Tutorial: Microsoft Hyper-V Server R2 on BladeCenter S
My good friend at Microsoft, Giorgio Malusardi, noticed my blog post "Enterprise Virtualization in a Box" which was essentially an example of how to create a BladeCenter-contained VMware-enabled data center in a box (including servers, storage and networking). Giorgio challenged me with the task to create something similar using the Hyper-V Server R2 Beta that has just been announced. And I accepted the challenge!
This tutorial is going to document the setup of the environment, based on what I have seen and done. I will share my point of view of what's going on and the implication this will or might have in the x86 market in another piece.
Microsoft Virtualization Background
For those of you that are missing the Microsoft basics it would be beneficial to set the stage. Right now, Microsoft is shipping the first version of their hypervisor - Hyper-V - by means of two channels. The first one is as a component (or role) of their Microsoft Windows Server 2008 products. You can enable or disable this role in either a normal (GUI-based) Windows Server 2008 install, or a core (GUI-less) Windows Server 2008 install. Obviously, in order to get Hyper-V, you need to buy a Windows Server 2008 SKU (Hyper-V is included in any 64-bit x86 version of the Standard, Enterprise and Datacenter SKUs). The license rights for guests and included features - such as Failover Clustering technology - are determined by which SKU is purchased.
The second channel is as a free download from the Microsoft web site in a package called Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2008. In a nutshell this is basically a scaled-down version of Windows Server 2008 with the following restrictions and peculiarities:
- It is a core install only (i.e. GUI-less as the only option)
- The only role that it supports - which is enabled by default - is Hyper-V (for example, you can't enable the Failover Clustering role)
- It doesn't include any license for Windows guest OS'es
- It does have a number of artificial limitations in terms of number of CPUs and amount of system memory supported.
That's what's available as of today. However, Microsoft recently announced the availability of the Beta version of Windows Server 2008 R2 and Hyper-V Server 2008 R2. Both these products will ship the second generation of the Hyper-V hypervisor and are currently scheduled to ship in about a year from now (roughly). With this Beta, Microsoft announced new features and new restrictions for the free package. The following table is a summary of the features in the current and future offerings: