Wednesday, 24 September 2008

Hyper-V Server - Microsoft turns platform arse-about

After a combination of holidays and letting the VMworld blog storm pass, vinternals is back!

For those who may not understand the phrase "arse-about", it means backwards. Which is exactly what Microsoft have done with the upcoming release of Hyper-V Server. The marketing around this product seems to have been a bit lost, so let's recap exactly what this product is (and is not)

- Hyper-V Server is NOT running Windows Server Core 2008 in the parent partition
- Hyper-V Server is aimed at small / dev environments, not enterprises
- Hyper-V Server is running little more than the Windows Server driver model and the virtualisation stack in the parent partition
- Hyper-V Server has the same underlying hypervisor and virtual bus architecture as the Hyper-V found in full-blown Windows Server 2008

So why have Microsoft got the platform ass-about (US English :-)? Because their own best practice recommends keeping the parent partition as lean as possible from an application perspective. So why the hell aren't they keeping the parent partition as lean as possible from an OS perspective? Windows Driver model + virtualisation stack - that's what I want in an ENTERPRISE Microsoft virtualisation platform! I don't want to be running something in the parent partition that is subject to patches like this one! But instead Hyper-V Server is being positioned as the red haired step child of the Microsoft virtualisation offerings.

I'll still take a look at Hyper-V Server when it comes out... there are some fundamental infrastructure design differences that may not be so obvious to those of us who have been designing VMware infrastructures for a while, that may still be applicable to Hyper-V Server... sounds like a good topic for SAAAP :-)