Virtualization in WS2K8

Fri, February 1, 2008, 03:20 AM under Windows | WindowsServer2008
Virtualization is going to be (if it isn't already) a huge topic for anyone involved in the IT industry. I know that IT Pros are very excited about Microsoft's offering with Windows Server 2008 but I wasn't sure how many developers have at least a high level appreciation of what virtualization is and how Hyper-V fits into the big picture.

To find out, I would encourage you to spend some time browsing the numerous links and content on these sites:
1. Microsoft Virtualization.
2. Windows Server 2008 Hyper-V.
3. Also recently, Bob Muglia sent this executive email on virtualization, should you need something to forward to your manager.
4. Finally, see this dedicated blog.

If you have access to the TechEd Europe IT Forum 2007 post-conference recordings, there are 4 sessions that I recommend: MGT323, SVR307, SVR320 and SVR322. I watched those collective 300 minutes and (combined with what floated my boat from the other links above) distilled the most interesting bits into a 15'-20' section of my Windows Server 2008 developer session. It is from those 4 sessions that I stole the slides I used ;-). You can find them in this powerpoint deck (36-58 inclusive).
Wednesday, February 6, 2008 2:21:00 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
Hi Daniel,
Nice to see you promoting the virtualization stuff. At our company Ridgian (unashamed plug) we've been using Virtualization in our operational environment for over a year. Our Exchange Server 2003 is virtual, as is our MOSS installation. This is just with VirtualServer 2005 R2 Sp1 which is very reliable but lacks tools support. Having said that, VMRC+ available from Microsoft (Free download) is very useful.

I can't wait for the Hyper-V stuff to come out and we're already looking at the SoftGrid stuff too. I'm absolutely sold on the Virtualisation concept, the only bug bear at the moment is maintenance. Backing up a VM is fiddly (although I've just finished a nice script to do this automatically!), and doing Windows updates can be tricky as you have to shut down all the Guest OSs aswell as the host if a reboot is necessary.

Those latter 2 issues do not outweigh in my opinion the flexibility, scalability and resiliance offered by 'going virtual'!


Dave Mc
Wednesday, February 6, 2008 3:45:21 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
Dave: Yeah it is cool stuff. If you are already using Virtual Server, you are going to love Hyper-V. Combination of Server Core (for less rebooting due to patches), fast Hypervisor, and the ability to have 64bit guests and also assign multiple cores to each VM is going to be a killer upgrade. Remember that Hyper-V RTMs within 180 days from Windows Server 2008 RTM, so that makes it within 178 days as of today ;-)
Tuesday, February 12, 2008 9:20:00 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
I still remember the feeling I got when I watched a demo of how VMware virtualization worked from an IT Pro friend (years ago). I was blown away, not necessarily because of what he showed me but more forward thinking in what the future held for this technology.

Since then I have been a huge advocate of Virtualization. Like anything it has to be used properly and its weaknesses must be understood. But when applied correctly the savings in hardware cost, power and physical space in the data center makes for a happy IT team.

Of course Virtualization brings huge advantages to developers. I use virtualization as additional “test servers” by running them locally (for complex testing) and not needing to deal with server requisition. I also use pre-made virtual machines to test new technology just like I am doing now with SQL Server 2008, without having to worry of what will happen to my computer if I install the beta product.

Also in the practical world I have seen virtualization succeed in these scenarios:

1. Used to build-out the test environment on a few powerful machines, instead of many… many weaker servers. This has huge advantages as it usually means a lot more virtual servers to test on and quicker turnaround for building them out as requirement evolve.
2. Converting low-utilization or legacy servers to release physical machines for more other uses
3. Allowing for niche implementations such as using open-source products without requiring hardware allocation

Overall the technology is amazing and having it built into Windows 2008 with hyper-threading makes me very happy and hopeful for even more adoption of the technology
Tuesday, February 26, 2008 1:08:43 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
Dmitry: Yes, can't wait for Hyper-V (I may even install it on my laptop and run my dev environment on a VM). 158 days and counting ;-)
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