastructure has now finally been migrated to Server 2012 (with the exception of one or two legacy apps on Server 2008 R2). We are continually asked by delegates and customers what are the advantages of HV 3. Well here’s some of our favourites:

1. Virtual Workload Platform Improvements – hosts can support upto 320 logical processors and up to 4 TB of memory per physical machine. VM’s can be configured with up to 64 vCPUs and 1 TB of memory, a massive increase from the previous version’s 4 vCPUs and 8 GB of memory.

2. New Virtual Hard Disk File Format – VDX file format supports up to a 16 TB virtual hard drive. (Note do not mix file formats with Exchange DAG’s it fails!!)

3. Hyper-V Replica – Built-in feature to asynchronously replicate VMs from one host to another over a standard IP network. Configured at the VM level so you can choose which machines are important. Similar to VMware vSphere Fault Tolerance but why would you use that its not Microsoft (Sorry guys). Basically it tracks write operations on the source machine and replicates them to the the “replica” VM keeping them sync’d.

4. NIC Teaming – Windows Server 2012 provides options to configure: switch independent, static teaming and Link Aggregation Control Protocol (LACP).

5. Failover Clustering – Support not for 64 nodes and 4,000 VMs.

6. Concurrent Live Migrations – Previously only one live migration was supported at a time. The administrator can define the maximum amount and should be configured to the available bandwidth between the different hosts.

7. Dynamic Memory – Not really new but now has the option to enable it during the “New Virtual Machine Wizard”.

8. Storage Live Migration – This is now built-in to the Hyper-V Manager therefore no longer requiring System Center Virtual Machine Manager for Quick Storage Migration. This functionality enables moving or migrating a VM without any downtime from one storage system to another and not requiring a SAN or shared storage.

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