SHimmer45 (3rd February 2014)
You can live migrate in 2008R2 without SCVMM - open Server Manager on one of your hosts and expand Features, expand Failover Clustering, expand your cluster, select Services and applications, right click a VM you want to transfer and Live Migrate... is the fifth option down.
SHimmer45 (3rd February 2014)
will give it a go when i attempt to do any clustering
@sonofsanta, That relys on having a failover cluster which, in 2008R2, means a SAN. Support for Cluster Shared Volumes was (officially) added with 2012. The 2012 live migration doesn't require any shared storage at all, the VHD's are copied between servers local storage.
Speaking of comparisons, this is one area where I think VMWare has the edge. I found clustering much easier to setup in ESX. Servers shared the same LUN(s) on the SAN and checked each others heartbeat. Most magical thing I've ever seen was a blade being removed from a server cluster and all the running VM's automagically relocating themselves.
Not been able to set this up in Hyper-V due to constraints impossed by our current set up. Think I need to convince the boss to splash £10k on a new storage server...
But, yep, Hyper-V pretty much does everything (all the important stuff) and is included in the price of Windows Datacenter (which you'll need anyway).
Not done the research in a while, but what are the current limitations of the free ESXi product?
4 TB of Memory (2 TB in ESXi 5.1)
16 NUMA Nodes (8 in ESXi 5.1)
4096 vCPUs can be allocated to VMs (2048 in ESXi 5.1) EDIT: The free limit is 8VCPU per vm
You obviously don't get any clustering features - or the ability to live migrate (as you need VCenter)
Also with Free ESXI you cannot use Veeam.
Last edited by glennda; 3rd February 2014 at 02:14 PM.
tmcd35 (3rd February 2014)
I use Hyper-V on 2x Windows 2012 DataCentre Hosts (Proliant DL380 Gen8) here (v. decent specced) and the servers are hosted on a HP P2000 MSA iSCSI SAN, the OS we used largely because its within our EES Agreement, so was included within the costs minimally with what we were already paying when we looked at the others (I think there was a slight increase for the Datacentre Licenses for the hosts), vmware is great and I have used their free versions several times in the past its very polished, but the costs were too prohibitive for us when we looked at that, same with Xenserver for the HA/Failover stuff it ramped up the costs.
Initially it took me a while to setup primarily as it was a large virtualisation project we undertook here and I have not set anything up like this before on this scale - it took me about about 3 weeks in total on and off(because I am the sole technical person at the site here dealing with staff hardware issues, Gareth the NM does the more web-related and purchasing related stuff and as a teacher that is his primary role in the school, so I was doing this whenever I had no calls on our site) and I had to tear it down and restart it once because of issues with MPIO initially, though this was solved through building the two hosts up from the base OS and updating them as much as possible until they were equal before doing any of the Hyper-V building.
We have it setup as a 2-Node Cluster with a SAN and it runs with failover and High availability of the VMs on there, we currently back it up with the Veeam Backup and Replication 7.0 Free Suite, we have the servers split over 2 UPS also to prevent any massive problems with outages.
It was quite fiddly to setup initially I found because we were "bleeding edge" at the time (2012 had not long been out then) and I am in the middle of creating a rather tomelike blog post to cover the steps and stages I carried out when making the cluster because of the fact that we were using a newly released 2012 and most books were out of date we could find or referred to the BETA and features which got changed for the live, but once it validated itself it was all really simple from that point onwards.
As for it being live here now:-
We dont at this time run SCCM or any of that suite, ours is a standalone hyper-v cluster with failover and high availibilty configured. The priorities for the machines are all setup and their specs and things like RAM management, with load spread over both of the hosts, we don't have one dedicated offline host setup here
We currently host all our non-LEA in-house servers on it, its an ongoing process of virtualising our existing RM servers onto our platform, so far we have our PCounter Print Server/Exam Server/Spiceworks/WSUS/SuccessMaker Enterprise servers on the platform and we are in the process of migrating our MDT server over and our VM servers are setup with failover and high availability, if you reboot a host for any reason, it auto drains them to the other host without any loss of service so all of that technology works fully as intended from what I have seen, Hyper-V has come on massive leaps and bounds since its initial creation I reckon
We use VEEAM for backing up to one of our older servers on site and then to our NAS box (we use the free product which works fine for backing up and restoring VMs, but with the automation cut out of it basically), I manually run the backups on the machines when needed because nothing major is kept on the machines at present and changes dont happen massively on the machines when their running.
When we have had to use the restore because of issues with our Print Server(to us a major thing we host which attracts complaints if it goes down) a while back and an issue with a UPS failure and a host, that worked absolutely painlessly and the server was restored in about 3 minutes total, it even helps you migrate the server to another non-clustered host if needs be, as a product veeam is brilliant, but I will say that they have announced changes to their licensing which will possibly make the product more expensive for the paid versions in the coming months.
I have recently trialled the setting up of an Ubuntu server onto our box (looking at Minecraft Edu) and it works well with minimal fuss on the platform, so the Linux side of it has improved quite drastically as well, no horror screens not displaying properly like before that I have found.
Hyperv has come a long way. I think the biggest pro is the cost. The clustering is fairly straightforward, see this link for info:
Implementing Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V Failover Clustering | MS Server Pro
VMM will manage live migrations, but disappointingly P2V operations have been removed from R2.
I'd like to try HyperV in anger - I was going to use HyperV on our RDP server estate but as I'm phasing that out now there's no point.
Been using VMWare for so long now that it just seems unnatural to use anything else!
VMWare is SO mature and reliable, so fast and has such a small footprint, I’ve had physical servers with 362 day uptimes, only brought down to actually check they booted back up again OK from cold!
HyperV has come a long way - but it is still playing catch up and IMHO still has a fair way to go to be as tried and tested, fast and slick as VMWare. Yes licencing is cheaper... but when your trusting your entire server estate and the uptime of your entire network to it, licencing costs don't play such an important roll for me. It's not as if VMWare is excessive, ~£500 for Essentials or £1500 for Essentials Plus to cover 3 x Dual CPU physical hosts - all most schools would ever need!
I'm playing with both over the half term, I liked hyper-v but ESXi has it for me as it boots off a usb stick inside the server leaving me with the disks for the datastore.
Came to the conclusion they basically both do the same job and the free version of EXSi is more than enough for me for now
I don't think anyone will argue that VMWare is the most mature of the big two Hypervisors but combined with Microsofts huge Edu Licensing discounts every school I've worked with bar one chose Hyper-V on cost.
The one that didn't failed to buy into the VMWare ongoing maintenance and licensing plan.
This resulted in issues with VMWare, being unable to access updates and features and the system fell into a state of disrepair and problems.
They have now switched to Hyper-V as it was a zero cost option.
I think that the current VMWare Edu packages are very well priced but faced with ever deepening cuts finance is a big issue and for that reason alone I see more Hyper-V deployments in the next few years.
Just wanted to say thanks guys for the information interesting subject and plenty of info to digest
As @Norphy said, we switched from VMware to HyperV in the 2013 summer break. At the same time we updated the virtual host hardware in one of our two virtual server farms.
We had 9 virtual hosts in total between the two farms, moved to 7 in total (with higher processor density) and the fact is that it cost us substantially less to buy SCVMM than it did to renew the support on the licences we already had from VMware (we had windows datacentre licences either way...). As much as Vsphere might be the better product overall I can't ignore that kind of price saving now that hyperv is 'good enough'.
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