Within a few months, the release of Windows 8 is there. Windows 8 means also a new version of Hyper-V, that’s great news! Hyper-V 3.0 means also a lot of new features and possibilities. MVP Aidan Finn posted a great feature glossary. In this blogpost Aidan gives an overview of all the new great features whitin Hyper-V 3.0. Special thanks to him, great job!
|Active/Active File Share Clusters
|Using CSV and a witness as features, you can create an active/active file share failover cluster. This is supported for services that use large file with little metadata access, e.g. Hyper-V. In other words, you can use a file share cluster instead of a SAN for your Hyper-V cluster.
|Asymmetric Hyper-V Cluster
|A single cluster with Hyper-V and Active/Active File Server roles
|BitLocker & HA
|The ability to encrypt parent partition disks and cluster shared volumes using BitLocker for physical security of virtual machines and data. Uses a Cluster Name Object (CNO) for locking and unlocking CSVs.
|Boot From SAN
|VMs can boot from iSCSI or Fibre Channel disks, rather than just the traditional VHD(X)
|Cluster Aware Updating
|Automate the Windows Update process for clustered hosts. It automatically drains hosts of VMs and patches them in order.
|Up to 63 hosts and up to 4,000 VMs
|Concurrent Live Migration
|Perform many live migrations at once between two hosts, with the only limit being your bandwidth.
|Simplified host networking by merging all of the various LAN, SAN, and cluster networks to a reduced number of teamed high bandwidth NICs.
|CSVs are easier to backup. Although they are still NTFS, they appear as CSVFS for easier identification as CSVs in disk administration tools.
|Data Center Bridging
|DCB enables very different networking protocols to run on the same network infrastructure, and therefore helps enable the convergence of LANs and SANs onto a single unified fabric.
|Dedup & Thin Provisioning
|Windows 8 can use just the storage space that is required by not needlessly storing “empty” space (thin provisioning) or redundant data (de-duplication)
|Ban DHCP traffic from rogue DHCP services running in VMs.
|Direct I/O Backup
|VMs on Cluster Shared Volumes (CSVs) can be backed up without Redirected I/O (Mode/Access).
|Easy host maintenance by draining VMs from the host
|Dynamic Memory Minimum Memory
|Once a VM has booted it can balloon down to the Minimum setting if it is underutilising the memory allocated by the Startup setting.
|Dynamic Virtual Machine Queue
|DMVQ will dynamically span processing VMQ n/w traffic across more than one CPU. It will automatically scale up and scale down the CPU utilisation based on demand
|Extensibale Hyper-V Switch
|Replacing the virtual network, this intelligent virtual switch offers extensibility for partners, with products already announced by the likes of Cisco and Brocade.
|Order the failover of VMs based on application dependencies.
|Guest Application Monitoring
|Configure Failover Clustering to restart or failover VMs based on monitored events that occur inside of the VM.
|Virtual machines are aware of Non-Uniform Memory Architecture and can schedule processes in accordance with memory placement at the physical layer. Guest NUMA can be customised on a per-VM basis.
|A feature of Failover Clustering, allowing a service or VM to failover from one host to another, enabling machine fault tolerance and maintenance windows with minimised service downtime.
|160 physical logical processors, up to 2 TB RAM, removal of the 8:1 logical to virtual processor limit.
|Asynchronous replication of virtual machines from one location to another, supporting VSS snapshots, failover, and IP address injection.
|IPsec Task Offload
|IPsecTO moves this workload from the main host’s CPU to a dedicated processor on the network adapter
|Move a virtual machine from one host to another. This does not require Failover Clustering in Windows Server 8.
|Live Storage Migration
|Physically relocate a VM by first copying it and synchronising I/O until the source and destination are identical. Can leverage Offloaded Data Transfer (ODX) in a SAN to make the process up to 90% faster.
|With features such as Network Virtualisation, PVLANs, and PORT ACLs, you can use Windows 8 Hyper-V in multi-tenant environments such as IaaS public cloud hosting.
|Native 4k disk support
|This will allow disk alignment for VHDs created on 4k sector physical disks, thus improving performance.
|The abstraction of virtual IP address from physical IP address, allowing easier mobility of VMs across fabrics. This is a key feature of multi-tenancy.
|Team NICs in Windows Server 8 (and Hyper-V) for bandwidth aggregation and network path fault tolerance. The NICs do not need to be from the same manufacturer.
|Online Disk Repair
|Windows 8 will detect storage faults and incrementally fix them with brief delays to I/O traffic that don’t interrupt it. Should replace the need for offline chkdsk.
|Define allowed communication paths between virtual machines based on IP range or MAC address.
|Hyper-V has around 150 built-in PowerShell cmdlets. 100% of features are revealed via PowerShell.
|VLANs are slow to configure in the physical network and there is a limit on how many can be configured. Private VLANs allow Hyper-V to replace this physical networking feature.
|Specify maximum limits and minimum guarantees for network communications.
|Receive Side Coalescing
|RSC aggregates packets from the same TCP/IP flow into one larger packet, reducing per-packet processing costs for faster TCP/IP processing
|Receive Side Scaling
|RSS allows the receive side network load from a network adapter to be shared across multiple processors
|Remote Direct Memory Access
|RDMA enables more efficient access of data on file shares.
|Measure CPU, network and memory on a per-VM basis. This data is stored with the VM and moves with the VM.
|Single Root I/O Virtualisation
|SR-IOV allows a physical NIC to appear to be a number of physical NICs, and allows virtual machine networking to bypass the virtual switch.
|SMB 2.2 supports RDMA and is in Windows Server 8. Storage of VMs is supported on SMB 2.2. file shares. With NIC teaming, you get multi-channel SMB.
|Snapshot Live Merge
|You do not have to shut down a VM to merge a snapshot in Windows 8, resolving a major support issue.
|An aggregation of disks without any RAID. They can be as loosely coupled as a bunch of USB drives. The disks can be different sizes. A pool does not appear in Explorer. You can create Storage Spaces from Storage Pools. This is one of the storage types you could use to create a scalable and continuously available active/active file share cluster.
|A thinly provisioned slice of storage from a storage pool. Can be a 2-copy-mirror (Like RAID 1 in concept and performance), 3-copy-mirror, or parity (like RAID 5 in concept and performance) storage space. Can be lots of spaces in a single pool. A space is divided up into slabs across disks in the pool depending on the fault tolerance chosen. Advanced configuration allows you to choose which pool disks to use.
|Enables network diagnostics in the Hyper-V Extensible Switch
|The default virtual disk type, expanding up to 16 TB, and supporting dynamic and fixed types.
|Virtual Fibre-Channel Adapter
|A host’s fibre channel adapter can be virtualised, thus enabling VMs to have their own WWN and direct access to the SAN.
|Virtual Machine Scalability
|32 virtual processors, 512 GB RAM
|Virtualisation Aware Domain Controllers
|Windows Server 8 domain controllers are aware if they are Windows 8 Hyper-V VMs. This prevents USN rollback (VM restore or snapshot application).
|Windows 8 Client
|Hyper-V is included in the client operating system for free. It’s the same Hyper-V as in the server, offering VM mobility and an easy introduction to Microsoft’s enterprise virtualisation. The client version of Hyper-V requires Second Level Address Translation (SLAT) in the CPU (Intel EPT, AMD RVI/NPT). This is not a requirement in the server version, but it is recommended.
It is a long list of features, and absolutely great to see all this new possibilities. I can’t wait until the release of Windows 8… 🙂