When does your “free” Hyper-V Server cost $1304?

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 WindowsWell, 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.

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4 Responses to When does your “free” Hyper-V Server cost $1304?

  1. Jeff says:

    Virtual Center is not “free” either…and it costs considerably more than SCVMM.

    But you get what you pay for with VMware at least…

  2. ericg says:

    You are right. VMware, of course, also has a free hypervisor and they have a nice management platform. I suppose the difference is that VMware does not normally talk about free ESXi and VirtualCenter in the same breath.

    Thanks for reading and for the feedback.

  3. Ilija says:

    Microsoft says that Hyper-V Server is free – and it is. You can always use Hyper-V Manager. Maybe somebody has only one server for virtual machines, and that’s enough for him. For him, all infrastructure is free, licensing is something else. Maybe he’ll want to use some free Linux OS for guest OS 🙂

  4. Eric Gray says:

    Heh heh. If you ever find that guy that is using Hyper-V Server to only run Linux VMs, please do let me know. That would make a great feature story!


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