Top 10 Reasons to Move to Server Virtualization with Hyper-V

Hyper-V is a next-generation, 64-bit virtualization technology that facilitates agility and integrated management of both physical and virtual components. It provides a platform to reduce costs, increase hardware utilization, optimize network and business infrastructure, and improve server availability.

While there are many compelling reasons to move to Microsoft Windows Server 2008 Hyper-V technology, the top 10 reasons include:

1. Reduce Infrastructure Costs Through Consolidation

Consolidating multiple workloads onto a single hardware platform enables you to reduce physical server sprawl and to support your business with less hardware, resulting in lower equipment costs, lesser electrical consumption for server power and cooling, and reduced physical space requirements. Furthermore, flexible licensing policies for virtualization allow organizations to deploy a consolidation solution that best meets their needs. Consolidating servers through Hyper-V also enables those servers to take advantage of robust networking support, including VLAN, Network Address Translation (NAT), and Network Access Protection (NAP) policies (quarantine).

2. Virtualize the Most Demanding Workloads

Hyper-V supports 64-bit guest operating systems, offering you the flexibility to consolidate 32-bit and 64-bit workloads in the same environment. Organizations can virtualize infrastructure workloads on Server Core to run these workloads in their most reliable configurations. In addition, support for up to 4 virtual processors and up to 64 Gb of RAM per virtual machine (VM), along with the new I/O architecture, help optimize scalability and efficiency. With the ability to assign multiple, shared processors to each virtual machine alogn with fine grained resource controls, even the most demanding and resource-intensive server applications can be virtualized.

3. Virtualize for High Availability

Leveraging the clustering capabilities of Windows Server 2008 Enterprise and Datacenter editions, Hyper-V provides support for highly available virtual machines. Clustering and Network Load Balancing features support increased availability for planned and unplanned downtime, helping to improve business continuity. The minimal Server Core installation option reduces the need for patching and rebooting, and also decreases memory resource consumption, freeing up memory to be used by virtual machines

4. Improve Security and Reliability with Microkernelized Hypervisor

The Hyper-V microkernelized hypervisor architecture is designed to minimize attack surface and to enhance security, particularly with Hyper-V as a Server Core role. The hypervisor contains no device drivers or third-party code, promoting a more stable, thin, and secure foundation for running VMs, especially when compared to virtualization platforms based on a monolithic hypervisor. Hyper-V also provides strong role-based security through Active Directory integration and enables virtual machines to take advantage of hardware-level security features, like the execute disable (NX) bit, further helping to increase the security of virtual machines.

5. Protect Important Data Using Live Backup

The Hyper-V virtual machine Snapshot feature quickly captures the state of a running VM, including data, configuration, and running processes, allowing you to easily restore a VM to a previous state. It is especially useful for implementing complex or high-risk configuration changes, giving you the option to simply roll back the changes if something goes wrong. Hyper-V also uses the Windows Server 2008 Volume Shadow Copy Service to enable fast and reliable disaster recovery, and to minimize interruption, even after natural disasters or hardware failures.

6. Minimize Downtime with Quick Migration

Hyper-V enables you to rapidly migrate a running virtual machine from one physical host system to another with minimal downtime. It leverages the familiar high-availability capabilities of Windows Server and System Center management tools, better enabling you to meet stringent Service Level Agreements and response metrics.

7. Delegate Virtual Machine Management

The granular VM management permissions and strong role-based security in Hyper-V allow you the flexibility to delegate management of specific VMs to customers or designated support personnel. For example, you can reduce your management overhead by designating management of remote virtual machines to local staff members to allow them to perform routine tasks without compromising security. Authorization Manager (AzMan) allows IT administrators to control the deployment of servers running Hyper-V and also to delegate management for groups of VMs.

8. Reduce Support Time with Integrated Management

With Hyper-V, you don’t need to create a separate management infrastructure for your virtual environment. Hyper-V is designed for optimal integration with Microsoft management tools, System Center Virtual Machine Manager (SCVMM), and Microsoft System Center Operations Manager (SCOM), as well as with third-party management tools. This allows you to manage physical and virtual resources all from one console.

9. Save Time and Money with a More Flexible Test Environment

Hyper-V provides an efficient, self-contained test environment that accurately approximates the operation of real-world physical servers and clients. With extensive and scalable guest operating system support, Hyper-V allows you to rapidly model different environments and experiment with scenarios without significant expansion of hardware and physical resources. In addition, VM snapshots save time by minimizing the need to uninstall and reinstall programs and operating systems during testing and development.

10. Take Advantage of Broad Compatibility

Hyper-V provides virtual machines with unprecedented abilities to leverage available hardware. Because all WHQL-certified drivers can run in the parent partition, Hyper-V provides broad compatibility and support for drivers and devices. By supporting a broad range of guest operating systems, Hyper-V enables businesses handle workloads more efficiently, and to manage both virtual and physical resources using the same industry-standard tools.