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6/26/2008
08:01 PM
Joe Hernick
Joe Hernick
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Hyper-V Released. Much Rejoicing.

More than 1 million eval instances have hopefully worked out the kinks. Oh, and MS has been running a chunk of its main portal on VMs since early June. Did you notice?

More than 1 million eval instances have hopefully worked out the kinks. Oh, and MS has been running a chunk of its main portal on VMs since early June. Did you notice?Readers know I like open source. I'm never one to shy away from a cheap shot at Microsoft, but production virtualization code as part of Server 2008 means there will be a whole lot of P2V in the wild, so no cheap shots this week. I like viable market competition more than I like pure open source feel-goodness. CLI + Hyper-V yields a pretty small attack surface that warms the cockles of my command-prompt-loving heart. Xen-compatibility for VMs? Also good. And it's tough to beat the price if you're already on the train from Redmond; Hyper-V should be part of the July 8th Windows update for legitimate instances of W2K8.

Why am I not completely happy? I'm still looking for Live Migration functionality.

Citrix, VMware, even Sun's xVM flavor of Xen offer real-time host hopping. I'm not buying the most customers are happy with near-real-time migration angle. We're just 144 days past the release of Server 2008, better than the 180 days promised for Hyper-V delivery. Deadline beat, and I know live migration was cut early in planning to make today's RTM. I was just keeping my fingers crossed for a pleasant surprise/long-shot hope.

As J. Nicholas Hoover wrote earlier today, Microsoft has 250 customers signed on as aggressive early adopters. That should be reassuring for shops looking to virtualize a production box or three, but 250 is a bit lighter than I'd expected based on the million+ downloads of the beta.

We've played with the beta in our virtualization test lab, and, well, we know it works. We have not taken the time to beat the heck out of a Hyper-V host; we've been waiting for production code to get cracking. No more excuses on our end. July will be a time of Hyper-V'ing.

So, until we have some performance numbers of our own, Rob Emanuel at Microsoft has some stats up on the Windows Server Blog detailing an in-house production run of Hyper-V.

It seems MS wanted to prove the platform has legs; 25% of the production traffic of www.microsoft.com has been run off a 16 VM Hyper-V cluster since June 5th. The host hardware is fairly standard: 8-way boxes with 32 GB RAM, fast direct-connect drives, running W2K8 Hyper-V RC1 Enterprise with 4 GB reserved for the host. Guested instances are running W2K8 Ent + IIS 7.0, and System Center Virtual Machine Manager Beta was used for deployment of the VMs. Deployment and file sync times for the www.microsoft.com servers (with 7+ million individual files) dropped from 12 hours to 4 hours with SCVMM.

Based on Emanuel's post, the entire site-hosting environment responds to ~15,000 requests per second, yielding over a billion page views from over 280 million unique users per month.

So what do the numbers say?

Old school, 1x1 servers running W2K8 Ent + IIS 7.0 yielded 99.94% availability per a third-party review.

Same site stats with Hyper-V in the mix over the last 20-odd days? How 'bout nine-nine-point-nine-five. Statistically relevant based on the sample set? Perhaps. Good for Hyper-V marketing and PR? You betcha.

Based on uptime and performance results, the MS server team expects to consolidate 80 physical servers down to 64 VMs running across 40 new physical hosts. Before anyone gives 'em a hard time for only placing a quarter of their front-facing sites on Hyper-V, the team is shooting for 50% by the end of this month and intends to move the whole site to virtual servers as soon as possible after new hardware trickles out to remote Microsoft data centers.

How's your P2V plan coming?More than 1 million eval instances have hopefully worked out the kinks. Oh, and MS has been running a chunk of its main portal on VMs since early June. Did you notice?

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