25 January 2013

Windows 8 Hyper-V limitations

One of the coolest things about Windows 8 is that you now have Hyper-V available to you.  No more do you have a need to run Windows Server on your desktop just to get Hyper-V.   Having said that, there are a few differences or limitation on the Windows 8 Hyper-V (client)compared to the Window Server Hyper-V (server)

First up let's just highlight one thing.  Hyper-V on the Windows 8 desktop operating system is not intended as an alternative to Windows server.  It is intended and does a great job of being a personal proper full feature virtual platform.

System Requirements:
Windows 8 Pro or Enterprise x64
RAM: 4 GB
CPU: Needs to Support SLAT (Intel i3, i5, i7  or  AMD Opteron 3rd Gen) enabled in BIOS
Storage : 20GB for OS and Additional space per VM

Adding Hyper-V features
To install or enable Hyper-V you can perform the Add or Remove Windows Features

Check Hyper-V select Management tool to install all the tools including PowerShell CMDlets
Check Hyper-V platform to install the actual Hyper Visor.

Or you can run the following PowerShell command

enable-WindowsOptionalFeature -Online -FeatureName Microsoft-Hyper-V -All

Compare Windows 8 to Windows 2012 features

When you add you local machine to the Hyper-V management console and you compare it to a Server based Host you will notice that Windows 8 lacks the following features

Physical GPU
Live Migrations
Replication Configuration

There are also a few differences on the following:

Numa Spanning
Enabled  by default on server not in client

Storage Migration
Limited to moving virtual drive on the local machine only.  You cannot move or run a virtual machine from a SMB 3 file share.

Virtual Switch Extentions
Client does not support Microsoft VMM DHCPv4 Server Switch extention

Virtual hardware
Client does not offer RemoteFX 3D Video Adapter

Management:
Both the client and the server version can be managed through the Hyper-V management console.  Both are also fully support in PowerShell.  Here is one big limitation....

Client cannot be managed with System Centre Virtual Machine Manager (VMM)

Conclusion
Hyper-V in Windows 8 is a great local virtual platform and support almost all of the virtual features.  It is not geared for moving virtual machines across host or to be managed with VMM.

Side Note:  If you want full Hyper-V functionality without having to pay for a Windows Server License - check out Windows Hyper-V Server 2012 it is free and supports EVERYTHING!

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