Software Recommendations and Licensing Notes

It’s highly recommended that you use the latest virtualization host software from your particular vendor. For example, the latest version of Hyper-V is included with Windows Server 2008 R2. Hyper-V 2.0 has significant performance improvements over Hyper-V 1.0, such as I/O improvements for fixed-size VHDs. Hyper-V 2.0 also has new features such as Core Parking, Live Migration, TCP Offload, Jumbo Frames, and support for Second-Level Address Translation (SLAT)–enabled processors. If you’re virtualizing SharePoint on Hyper-V, you should also consider deploying the virtual host on Server Core to minimize its security footprint, OS disk overhead (2GB versus 10GB), and memory use.

If you’re managing multiple virtual host machines, centralized management software is also recommended. For example, Microsoft offers System Center Virtual Machine Manager (VMM) 2008 R2 for virtualization management. It allows for physical to virtual (P2V) server migration, server template libraries, and management of both Hyper-V and VMware hosts and guests through a single console.

Microsoft provides cost-effective virtualization licensing options for Windows Server, which lets organizations save significantly on Windows Server licenses when virtualizing servers. The three types of virtualization server licenses are:

• Windows Server Standard Edition, which allows a single physical OS environment (POSE) or a single virtual OS environment (VOSE) with each Standard Edition license. Note that a virtualization host that’s dedicated to virtualization tasks doesn’t consume a license, regardless if it’s running Windows Server (such as in the case of Hyper-V).

• Windows Server Enterprise Edition, which allows for up to four VOSEs to be run at any one time on the host. Note that only running VMs are counted, so if a VM is shut down, it doesn’t count against the four concurrent VOSEs permitted by the Enterprise Edition license.

• Windows Server Datacenter Edition, which is a per-processor license for the virtual host (e.g., a dual quad-core server would require two licenses) that grants you the right to run an unlimited number of VMs on the host.

These licensing options apply not only to Hyper-V but also to any hypervisor that’s part of the Server Virtualization Validation Program. For organizations with a significant investment in virtualization infrastructure, buying the appropriate number of Datacenter Edition licenses to cover all the virtual hosts is the most cost effective.

Source of Information : Windows IT Pro June 2010


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