Question 1. What Is Virtualization ?
Virtualization is the creation of a virtual (rather than actual) version of something, such as an operating system, a server, a storage device or network resources.
You probably know a little about virtualization if you have ever divided your hard drive into different partitions. A partition is the logical division of a hard disk drive to create, in effect, two separate hard drives.
Operating system virtualization is the use of software to allow a piece of hardware to run multiple operating system images at the same time. The technology got its start on mainframes decades ago, allowing administrators to avoid wasting expensive processing power.
In 2005, virtualization software was adopted faster than anyone imagined, including the experts. There are three areas of IT where virtualization is making heabroads, network virtualization, storage virtualization and server virtualization.
Question 2. What Are The Benefits Of Virtualization ?
There are some well accepted and inherit benefits to using Virtualization.
- Reduce the number of physical servers
- Reduce the infrastructure needed for your data center (power, cooling, battery backup, network switch ports, KVM ports and space)
- Reduce administrative overhead because servers can be administered from a single console
- Ability to bring up new servers quickly (it could take days or weeks to put in a new physical server but it could take just a few minutes to create a new virtual server from a template)
- Hardware Independence of virtual servers – a virtual server can run on any host server, regardless of the host hardware
- Because of hardware independence, you receive reduce your disaster recovery cost, complexity, and recovery time
- A “greener” datacenter & server environment due to the consolidation Overall, lower TCO of servers
Question 3. What Is A Hypervisor ?
You can think of a Hypervisor as the kernel or the core of a virtualization platform. The Hypervisor is also called the Virtual Machine Monitor. The Hypervisor has access to the physical host hardware.
Of the total amount of disk space taken for a virtualization platform (like Hyper-V or VMware ESX), the Hypervisor is, by far, the smallest part. A Type 1 Hypervisor runs on the bare metal of the hardware.
Examples of a Type 1 Hypervisor are Hyper-V and ESX Server. A Type 2 Hypervisor is hosted by an operating system. Examples of a Type 2 Hypervisor are VMware Server and Microsoft Virtual Server.
Question 4. What Is Esx Server ?
ESX Server is VMware’s flagship enterprise server virtualization platform. It comes in two versions – ESX Server and ESXi Server where the latter has no service console and is the thinnest version available. ESX Server has many optional features like VMotion and VMHA (both discussed below) and some built-in features like the VMFS file system. Most end users purchase VMware ESX Server with some set of optional features in a package called VMware Infrastructure. ESX Server is managed by the VMware Infrastructure Client. Its centralized management platform is called Virtual Center.
Question 5. What Is Hyper-v ?
Codenamed “Viridian” but given the the formal name of Hyper-V, it is a hypervisor-based Windows Server virtualization platform that is included as a role of Windows Server 2008. Hyper-V enables you to consolidate workloads onto a single physical server using a broad range of services ranging from resource-intensive services like Microsoft SQL Server to third-party applications that may run on previous versions of Windows or Linux.
Question 6. What Are A Host, Guest, And Virtual Machine ?
A host system (host operating system) would be the primary & first installed operating system. If you are using a bare metal Virtualization platform like Hyper-V or ESX, there really isn’t a host operating system besides the Hypervisor. If you are using a Type-2 Hypervisor like VMware Server or Virtual Server, the host operating system is whatever operating system those applications are installed into.
A guest system (guest operating system) is a virtual guest or virtual machine (VM) that is installed under the host operating system. The guests are the VMs that you run in your virtualization platform.
Some admins also call the host & guest the parent and child.
Question 7. What Products Are Available For Server Virtualization ?
Bare Metal Hypervisor / Native / Type 1:
VMware ESX Server Microsoft Hyper-V Citrix/Xen Server
Question 8. What Products Are Available For Desktop Virtualization ?
Host in an OS / Type 2 / intended for workstations:
VMware Workstation Microsoft Virtual PC Parallels Workstation VMware Fusion for Mac OS Parallels Desktop for Mac OS
Question 9. What Is The Difference Between Esx Server And Vmware Server ?
While both ESX Server and VMware Server are server virtualization products, the difference is that VMware ESX installs and runs on the bare metal of a physical server where as VMware Server needs a base operating system. In other words, VMware ESX has a type 1 hypervisor where as VMware Server has a type 2 hypervisor.
You will obtain must better performance from ESX Server as it has much less overhead. ESX Server also has many features available such as VMFS, VMotion, VMHA, and DRS. On the other hand, ESX Server is also a commercial product that must be purchased where as VMware Server is a free product. VMware Server is an excellent option to choose to slowly migrate to server consolidation at a low cost. VMware Server is also an excellent way to learn about virtualization as well as a way to run multiple operating systems on your desktop PC, at no cost.
Question 10. What Is The Difference Between Hyper-v And Virtual Server ?
Like the difference between ESX Server and VMware Server, Hyper-V and Virtual server have similar differences. Hyper-V is a type-1 hypervisor where Virtual Server is a type 2 hypervisor. Virtual Server requires that you first host a Windows operating system to load it.
Hyper-V is meant to be a higher performance commercial virtualization platform with a centralized management platform and 3rd party add-ons. Virtual Server, on the other hand, is a free virtualization platform meant for the desktop or for small-scale server virtualization solutions.
Question 11. What Is The Difference Between Emulation, Native Virtualization, And Para Virtualization ?
Emulation is where software is used to simulate hardware for a guest operating system to run in. This has been used in the past but is difficult to do and offers low performance.
Native virtualization (or full virtualization) is where a type-2 hypervisor is used to partially allow access to the hardware and partially to simulate hardware in order to allow you to load a full operating system. This is used by emulation packages like VMware Server, Workstation, Virtual PC, and Virtual Server.
Paravirtualization is where the guest operating systems run on the hypervisor, allowing for higher performance and efficiency. For more technical information and videos on this topic, visit VMware’s Technology Preview for Transparent Virtualization. Examples of paravirtualization are Microsoft Hyper-V and VMware ESX Server.
Question 12. What Are The Different Types Of Virtualization ?
Server Virtualization: consolidating multiple physical servers into virtual servers that run on a single physical server. Application Virtualization – an application runs on another host from where it is installed in a variety of ways. It could be done by application streaming, desktop virtualization or VDI, or a VM package (like VMware ACE creates with a player). Microsoft Softgrid is an example of Application virtualization.
Presentation Virtualization: This is what Citrix Met frame (and the ICA protocol) as well as Microsoft Terminal Services (and RDP) are able to create. With presentation virtualization, an application actually runs on another host and all that you see on the client is the screen from where it is run.
Network Virtualization: with network virtualization, the network is “carved up” and can be used for multiple purposes such as running a protocol analyzer inside an Ethernet switch. Components of a virtual network could include NICs, switches, VLANs, network storage devices, virtual network containers, and network media. Storage Virtualization – with storage virtualization, the disk/data storage for your data is consolidated to and managed by a virtual storage system. The servers connected to the storage system aren’t aware of where the data really is. Storage virtualization is sometimes described as “abstracting the logical storage from the physical storage.
Question 13. What Is Virtual Machine Technology?
Virtual machine technology applies to both server and client hardware. Virtual machine technology enables multiple operating systems to run concurrently on a single machine. In particular, Hyper-V, a key feature of Windows Server 2008 R2, enables one or more operating systems to run simultaneously on the same physical system. Today, many operating systems are supported by Virtual PC 2007, Virtual Server 2005, and Hyper-V.
Question 14. What Is Virtual Machine Technology Used For?
Virtual machine technology serves a variety of purposes. It enables hardware consolidation, because multiple operating systems can run on one computer. Key applications for virtual machine technology include cross-platform integration as well as the following:
- Server consolidation. If several servers run applications that consume only a fraction of the available resources, virtual machine technology can be used to enable them to run side by side on a single server, even if they require different versions of the operating system or middleware.
- Consolidation for development and testing environments. Each virtual machine acts as a separate environment, which reduces risk and enables developers to quickly recreate different operating system configurations or compare versions of applications designed for different operating systems. In addition, a developer can test early development versions of an application in a virtual machine without fear of destabilizing the system for other users.
- Legacy application re-hosting. Legacy operating systems and applications can run on new hardware along with more recent operating systems and applications.
- Simplify disaster and recovery. Virtual machine technology can be used as part of a disaster and recovery plan that requires application portability and flexibility across hardware platforms.
- Moving to a dynamic datacenter. Hyper-V, along with systems management solutions, helps you to now create a dynamic IT environment that not only enables you to react to problems more efficiently but also to create a proactive and self-managing IT management solution.
Question 15. What Is Microsoft’s Strategy For Virtualization?
Our goal is to help customers make their IT systems more self-managing and dynamic so that they can gain more control of their IT systems, and enable their businesses to respond faster and stay ahead of the competition. We’re doing this by:
- Providing a complete set of virtualization products that span from the desktop to the datacenter
- Helping manage all IT assets—both physical and virtual—from a single platform
We are making broad investments—in the areas of the platform, management, applications, interoperability, and licensing, and working to enable customers to take advantage of their existing platform investments, utilize their existing support skills and infrastructure, and to reduce costs associated with implementing virtualized environments.
Question 16. What Benefits Does Hyper-v Offer Customers?
Hyper-V provides customers an ideal platform for key virtualization scenarios, such as production server consolidation, business continuity management, software test and development, and development of a dynamic datacenter.
Hyper-V provides key functionality, which an ideal virtualization platform should provide scalability, high performance, reliability, security, flexibility, and manageability. It provides scalability and high performance by supporting features like guest multi-processing support and 64-bit guest and host support; reliability and security through its hypervisor architecture; flexibility and manageability by supporting features like quick migration of virtual machines from one physical host to another, and integration with System Center Virtual Machine Manager.
Question 17. Will Microsoft Continue To Support Linux Operating Systems With Hyper-v?
Yes, Microsoft provides integration components and technical support for customers running select Linux distributions as guest operating systems within Hyper-V. Please check the Supported Guest Operating Systems page for more information and updates.
Question 18. Can You Provide A Brief Overview Of Hyper-v’s Feature Set?
Some of the capabilities of Hyper-V include x64 host and guest support, ability to run guest machines in a multi-processor environment, large memory allocation per virtual machine, integrated virtual switch support, and ability to migrate virtual machines across hosts with minimal downtime. With the R2 release of Hyper-V, Live Migration, new processor support, and dynamic virtual machine capabilities were added.
Question 19. How Will Customers Migrate To Hyper-v?
Customers who invest in the .vhd file format – the format used by Virtual Server, as well as a multitude of vendor licenses – will have a clear path forward to Hyper-V. Customers can leverage V2V capabilities in System Center Virtual Machine Manager to conveniently migrate from Virtual Server or VMware to Hyper-V or work with Microsoft’s partners who provide migration solutions.
Question 20. Are There Tools Available To Assist In Planning For Hyper-v Migration?
Yes, the Microsoft Assessment and Planning (MAP) Toolkit helps you plan for Hyper-V migration by determining which of your physical servers are underutilized and, therefore, good candidates for server virtualization.
Question 21. How Do Users Access The Hyper-v?
Users can go to Server Manager and install the Hyper-V role. After the Hyper-V role is enabled, Hyper-V Manager will become available as a part of Administrative Tools. From the Hyper-V Manager users can easily create and configure virtual machines.
Question 22. Does Microsoft Provide Technical Support For Hyper-v?
Yes, technical support for Hyper-V is part of the support for Windows Server 2008 R2. For more information on support, please refer to the Windows Server 2008 R2 Support page.
Question 23. What Is The Expected Performance Of Hyper-v? How Does It Compare To Virtual Server? How Does It Compare To Esx Server?
We are not publishing performance numbers currently. Based on independent reports and benchmarks from partners like QLogic, we believe that we have a competitive virtualization offering.
Question 24. What Is The List Of Guests That Will Be Supported On Hyper-v? When Can We Expect Support For Key Operating Systems Like Windows Vista, Windows Xp, Linux, Etc.?
Microsoft supports a number of guest OS environments including Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Server 2008, Windows Server 2003, Windows 2000 Server, Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP and Novell SUSE.
Question 25. What Are The Differences Between Hyper-v And Virtual Server?
Microsoft Virtual Server 2005 R2 is the current server virtualization solution from Microsoft and is based on a hosted virtualization platform. Hyper-V, a key feature of Windows Server 2008 R2, is a hypervisor-based virtualization platform that will enable customers to not only consolidate a vast array of workloads but also enable moving toward a dynamic IT environment. Core feature set differences include support for 64 guest virtual machines, SMP support, performance improvements, and other key features in Hyper-V.
Question 26. How Do I Know Which Windows Server 2008 R2 Features Or Services I Am Allowed To Run On The Host Without Requiring Cals?
When using Windows Server 2008 R2 and Hyper-V to run virtual machines with older versions of Windows Server, Windows Server 2008 CALs will not be required in certain scenarios.
- When the Host OS is only running services related to virtualization, such as Hyper-V and Failover Clustering, then Windows Server 2008 CALs are not required.
- If the Guest OS is Windows Server 2008, or if the Windows Server 2008 host, installs other services, then Windows Server 2008 CALs would still be required.
Question 27. What Are The Licensing Considerations In A Virtual Machine Environment?
It is important to understand your licensing rights and obligations when running Microsoft Windows Server and/or other Microsoft applications in a virtual machine environment.
In addition, it’s good to understand the licensing terms offered by independent software vendors (ISVs) for any software provided by those vendors. For more information on licensing considerations in these cases, you should consult with your ISV.
Question 28. Does Running Windows Nt In A Virtual Machine Mean That Microsoft Is Extending Its Support For The Product?
No. While you may receive benefit from moving the applications from physical hardware to virtual machines, running applications in a virtual environment does not extend their support life cycles. For more information about the support life-cycle timeframes.
Question 29. What Are The System Requirements For Hyper-v?
In addition to the systems requirement for Windows Server 2008 R2, the two key requirements for the Hyper-V platform are the need to ensure that the server is a 64-bit environment and supports hardware-assisted virtualization (Intel VT or AMD-V) technology.
Question 30. How Many Virtual Machines Can Run Per Processor?
The number of virtual machines running per host depends on many factors, including physical memory, processor, and workload running in the guest. With Hyper-V, you define the amount of memory available to a virtual machine, and that memory allocation can be altered to reflect the needs of the virtual machine.
Question 31. Does Hyper-v Support 64-bit Processors?
Hyper-V runs on a 64-bit (x64) server platform and requires support of either AMD64 or Intel IA-32e/EM64T (x64) processors with hardware-assisted virtualization support. Note that Hyper-V does not support Itanium (IA-64) processors. For the virtual machines, Hyper-V supports both 32-bit and 64-bit systems as guest OSes.
Question 32. Does Hyper-v Support Symmetric Multiprocessing (smp) In The Virtual Machine Environment?
Hyper-V supports both uniprocessor and multiprocessor configurations in the virtual machine environment.
Question 33. What Are The Prerequisites To Install And Use Hyper-v?
In addition to the system requirements for Windows Server 2008 R2 as described in the release notes, a 64-bit system with hardware-assisted virtualization enabled and data execution prevention (DEP) is required. It is also recommended to ensure that you have a clean install of x64 edition of Windows Server 2008 R2 to be able to use the Hyper-V technology.
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