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My Take on Hyper-V

Microsoft did the near unthinkable last week: It shipped a major product -- early!

Yup, Hyper-V is in manufacturing, two months earlier than we expected. (Truth be told, we usually expect these products to slip several times, so August to us would've been early.)

This is an industry-changing event. Microsoft is unequalled in building third-party communities, and I expect VMware vendors to add Hyper-V -- and for more traditional Windows third parties to jump in, as well.

There are plenty of gaps to fill, as Hyper-V is a first-generation product and doesn't sport the maturity of a VMware. Among the missing features is NIC bonding -- which helps ensure the network connections stay up even if one NIC fails -- and live migration.

Here's what astute reader Mark had to say:

"Hyper-V is still in beta, has no live migration, has no farm concept with automatic load balancing and HA, no over-committing of resources (this one is huge as I ran out of memory on an 8G system with just six VMs; I usually get 12 on this same hardware using the same VM configurations), requires an installation of at least Server 2008 Core Edition (OK, not bad, but there's still a lot running in the root domain), has restricted x86/x64 OSes, and is dependent on specific CPUs (which places you at the mercy of the chip manufacturers).

Then there's the inability to throttle or isolate the root domain from VMs. I'm able to kill all running VMs by eating up memory in the root domain and chewing up the CPUs; other than live migration, I consider this to be the No. 1 problem. You shouldn't be able to bring down your VMs by runaway processes in the root or console OS.

And, to top it off, it's basically a Xen knock-off (in fact, it's so similar (with similar problems), that I wonder how much open source code crept into this closed source product.

It amazes me, the giddiness with which people are approaching this pre-1.0 product and clearly inferior technology. The Microsoft Machine with its adherents are at work here, but this certainly is not amazing technology at all. Maybe one day, a few years from now."

Have you tried Hyper-V? Do you agree with Mark? Any deployment plans? Let us know by writing [email protected].

Posted by Doug Barney on June 30, 2008


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