Microsoft Hyper-V Server is finally out. We sure heard a lot about the new Windows-less hypervisor this year and how it was definitely not Windows. Well, that turned out to be a bunch of marketing spin. Not only is it just Windows, it even requires you to install some Internet Explorer security patches. Huh?
It would be pretty interesting to see a real case for why a person would choose Hyper-V over Windows Server 2008 Standard, which includes rights to run one guest operating system instance. There is simply no cost difference. (Of course, the real question is why would a person choose any Hyper-V over VMware ESX.)
Meanwhile, we are hearing very loudly from Microsoft about virtualization management. There are two primary ways to manage your new Hyper-V Server:
- Hyper-V Manager, a free Windows utility that you can download and run on Vista (but not XP) to manage a single host. The features and capabilities are limited.
- System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2008, a product that manages multiple hosts. This is Microsoft’s preferred and recommended virtualization management solution. It is still in beta.
If Hyper-V Server is free, how much should you pay to manage it?
The most current information available at this time is from a Microsoft blog post: Nexus SC: The System Center Team Blog : SMSE and VMM 2008 Updated Pricing Information – Effective November 2008.
If you read through that blog post you will discover that for every hypervisor managed by SCVMM you will owe Microsoft $1304. Or, you can opt to pay $1497 and also use the other System Center features.
Just remember this when you hear the “free, free, free” and the “management, management, management” rhetoric:
It’s actually one or the other, not both.