We have covered virtualization before at our blog but mostly VMWare and a couple of posts on Virtual Server as well. With Windows Server 2008’s Hyper-V, it looks like it will challenge the market even more for ESX Server 3.5. With hardware changes coming in way faster than the software changes, the servers age out faster due to hardware issues rather than the OS. With virtualization, a physical server can easily be migrated into a virtual environment with the same applications and then moved on to a new physical hardware. We have clients who are using virtualization now even in their production environments let alone the development and QA environments.
If you are not already using virtualization in your environments, now would be the time to start getting serious about it. With Hyper-V, the technology moves the virtualization layer directly against the hardware. Hyper-V allows virtualization of both 32 bit as well as 64 bit architectures. MSFT has extended their virtualization platform offering by providing Microsoft App. virtualization (this was known as SoftGrid before) and desktop virtualization. not only that, one can use the System Center Virtual Machine Manager to do centralized management of a virtual set up.
Not only are these choices cost effective by providing us with consolidation and DR/HA (Disaster Recovery and High Availability) choices, it also eases up maintenance work for System Engineers as well as DBAs. An added benefit of consolidation is reduced electricity costs 🙂
Both ESX Server 3.5 and Hyper-V are based on hypervisor based architectures which are better than the previous hosted virtualization technologies. In the case of the hosted virtualization products, one had to run the virtualization software on top of the OS of the machine and that adds a lot of overhead and not only that, it has a longer code execution path for the VMs. Hypervisor based architectures run the hypervisor directly on the hardware which means that there is no OS between the hypervisor and the system hardware. Even though both ESX Server 3.5 and Hyper-V as both based on hypervisor base architectures, there are a good bit of differences between them. We are currently doing some benchmarks with ESX Server 3.5 as well as Hyper-V and will post the results of the tests at our blog as and when they become available and we consolidate them. Till then, you can read more on these over here: