Hyper-V 3.0 – What’s Coming?

Robert McLaws at Windows Now released a report recently that shows off a number of the new features that are coming with Hyper-V 3.0. It looks like Microsoft is keeping very, very busy working to close the feature gap between Hyper-V and vSphere. Mr. McLaws has found these juicy tidbits in an X64 version of a leaked Windows 8 build. Note that this is the client build, not the server build, which is curious, but it’s still very early in the development cycle.

So, what’s coming? These are just a few of the highlights:

  • A VHDX disk format. Usable with newer versions of Windows only, supports virtual disks up to 16TB in size).
  • Storage and network resource pools. These resource pools allows you to group and abstract storage resources.
  • Virtual Fibre Channel adapter.
  • Support for more than 4 virtual processors. This is one of Hyper-V’s biggest weaknesses when it comes to pure scale as compared to VMware.
  • Hardware Acceleration. So far, two features are added: Virtual Machine Queue and IPsec offload.
  • Bandwidth Management. Specify minimums and maximums for virtual machine bandwidth utilization.
  • DHCP Guard. Drops DHCP server messages from virtual machines masquerading as DHCP servers.
  • Router Guard. Drops router advertisement and redirection messages from unauthorized virtual machines pretending to be others.
  • Monitor Port. Provides for monitoring of network traffic in and out of a virtual machine. Forwards the information to a monitoring virtual machine.
  • Virtual Switch Extensions. So far, there appear to be two filters added: NDIS Capture LightWeight Filter and WFP vSwitch Layers LightWeight Filter.

At work, I’m a VMware guy but if Microsoft can close the feature gap, I’ll jump ship in a heartbeat. My goal is to have a virtualization layer that just works and is robust. Currently, that means running VMware, but it also means that I pay quite a bit. If I can get the same feature set from Microsoft and save some money in the process, it’s certainly worth a look. For now, however, VMware is the solution.

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