Hyper-V storage in version 3: Live migration, SMB 2.2 support, dedupe

Microsoft Hyper-V 3.0, the newest version of the server virtualization platform created for Windows Server 2012, delivers important storage-related changes over previous versions. Hyper-V 3.0 facilitates live migration of virtual machines (VMs) across storage arrays, has enhanced scalability of clustering as well as built-in deduplication. In this video, filmed at a TechTarget's Storage Decisions seminar, storage expert Howard Marks discusses how Hyper-V storage is changing with version 3.0. Read the transcript below or watch the video.

Hyper-V 3.0 [in Windows Server 2012] is a game changer. Microsoft has a long history of getting things close to right in version 3.0. Windows 1.0? Yuck. Windows 2.0? Well, I ran it because it was the only way to run PageMaker, but you fired up Windows, you fired up PageMaker, you did your desktop publishing, you closed PageMaker, you closed Windows, you went back to working in DOS because Windows was useless for anything that didn't absolutely require it.

We all know Windows 3.0 is when people said, "Oh, Windows, we better do that. This is way better than DOS." If you look at Microsoft's history, [the company was] very good at having an idea and … continuing to refine that idea. … Hyper-V 3.0 is not feature-equivalent to VMware. VMware is still ahead, but 90% of the features people actually use -- especially the people who run less than 100 VMware hosts -- are now available in Hyper-V. By the way, it's a lot cheaper than VMware. It's free.

Now, I know some of you are going to go, "It's not really free." But if you run Windows guests you have to license Windows Data Center for every VMware host [in order] to make your Windows guests properly licensed. So, effectively, it's free. And the key here is [Live Storage] Migration, [which is] the equivalent of Storage vMotion. [With Live Storage Migration] I can migrate data from place to place without taking the guests down [with] the ability to run over a NAS protocol SMB [Server Message Block] 2.2. And Microsoft has, shockingly enough for Microsoft, been very open with the specification for SMB 2.2 as opposed to the specifications for earlier versions of SMB, which were called CIFS. … [Microsoft] wouldn't actually tell anybody exactly what they were doing, in part, because there was nobody at Microsoft left that remembered exactly what that code did to explain it to anybody else.

So … by the time Windows [Server 2012] actually ships, NetApp will be shipping an SMB 2.2-compliant version of Data Ontap, and you could do Hyper-V on NAS [on] NetApp just like you do Hyper-V on Windows Storage Server NAS. There is also built-in data deduplication, which probably will not be very good compared to other people's data deduplication. But two-to-one data reduction is better than nothing, so if you have not yet made an investment in VMware and you run primarily Windows guests, I would [take] a good, hard look [at Hyper-V 3.0]. I wouldn't recommend Hyper-V in Windows [Server] 2008 R2. That works fine if you need just a few VMs, but Microsoft's getting close [with Windows 2012].

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