Hyper-V – What is it?

Hyper-V is in essence the new Virtual Machine software that is introduced with Windows Server 2008.  Windows Server 2008 includes Hyper-V (codename viridian), a new virtualisation technology that allows VM’s to work better without 3rd Party Software, and supports 64Bit systems.

The most anticipated benefit of Hyper-V is server consolidation, enabling one server to take on the workloads of multiple servers. E.g. Web Server, Fax Server, Exchange Server, and SQL Server 2008 all on one piece of Hardware. However, Hyper-V enables more than server consolidation improving network reliability, scalability, security, and flexibility. Servers that slow down due to peak usage at the start of the workday, for example, can offload some of their workloads to other servers, which increase their capabilities, or move to more powerful servers, improving network availability.

Hyper-V is a key feature of Windows Server 2008, integrating with familiar, Windows-based server management tools. Businesses don’t have to purchase additional software to take advantage of powerful virtualisation features like live backup and quick migration.

Applications can also be efficiently virtualised using Windows Server 2008 centralized application access technologies. Terminal Services Gateway and Terminal Services RemoteApp allow easy remote access to standard Windows-based programs from anywhere by running them on a terminal server instead of directly on a client computer-without the need for a complicated VPN.

With testing the latest technology from Microsoft this Hyper-V should help developers test SQL 2008, for example, in parallel against SQL 2005. For example, a development team can test the latest version of an application on multiple platforms with a variety of virtual hardware capabilities.