My first play with Hyper-V
NOTE: Hyper-V is still in Beta, and is a first generation product. It is not really suitable for production environments as yet - especially not for mission critical roles such as AD servers. The full release of Hyper-V is scheduled for release 180 days from the RTM date, so expect it sometime July/August time.
I am dipping my first toe into Windows Server 2008 and its new Hyper-V hyperviser, so thought I'd provide my experiences with everyone.
One thing to remember is that Hyper-V is still classed as a beta product according to the RTM release of Windows Server 2008, so it may be buggy.
Installation of Hyper-V
The installation process is a little odd, due to prerequisites and bugs.
It isn't just a case of selecting is as a role in the Initial Configuration Tasks window and following the onscreen prompts.
There are some prerequisites for running Hyper-V. These are that you have to have an x86-64 processor, that the server has hardware virtualisation support and hardware data execution protection. If you have an HP DL360 G5, these need to be enabled in the BIOS (F9 on boot, in the advanced options menu). If you don't enable them, you will receive an error message from Hyper-V and it won't run.
You have to install Windows Server 2008 with the locale 'English (United States)". This is a problem that seems to exist at the moment, and an annoying one at that. It is not enough to install it with English (United Kingdom) and then change it, it has to start off as United States...
When you have Windows installed, the actual installation of the hypervisor is simple enough - just tick the box when you add roles and follow the prompts.
You will be asked to choose network devices for the creation of virtual networks. Choose one or more devices that you wish to make available to the virtual machine(s).
When it is installed, you have to be logged in to an account that is a member of the local administrators group on the machine when you first try and use the service, as you have to agree to a license agreement.
The licensing limits are as follows:
Windows Server Standard - One copy as the host, one virtualised on top.
Windows Server Enterprise - One copy to host, four virtualised.
Windows Server Data Centre - One copy to host, unlimited virtualised.
Also, the licenses include downgrade rights for the virtualised machines - ie. if you are licensed for enterprise you can use standard in the virtualised machine. You can also use older versions of windows server - so Windows NT4, Windows 2000 Server etc...
The Hyper-V Manager
At the moment, it seems a little unstable - regularly crashing the MMC.
However, that aside, creating a new virtual machine is simple - just go to Action -> New and follow the prompts.
When you set up a disk, ensure it is greater than 10GB in size if you wish to install Server 2008, as that is the minimum disk size required. Also, note that the disks dynamically expand, so don't take up the size you choose - which is a nice.
Other than that, everything is pretty much similar to VMWare, including the inclusion of a integerated services pack which allows the mouse to go between the window and the host OS without having to press the release key combo (Ctrl+Alt+Left arrow).
I will add more if I find any other bugs or bizarre bits.