We at Systweak have been evaluating Windows Server 2008 since the beta was released (Systweak is a Microsoft GOLD Certified Partner). We have been using it on Virtual Machines as well as Real PCs.
There are multiple features in this all new offering from Microsoft which make it suitable for an enterprise. It is interesting that to note the Versions that Windows Server 2008 will be available in, like it is available in a stripped down version called the Core Server. The most important feature of Windows Server 2008 is the way it plans to change the view of the users towards Servers.
Typically when the IT Departments view the purchase of a Server, they are looking at a typical task which they expect the server to perform: Web Server, Mail Server, Print Server, File Server, Active Directory etc. Server Virtualization technology enables customers to run multiple operating systems concurrently on a single physical server, where each of the operating systems runs as a self-contained computer, as clusters. This means that with shrinking budgets and the ever increasing computing power which lies waste at times, the IT group can now extract full performance out of their existing hardware.
Hyper-V™, a feature of Windows Server 2008, takes a big step forward in bringing some of the advanced capabilities of virtualization to bear and providing customers with a scalable, secure and highly available virtualization platform. The Hyper-V server virtualization role enables you to create a virtualized server computing environment using a technology that is part of Windows Server® 2008. You can use a virtualized computing environment to improve the efficiency of your computing resources by utilizing more of your hardware resources. As the platform technologies advance, it is important to ensure that overall management continues to be simplified. Microsoft System Center Virtual Machine Manager — the management application for virtualized data center — provides a unified, integrated management solution as a part of the System Center family and helps drive management costs down as the IT environment becomes more agile.
However, it needs to be remembered that Hyper-V requires specific hardware. You will need the following:
- An x64-based processor. Hyper-V will be available only in the x64-based versions of Windows Server 2008—specifically, the x64-based versions of Windows Server 2008 Standard, Windows Server 2008 Enterprise, and Windows Server 2008 Datacenter.
- Hardware-assisted virtualization. This is available in processors that include a virtualization option; specifically Intel VT or AMD-V.
- Hardware Data Execution Protection (DEP) must be available and be enabled. Specifically, you must enable Intel XD bit (execute disable bit) or AMD NX bit (no execute bit).