Microsoft's new server virtualization hypervisor - Hyper-V - is a role for Windows Server 2008. This chat will focus on the capabilites and functionality of Hyper-V and have an open discussion around ways that Hyper-V can be used.

Technical Community - Background Reading and Listening

Hyper-V on DellTechCenter
Hyper-V Clone with SCVMM Demo
Testing with Unreleased Multi-Core Processors

Hyper-V Theme Song

Chat Transcript

Paul_Shadwell How's life?
DELL-ToddM I would say that life is very good—having as much fun as possible
Paul_Shadwell Sounds like it—having some fun with some heavy gear I hear
DELL-ToddM Yes, it still amazes me how much RAM we can affordably put in a server these days
Paul_Shadwell I'm so jealous
DELL-ToddM My 128GB R900 lists for not too much
DELL-ToddM All things considered
Paul_Shadwell My life surrounds a PowerEdge 1800 at the moment with ESX running on it. Does it very nicely though.
DELL-ToddM PowerEdge 1800 is good. We are still using quite a few 2850s in our lab. Same age as yours
Paul_Shadwell And a home-built server that ESX refused to install on but runs 64-bit Hyper-V no problem
DELL-ToddM Support for Hyper-V will be broader because it uses all the Windows drivers
DELL-ToddM ESX is basically another OS that has to have drivers at least tweaked
Paul_Shadwell I also have 64-bit Hyper-V running in a VMware Fusion 2.0 beta 2 virtual machine on my Mac Pro!
DELL-ToddM Lol
DELL-ScottH Why don't you just point two mirrors at each other :-)
DELL-ToddM How's the performance of that after stacking all of that on top of each other?
Paul_Shadwell Good, editing videos in Final Cut while running five VMs, the Hyper-V, Vista 64 bit, XP 32 bit, and two OS X server VMs
DELL-ToddM It's cool that it works
MichaelSainz joined.
Paul_Shadwell I'm planning on doing some screencasts showing all of this stuff running
DELL-ScottH Hello, Michael
MichaelSainz Hey!
DELL-ScottH I would definitely watch that!
Paul_Shadwell Hi Michael
Paul_Shadwell Good, so I'll have an audience of at least one :-)
MichaelSainz Snicker
DELL-ToddM I want to see it too
Paul_Shadwell %%%% now I have to do it :-)
DELL-ToddM We have a similar setup described on one of our wiki pages about running ESX on top of VMware workstation on a laptop:
DELL-ToddM We usually wait for a few minutes as people usually connect in a bit after the "official" start time
Paul_Shadwell I've been trying to get ESX running on Fusion but so far haven't managed it
DELL-ToddM In the meantime we usually just chat about the type of stuff that we have been chatting about—so we are right on topic!
Paul_Shadwell I'll retweet for you, Todd
DELL-ToddM I haven't had a chance to really work with VMware Fusion :)
DELL-ScottH I'd like to see you try to walk in here with a Mac!
DELL-ToddM Today's topic, which is our starting point, is Hyper-V features and function
MichaelSainz Bah, wireless...
MichaelSainz You guys thought I left didn’t ya ;)
DELL-ToddM The intent is to have a discussion around the features of Hyper-V as it exists Today, giving everybody a chance to ask questions
DELL-ScottH Thought you clicked on a link...that's how they usually drop
DELL-ToddM And talk about what they like and don't like with Hyper-V features
DELL-ToddM If we come up with any really great ideas, maybe I can get them into the Microsoft team that we work with as suggestion for future versions
DELL-ScottH Hyper-w?
MichaelSainz Must be the next version
DELL-ToddM I was thinking Superhyper-V
MichaelSainz Heh
DELL-ToddM I am currently working on some performance tests with Hyper-V which has forced me to get up close and personal with Hyper-V
DELL-ScottH I hear they have a new Active Directory driver for it (ADD), makes it really spastic
MichaelSainz Tell us about the performance tests?
DELL-ToddM While the tests aren't finished I can tell you in general what I have seen
Paul_Shadwell How do they compare to ESX?
DELL-ToddM I'm using four-socket servers with quad-core processors running Windows 2008 and Hyper-V RTM
DELL-ToddM I haven't done a compare against ESX, and the tests that I am running are a bit different than the ones that I've done with ESX
DELL-ToddM So a direct comparison isn't possible, but
Paul_Shadwell Could send me over the same set up so I can also do some testing? ;-)
Paul_Shadwell How, why different?
DELL-ScottH Tests are run with the DVD Store application that Todd and Dave wrote:
DELL-ToddM In general, it seems that Hyper-V performs in the same general range as I would expect ESX to with these tests
DELL-ToddM Well there are two main reasons for the changes in the test
DELL-ToddM The first is that Hyper-V only has "enlightened" drivers for Windows Server 2008 VMs
DELL-ToddM All of my previous testing with ESX was with Windows 2003 VMs
DELL-ToddM It didn't seem fair to run a performance test with Hyper-V and not use the best scenario; so I created a set of Windows 2008 VMs with SQL 2005 running the DVD store
MichaelSainz Pros/cons to "enlightened" drivers as opposed to others?
Paul_Shadwell Ah! so you are creating 2008 guests?
DELL-ToddM So the difference is the OS for the guest VMs—yes
DELL-ToddM The enlightened drivers are basically very thin drivers that get installed in the guest
DELL-ScottH Scott Lowe has a good write up on the subject from being at Teched:
DELL-ToddM They just pass everything over to the real device drivers in the Parent partition, which makes things more efficient
MichaelSainz Nods
DELL-ToddM The other thing that changed for this test was the baseline
DELL-ToddM The previous baseline that I had been using for all the DVD store on ESX VMs was based on a white paper we did with 2850s and 6850s several years ago
DELL-ToddM I had run a tests and found that with certain settings for load, I could get 16 VMs on a single 6850
DELL-ToddM I then used these same settings for load and just increased the number of VMs on other servers to get comparative results
DELL-ToddM Things were getting a bit out of control when I was able to get 44 VMs on a single 2950 a little over a year ago
MichaelSainz heh...i could imagine
DELL-ToddM Using the same load settings for the R900 I would probably have been able to run somewhere around 100 VMs - which isn't practical or very reasonable
DELL-ToddM So in this test each Vm is running more load
DELL-ScottH You'd probably get 120 on that new box with those same settings about VM sprawl
DELL-ScottH But it would be a good test bed for systems management :-)
DELL-ToddM So now that you guys have fallen asleep reading about testing details, what questions might you have?
Paul_Shadwell Do you have the specs for the guests? Are all the guests identical?
DELL-ToddM All the guests are identical: 2 GB RAM, 18 GB disk
MichaelSainz Maybe I missed something, what is the load the VMs are doing? Or are they just stock OS and no applications?
Paul_Shadwell I had eight VMs on a 2950 including Microsoft Exchange 2007 and SQL Server and only 5 percent of processor. Forty four VMs should be easily possible.
DELL-ToddM I'm running the DVD Store test application that I developed and open sourced a few years ago with my colleague here, Dave Jaffe. Link is coming:
MichaelSainz Ahhh...
DELL-ToddM DVD Store is an OLTP database application that simulates an online store selling DVDs—kinda like a very simple
DELL-ToddM Paul, this is one of the very hard things about testing VMs—creating a profile that is reasonable and somewhat like what is actually being run in the real world
DELL-ToddM While it is possible for me to create different types of VMs and put them under load all at the same time, it is almost impossible to measure the performance because they all have different metrics
Paul_Shadwell Yes, it depends on your definition of "real world"
MichaelSainz Nods
DELL-ToddM So by using VMs that are all the same, you can get a result that is easy to analyze
DELL-ScottH It is similar to the "tiles" concept in the VMmark score
DELL-ToddM VMware has done a reasonable job with their benchmark—VMmark—which is actually why I haven't done any VMware ESX testing recently
Paul_Shadwell I have a project to build a test environment for HMC 4.5 all on one VMware server
DELL-ToddM Hyper-V as yet doesn't have a benchmark; so I thought this was a good opportunity to do some testing:
depping joined.
Paul_Shadwell So that could be interesting
DELL-ScottH Hello, depping. Use Action, Recent Room History to catch up
Paul_Shadwell Hosted Messaging and Collaboration.
Paul_Shadwell Microsoft
DELL-ToddM Welcome depping - action, recent room history will catch you up on our Hyper-V discussion so far
DELL-ToddM I haven't heard of HMC before, sounds interesting
Paul_Shadwell It's hosted Exchange, Sharepoint, Active Directory, self-service perposing etc.
Paul_Shadwell Minimum of 12 servers required to set it up
DELL-ScottH Wooooah... that's why you got the MAC set up with Fusion :-) Right?
DELL-ToddM Twelve! Sounds like a great opportunity for virtualization; I would bet that it works pretty well in VMs
Paul_Shadwell I love pushing hardware to its limits :-)
DELL-ToddM You are going to test it out on ESX/ESXi?
Paul_Shadwell That's what we will find out; surprisingly, Microsoft doesn't support it so the production has to be physical servers. But for test and development I am proposing VMs
Paul_Shadwell ESX
DELL-ScottH Microsoft is a good Dell partner :-)
MichaelSainz Heh
DELL-ToddM Microsoft has been increasing their support for virtual—even Exchange! So they may support this as well in time
Paul_Shadwell The system scales semi-automatically.
Paul_Shadwell Haha! Good point :-)
depping They will support everything virtual in time
DELL-ScottH Can't stop it
Paul_Shadwell I'm sure now that they have their own platform virtualization will be much easier and supported
depping They need to, otherwise they will get sued again I guess :)
depping Indeed
DELL-ToddM Given enough time I think that you are right :)
DELL-ToddM One feature that Hyper-V currently lacks is live migration, known as VMotion for the VMware world
depping And with VMware joining the SVVP
depping Well, they've got "quick" migration
DELL-ToddM They do have what they call quick migration, which is basically a pause and restart on another server
depping For the record, I work for VMware
depping Suspend and Resume indeed
Paul_Shadwell VMotion is so useful I have a hard time not having something similar on Hyper-V
depping Which can take up to several minutes depending on the amount of memory they need to transfer
DELL-ToddM Depping, no problem we will keep you honest :)
DELL-ToddM Quick migration is really a failover cluster for individual VMs
Paul_Shadwell Hey depping, you’re my new best friend ;-)
depping :-D
DELL-ToddM The big limitation that I don't like is one VM per LUN with quick migration
DELL-ToddM This is because there isn't a cluster file system like VMFS in place
Paul_Shadwell Oh! that is a huge limitation
depping Well, that's for the clustering
Paul_Shadwell What about when Microsoft releases the new Fs…forget what it's called
DELL-ToddM So if you failover or quick migrate a VM its LUN has to failover to the new server as well
DELL-ToddM I don't know what their plans are for future
depping You bet they are working on it, but just need the time to catch up
depping Same goes for a decent live migration
DELL-ToddM They did recently release a hot fix that allows you to put more than one VM in a failover cluster group, but they have to all failover together to the new server
Paul_Shadwell Can we ask depping what VMware is planning to stay ahead of Microsoft?
DELL-ToddM Good question!
depping You can ask, but you know I can't tell because of NDA
DELL-ToddM It was worth a try
MichaelSainz Hehe...always the NDA
depping But there's a couple of features they already talked about
DELL-ScottH Oh, we all signed them—wink
depping Which is continuous, availability—aka constant VMotion
depping In other other words, two VMs synchronized on two hosts; when the primary fails the secondary takes over without the user noticing it
DELL-ToddM All that said, if you only had a few VMs, quick migration would be fine. It's just with lots of VMs it would be a problem to manage all those LUNs
DELL-ScottH Saw that at VMworld last year—early, early
Paul_Shadwell %%%%!
depping Indeed
depping Cool stuff
DELL-ToddM I don't know anything, but I was hoping that the continuous availability would be talked about at VMworld in a few weeks
depping I guess it will be
DELL-ScottH Any sessions you can recommend to attend this year?
depping I don't know but that's what people are expecting
depping To be honest I haven't had the time to look into the upcoming VMworld
depping But I always attend every deep dive session
DELL-ScottH That's okay, Todd is griping about you hijacking the Hyper-V chat!
depping Just be sure I'm not missing out :)
DELL-ToddM I started to fill out my schedule a few days ago, but haven't finished it yet
Paul_Shadwell I saw something about it at VMworld Europe
Paul_Shadwell I also love Site Recovery Manager
depping Same here, and SRM is great for companies like Dell
depping Sell storage!
DELL-ToddM SRM is very cool—I agree
DELL-ToddM Yes, our EqualLogic guys have been all over SRM
depping But will you guys be comparing Hyper-V with ESX and XenServer?
depping That would be nice to see—benchmarks
Paul_Shadwell Oops! Sorry, Todd.
DELL-ToddM Well, I try to not put our partners against each other in head-to-head tests :)
DELL-ToddM I was saying earlier that the performance of Hyper-V VMs seems to be pretty good
depping Yeah, it is
depping But it also depends on the amount of VMs you are running
DELL-ToddM But I don't have a way to directly compare the results in my current test with earlier ESX tests
Paul_Shadwell No, would be a shame to show the customers the useful stuff right? ;-) Sarcasm mode=off
DELL-ScottH Nods
depping Well, you are kinda right, Paul, but I can imagine why Dell wouldn't want to do this
DELL-ToddM I think that the management and features are going to be where customers make their decisions
depping I hope so :)
DELL-ToddM And at a certain point price
Paul_Shadwell I do understand it; maybe I could do it as an independent—hmmm...could be an interesting project
DELL-ScottH And we would welcome you to share your thoughts on our site
DELL-ScottH And findings
DELL-ToddM With the release of ESXi as a free download VMware has an alternative to Hyper-V that in many ways is similar in terms of features—but is quite different in many others
Paul_Shadwell Could Dell supply me with hardware to do the test?
depping Well, I always found the comparison of Hyper-V and ESX unfair, but Microsoft has a nice way to market a product
depping Same here, Paul :)
MichaelSainz As long as you can supply Dell with some cash ;)
DELL-ToddM In terms of features, one of the key pieces for Hyper-V is still in beta: SCVMM 2008
DELL-ToddM If you are just comparing ESXi to Hyper-V the comparison isn't too off
DELL-ToddM Neither have VMotion or centralized management
Paul_Shadwell SCVMM is nice, but nowhere near as useful or as easy to use as Virtual Center.
depping Well, the big difference is the OS that Hyper-V needs
DELL-ToddM Both provide good performance
depping And that's a huge difference in terms of security
Paul_Shadwell Depping, is there any plans for Virtual Center to be able to manage Hyper-V?
DELL-ToddM That OS is the difference. With Microsoft you can use Windows 2008 Core, which makes it closer to E SXi
Paul_Shadwell VMotion supporting Hyper-V could be a cool product
depping Well, Todd, there's still a 2 GB difference :)
DELL-ToddM I didn't say it’s the same, just closer.You are right
depping It's a shame there's still some sort of GUI
depping I've been a Microsoft administrator all my life...and hoped they would get rid of they GUI
DELL-ToddM Some would view the GUI of Windows as an advantage over no GUI with ESXi
DELL-ScottH Some call it the Wimp interface
DELL-ScottH Windows-icons-mouse-pointer
depping I would like to have a choice. I love the GUI for my workstation, but for the server, and especially Hyper-V I don't need it
MichaelSainz I gotta go, guys; thanks for the convo
DELL-ToddM The Virtual Infrastructure client is actually the GUI for ESX; it's just not on the box
DELL-ScottH Thanks for joining, Michael!
DELL-ToddM Thanks, Michael!
MichaelSainz Oh yeah, keep twittering, good stuff ;)
MichaelSainz left.
depping Well, the Twitter is what got me here!
Paul_Shadwell There is a Web interface on the ESX
depping So that stuff actually works
depping Web interface is something different than a GUI
DELL-ScottH Is depping your Twitter UD?
DELL-ToddM Cool, Twitter has been fun so far; planning to do lots while at VMworld
depping Yes
DELL-ScottH We following you?
depping No clue
depping I'm also depping on the VMTN forum
DELL-ScottH I see you play poker from your Twitter stream
DELL-ScottH Bad topic to get me started on!
DELL-ToddM Depping, thanks for engaging in a fun discussion
depping Yeah, poker is cool...but takes up too much time lately
DELL-ToddM Next week we will be talking about Hyper-V again—this time I hope to be able to talk details on the performance testing that I have done with it
DELL-ScottH Agreed
depping Cool, I will try to join again.
DELL-ScottH To do it right takes mucho time; thanks for joining
depping And while you're at it, check my blog:
Paul_Shadwell Sorry for hijacking your chat, Todd
DELL-ToddM I will check it out. Thanks for mentioning it
depping :)
DELL-ScottH Okay, you have to hit mine too:
DELL-ScottH :-)
DELL-ToddM Paul, I'm glad you did. Much better to have an engaging session like this
DELL-ScottH It's 4:01, Todd. We can talk off topic :-)
depping It's 23:06 here
DELL-ToddM Cool, I've gotta run. I bet Scott starts telling you about the time he got Quads over Quads
DELL-ScottH And I was on the good end of that one!
DELL-ToddM Later
DELL-ScottH Later
depping Later!
DELL-ToddM left.
Paul_Shadwell Same here, depping, where are you?
Paul_Shadwell I'm in Zurich, Switzerland.
depping Netherlands
depping That's around the corner
Paul_Shadwell Ah ha! Yes...ish.
Paul_Shadwell :-)
Paul_Shadwell Are you on Twitter?
Paul_Shadwell My ID is
depping Any Dell guys still around?
Paul_Shadwell Cool, following you now
DELL-ScottH I'm still here
Dell-RogerF Yes
depping Gotta question about the R805 AMD
DELL-ScottH Shoot
depping I've got a customer buying 35 R805s with 48 GB of RAM with AMD processors. The R805 has got 16 memory slots?
DELL-ScottH Yes
DELL-ScottH Eight on each processor
depping This would mean that in some slots there's more memory than there's in others
DELL-ScottH Yes
depping Smartest thing to do would be to divide it evenly? For NUMA?
DELL-ScottH Each matching DIMM slot should be equal...on each processor
depping Okay, so not all, only matching
DELL-ScottH Yes
DELL-ScottH 12 x 4 GB would be best
depping That's what I said indeed
DELL-ScottH But what does the build sheet show?
depping I'm afraid this will cause the "memory incorrectly balanced" messages on ESX
depping I haven't seen the build sheet yet
DELL-ScottH If you have 12 x 4 GB, six on each processor, it will be balanced
Paul_Shadwell You're okay with AMD processors in a production environment?
depping Yeah, why not?
Paul_Shadwell Sounds like a silly question, I'm just so used to Intel
depping AMD has shown some great benchmarks combined with ESX
depping Tops everything I've seen so far
depping But I'm also used to Intel
Paul_Shadwell I did see that at a Dell Tech tour last year—the prices look good too
depping Okay, thanks, Scott; I will have the customer phone Dell again!
DELL-ScottH Prices are very good
depping But what about that Dell EEE killer?
depping When will that be launched? I can't wait for it
DELL-ScottH Cool, 35 servers, what is their business?
DELL-ScottH Hmm, NDA and all that stuff :-)
depping Dutch Railway
depping %%%%... :)
depping E-mail me of the record :)
Paul_Shadwell Yes, yes, good question, Depping, when Dell, when?
DELL-ScottH Rumor was last week, but soon...I want several
depping Same here
DELL-ScottH My wife wants the hybrid, just because of the looks
depping I wanted to buy an Asus EEE, but when I saw the news about Dell and Lenovo
Paul_Shadwell Mind you, after the extremely disappointing tablet launch I don't hold up much hope
DELL-ScottH Yeah, just wait a little longer
DELL-ScottH At the worst, it will put price pressure on Asus for you
depping Indeed
depping And Acer has also got a nice product, the One
depping But it's about time I get some sleep. Thanks for the chat and maybe talk to you guys next week!
DELL-ScottH Nice chatting with you. We're following you now...tweet away
Dell-RogerF Catch you next time
Paul_Shadwell Yes, likewise. Thanks, guys, it was fun. I'll Twitter when I have the screencasts published.