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Hyper-V Server 2012 or Server 2012 R2 w/ Hyper-V? RRS feed

  • Question

  • Hello everyone, is there a recommended way of implementing this? I'm not too certain what the advantages or disadvantages are for using one over the other. 

    We are currently and ESX shop and are considering migrating to Hyper-V, before doing so however I would like to see what our options are and which is the best route to take.

    Any thoughts on using Hyper-V Server 2012 over Server 2012 R2 w/ Hyper-V?

    Thanks!

    Wednesday, February 11, 2015 4:41 PM

Answers

  • Hi,

    What size is your planned deployment?

    The free, standalone Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2012 has all the features of the Hyper-V role found in Windows Server 2012 R2 including the new scalability, Shared Nothing Live Migration, virtual fibre channel, live storage move, RemoteFX, failover clustering, and more. It can also be managed by System Center 2012 R2 and Windows 8.1 Remote Server Administration Tools (RSAT).

    It doesn't contain other Windows Server roles, which makes sense as it's a free hypervisor. Because it doesn't have other roles and is running in Server Core configuration level, its disk footprint is very small.

    What you don't get with Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2012 R2 are any guest virtual instance rights for server OSs (you get two with Windows Server 2012 Standard and an unlimited number with Windows Server 2012 Datacenter). You would therefor have to buy licenses for all guest OS.

    Regards Michael
    • Proposed as answer by Michael Coutanche Wednesday, February 11, 2015 5:39 PM
    • Marked as answer by Elton_Ji Saturday, February 14, 2015 3:27 AM
    Wednesday, February 11, 2015 5:39 PM
  • Always consider moving to the latest release. 

    This goes for any platform.  Would you really implement the last release of ESX and not the latest?

    In this case that is Hyper-V 2012 R2.

    Hyper-V is released in 3 'flavors':

    • Hyper-V Server - this is the free SKU, equivalent to ESX w/o vCenter
    • Windows Server Core with Hyper-V Role
    • Windows Server Full with Hyper-V Role

    The two Windows Server + Hyper-V Role options give you:

    • Instance granting licensing for Windows Server VMs (see your MSFT licensing folks).
    • Attack surface (cure has no GUI and therefore far fewer patches and requires remote administration).

    The free Hyper-V Server has all the functionality of the other two options.  The only difference is licensing related.

    Also, the license granting speak that you will read does not impact the number of VMs that the system can run in any way.  It only relates to OS licensing in the VMs.


    Brian Ehlert
    http://ITProctology.blogspot.com
    Learn. Apply. Repeat.

    • Proposed as answer by Tim CerlingMVP Thursday, February 12, 2015 12:47 AM
    • Marked as answer by Elton_Ji Saturday, February 14, 2015 3:27 AM
    Wednesday, February 11, 2015 5:40 PM

All replies

  • Hi,

    What size is your planned deployment?

    The free, standalone Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2012 has all the features of the Hyper-V role found in Windows Server 2012 R2 including the new scalability, Shared Nothing Live Migration, virtual fibre channel, live storage move, RemoteFX, failover clustering, and more. It can also be managed by System Center 2012 R2 and Windows 8.1 Remote Server Administration Tools (RSAT).

    It doesn't contain other Windows Server roles, which makes sense as it's a free hypervisor. Because it doesn't have other roles and is running in Server Core configuration level, its disk footprint is very small.

    What you don't get with Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2012 R2 are any guest virtual instance rights for server OSs (you get two with Windows Server 2012 Standard and an unlimited number with Windows Server 2012 Datacenter). You would therefor have to buy licenses for all guest OS.

    Regards Michael
    • Proposed as answer by Michael Coutanche Wednesday, February 11, 2015 5:39 PM
    • Marked as answer by Elton_Ji Saturday, February 14, 2015 3:27 AM
    Wednesday, February 11, 2015 5:39 PM
  • Always consider moving to the latest release. 

    This goes for any platform.  Would you really implement the last release of ESX and not the latest?

    In this case that is Hyper-V 2012 R2.

    Hyper-V is released in 3 'flavors':

    • Hyper-V Server - this is the free SKU, equivalent to ESX w/o vCenter
    • Windows Server Core with Hyper-V Role
    • Windows Server Full with Hyper-V Role

    The two Windows Server + Hyper-V Role options give you:

    • Instance granting licensing for Windows Server VMs (see your MSFT licensing folks).
    • Attack surface (cure has no GUI and therefore far fewer patches and requires remote administration).

    The free Hyper-V Server has all the functionality of the other two options.  The only difference is licensing related.

    Also, the license granting speak that you will read does not impact the number of VMs that the system can run in any way.  It only relates to OS licensing in the VMs.


    Brian Ehlert
    http://ITProctology.blogspot.com
    Learn. Apply. Repeat.

    • Proposed as answer by Tim CerlingMVP Thursday, February 12, 2015 12:47 AM
    • Marked as answer by Elton_Ji Saturday, February 14, 2015 3:27 AM
    Wednesday, February 11, 2015 5:40 PM
  • Thanks Michael and Brian. My apologies in missing the R2 tag for the Hyper-V Server 2012 instance - it was intended and missed. As for licensing, we do have DC licensing which is why we are moving to Hyper-V to begin with. I just really wanted to know if there was a 'Hyper-V' functionality difference between Hyper-V server and Windows Server w/ Hyper-V. 

    For our environment I would prefer having a GUI this way anyone of the team members, even those without a lot of technical experience (our VP) can log into the host machine and setup a VM, view the status of a VM or whatever the case may be without needing to go through all the 'seemingly' complicated steps of installing RSAT. We do have SCCM 2012, however, we have not yet implemented the R2 update and some folks have no access to it. It sounds like Server 2012 R2 with Hyper-V is going to be the way to go for us as ur virtual environment is not that large - 60-70 VMs.

    I appreciate the responses. Thanks gentlemen.

    Wednesday, February 11, 2015 9:09 PM
  • No problem.

    One thing to mention here is that with 2012 R2 you can remove and add the GUI at anytime. So if you felt you wanted to cut down the amount of windows updates, or stop users jumping on the hyper-v hosts, you can just remove the GUI. Should you then need it back on a host to help with maintenance, it can be rolled back on. Its also possible to remotely mange the hosts either by importing them into serve manger on another server or via PowerShell.

    Good luck with the build!

    Monday, February 16, 2015 3:44 PM