Consolidate Servers and Decrease Workloads
Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2012 R2 is the hypervisor-based server virtualization product that allows customers to consolidate workloads onto a single physical server. In contrast to our full platform server offering Windows Server 2012 R2, Microsoft Hyper-V Server is a stand-alone product.
Some of the key features that are available in Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2012 R2 SP1 include dynamic memory, live migration, cluster shared volume support and expanded processor and memory support for host systems.
When to use Microsoft Hyper-V Server
Hyper-V Server 2012 R2 is a good solution for organizations who want to consolidate on a single physical server or have low utilization infrastructure workloads, departmental applications, and branch office workloads. In addition, using live migration and host clustering customers can use Hyper-V Server to get High Availability (support for both planned and unplanned downtime) for their virtual machines.
Additionally, organizations should consider using Hyper-V Server 2008 R2 for VDI to consolidate servers where no new licenses of Windows Server 2008 R2 are required and where the servers being consolidated are running an alternative OS other than Windows Server 2012 such as Windows Server 2000, Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2003R2, Linux, and others), where remote management is an option.
In contrast, Windows Server 2012 R2 is recommended for organizations that need application failover capabilities or flexible and cost effective virtualization rights. Virtualization rights in Windows Server 2012 R2 are based on the specific edition purchased, with Datacenter Edition providing unlimited virtual instances.
Use Scenarios for Hyper-V Server 2012 R2
Testing and Development
Testing and development are frequently the first business functions to take advantage of virtualization technology. Hyper-V Server 2008 R2 is especially suited to meet testing and development virtualizations needs. Using virtual machines, development staffs can create and test a wide variety of scenarios in a safe, self-contained environment that accurately approximates the operation of physical servers and clients. For example, a development team can test the latest version of an application on multiple platforms with a variety of virtual hardware capabilities. An IT department can use virtual machines to test deployment of new server and client features.
Managing VM Libraries and Testing Environments with Hyper-V Server 2012
Hyper-V Server 2008 R2 allows IT Professionals in a test and development environment to use the familiar Microsoft System Center Virtual Machine Manager to store and manage VMs in libraries. A library might include virtual machines based on each operating system, or applications, used throughout the company, for example, enabling development staff to test new products in all those environments before deploying them to the live network.
In many testing environments, server-level VMs have to be created and managed by server administrators—even VMs that will only exist for a few hours. That situation can create needless demands on administrators and delays for testers. With the SCVMM self-service portal feature, testers can set up and remove testing VMs as needed, without involving administrators.
Remote Site Virtualization and Consolidation
Remote sites face several challenges like server virtualization, and the need for remote management due to limited or nonexistent local IT departments. Remote infrastructures benefit from server consolidation. Rather than using multiple small servers, each dedicated to a specific function, such as e-mail services, print services, faxing, or vertical applications, those servers can be virtualized on a single mid-level server.
A single-server approach with virtual machines taking over for previously dedicated servers also means reduced power requirements, reduced space requirements, and having only one server to manage and back up.
Server Consolidation in the Remote Site
Under certain circumstances, Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2012 R2 provides a flexible and responsive virtualization solution that enables organizations to virtualize their remote site infrastructure. Businesses can consolidate small remote site servers with Hyper-V Server 2012 R2 to virtualize low utilization infrastructure workloads, departmental applications and simple branch office workloads. For example, Hyper-V Server 2012 R2 is a good solution if your organization is consolidating low utilized servers (file, print, or perhaps a local read-only DC for a small branch office).
Hyper-V Server 2012 R2 is particularly suited for remote sites because it is a stand-alone product which leverages the vast set of drivers already built for Windows and provides high performance with less overhead for device virtualization with new IO virtualization architecture. Hyper-V Server 2008 R2 also enables complete scripted control of virtual machine environments through comprehensive WMI interfaces. In addition, Hyper-V Server 2008 R2 also provides remote sites with data protection and backup with its integrated VSS support for backup.
Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI)
Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) is an emerging architectural model where a Windows client operating system runs in server-based virtual machines (VMs) in the data center and interacts with the user’s client device such as a PC or a thin client. Similar to session-based remote desktops (formerly known as Terminal Services), and now the second of two desktop centralization scenarios supported by Remote Desktop Services, VDI provides IT with the ability to centralize a user’s desktop; instead of a server session, however, a full client environment is virtualized within a server-based hypervisor.
VDI is best suited for contract and offshore workers and for users who need access to their work environment from home, including from a non-company owned PC. Microsoft VDI Standard Suite and Microsoft VDI Premium Suite are two dedicated offerings from Microsoft for enabling a VDI environment leveraging Hyper-V Server 2008 R2 as the virtualization platform; designed to complement the per device subscription model of VECD, the two VDI suites make it simple for customers to purchase the comprehensive Microsoft VDI infrastructure and management software, while providing excellent value amongst competing VDI offerings.
VDI with Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2008 R2 with SP1 benefits from a rich end user experience with support for rich media and USB devices with Microsoft RemoteFX as well as a great better together story with Windows 7 as the guest OS due to increased VM density with Dynamic Memory and near-invisible integration of virtualized desktops in Windows 7.
Repurposing Older Hardware
Hyper-V Server 2008 R2 is especially suited for organizations that are consolidating and decommissioning older hardware who want to consolidate information to extend the hardware’s life with better functionality. Hyper-V Server 2008 can run on legacy systems and operating systems such as Microsoft Windows Server 2000, Windows Server 2003, and Linux workloads, or workloads virtualized with Microsoft Virtual Server, so it is a good solution for consolidating information on a single stand-alone server of older hardware.