Beyond the hype: Hyper-V 3.0 features and enhancements

Beyond the hype: Hyper-V 3.0 features and enhancements

By Julia Anderson, Assistant Site Editor

Partly in response to previous failings and user complaints, and partly to keep up with the competition, Microsoft outfitted Hyper-V 3.0 with an extensive list of new, improved and revamped features. Designed to make the lives of IT pros easier, Hyper-V 3.0 features include:

  • scalability upgrades for virtual machines (VMs), hosts and clusters;
  • redesigned live migration; and
  • support for extensible virtual switches.

The enhancements will not necessarily fit every virtual data center, however, and many may require extra hardware or software that could put added strain on an IT budget.

If the hypervisor is on your radar, take a closer look at its under-the-hood changes, and determine which Hyper-V 3.0 features could benefit your infrastructure.

Table of contents:

Top five most exciting Hyper-V 3.0 features

Microsoft has spared no expense outfitting its latest hypervisor with plenty of new features and touting all its associated capabilities. Despite this laundry list of tools and software, time will tell whether admins actually put them to good use, or simply find them to be expensive bells and whistles. Regardless of the ultimate consensus, here are five Hyper-V features sure to excite IT pros.

Hyper-V 3.0 to feature major virtualization scalability improvements

Hyper-V 3.0's virtualization scalability improvements extend to VMs, hosts and clusters -- a necessary step for Microsoft to remain competitive with VMware. In addition to more powerful virtual hardware, Hyper-V 3.0 will also natively support network interface card (NIC) teaming, which combines multiple NICs for greater bandwidth.

Spotlight on Hyper-V 3.0 high availability and redundancy

High availability and redundancy improvements top the list of changes to Hyper-V 3.0. The newest Microsoft hypervisor sports predictive failure analysis, which should reduce application downtime. It will also sport a re-architected live migration technology that supports Hyper-V 3.0's larger clusters.

Hyper-V Replica: New VM replication tool for cost-conscious IT shops

For budget-conscious IT shops, Hyper-V Replica provides a viable disaster recovery option at no additional cost. It uses the Volume Shadow Copy Service (VSS) to replicate and transfer VM snapshots to a secondary site. Copies are performed individually, so it may be cumbersome and impractical to replicate a large data center.

Shedding light on Hyper-V 3.0 resource monitoring

Given the improvements to storage and memory allocation in Hyper-V 3.0, admins are likely eager to know how resource monitoring will differ. In the past, Microsoft has offered add-on products, such as System Center Virtual Machine Manager (SCVMM) and the Self-Service Portal to distribute workloads across a data center and accurately calculate chargeback. With Windows Server 2012 and Hyper-V 3.0, however, admins don't have to use such tools.

Hyper-V 3.0 shared-nothing live migration a boon for small shops

Shared-nothing live migration refers to the transfer of running VMs between servers without the need for shared storage or clustering. While not a replacement for traditional live migration with high availability -- shared-nothing live migration is only for planned moves -- it's an appealing feature for small businesses or branch offices that need to perform planned maintenance.