Windows Server 2012 and Hyper-V


Hyper-V looks like a great candidate for almost any SQL Server with the enhancements in Windows Server 2012.

I recently went to a Microsoft event in Denver on Windows Server 2012 and Hyper-V improvements. A bunch of the information was presented by Harold Wong (b | t) and there’s a number of demos and notes from the talks on his blog.

I haven’t looked much at the Windows server OS’s in years and not much at Hyper-V. I have preferred VMWare for my demo/research environments, especially as I move between Windows and OSX regularly. However I’ve thought Hyper-V was rapidly improving and on the right track. I was surprised to find the new limits in Hyper-V under Windows Server 2012 to be quite high for both the host OS and the guests. You can have up to

  • 64 virtual processors
  • 1TB RAM
  • 64TB (vhdx format)
  • 4 virtual Fibre Channel adapters
  • much more

With 320 logical processors and 4TB of ram on the host, it seems as though Hyper-V is on par with VmWare ESX 5. There’s a lot more to look at than software cost, but at this time, it appears all new virtualization projects using Windows ought to consider Hyper-V.

There were interesting demos on replicas, live migration, improvements in file transfers and more. They were designed to make things look good, and there’s a good marketing presentation on the capabilities. I’m sure the actual implementation isn’t as easy or smooth as in the talks, but it did make me think there’s no reason virtualization shouldn’t be considered for SQL Servers, especially as you move to newer hardware.

Steve Jones

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