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Difference between clustering feature in WIndows server 2008 R2 Hyper-V role and Hyper-V 2008 R2? RRS feed

  • Question

  • Hi,

    I am planning to order two new server and install Hyper-V 2008 R2 for setting host clustering and Live migration. But I am confuse the difference in clustering feature between Widows Server 2008 R2 Hyper-V role and Hyper-V 2008 R2? I read that Hyper-V 2008 R2 supports host clustering... does it mean only guest supports clustering? What about Hyper-V 2008 R2 itself?

    On the other hand, what does Windows Server 2008 R2 Hyper-V role offer differently in clustering feature?

    Thanks.

    Thursday, July 15, 2010 11:45 PM

Answers

  • I'll first clarify a few things.  Hyper-V is nothing more than a role built into Server 2008 and Server 2008 R2, just the same as Clustering and IIS.  There is also a free standalone product of Hyper-V Server 2008 R2, but this is really nothing more than a stripped down version of Server 2008 R2 Core with Hyper-V and Clustering available.  Its really meant for testing in lab environments since its such a limited product, and provides no licensing for guests. 

    With that being clarified, Hyper-V Server 2008 R2 (the free product) again includes no licensing.  You will have to purchase individual licenses for each VM, which is not cost effective.  Server 2008 R2 Standard does not support clustering, so even if you install Hyper-V, it won't meet your needs.  You honestly need to look at Server 2008 R2 Enterprise or Datacenter edition to get what you want.  Enterprise licenses you for 4 VMs on top of the Host OS, and more Enterprise licenses can be purchased to cover additional VMs.  Eventually, this stacking of licenses can become cost ineffective and make you look at Datacenter as the alternative (priced per CPU), which gives unlimited VM licensing.

    When it comes to clustering, clustering is clustering is clustering.  The only thing that makes it different for Hyper-V with Live Migration is the use of Cluster Shared Volumes (CSVs).  CSVs give the ability for all nodes on the cluster to actively use a LUN, allowing fewer resources to be transfered during migration.  To my knowledge, Hyper-V is the only service that supports CSVs.  You can also utilize the cluster as an Active-Active cluster, allowing both nodes to be used at once.  Just be aware that in case of failure, you need to make sure resources are available for the VMs to transfer and continue running on the surviving host.

    Friday, July 16, 2010 1:20 AM
  • Hi,

     

    I read that Hyper-V 2008 R2 supports host clustering... does it mean only guest supports clustering?

     

    >> If you have Windows Server 2008 R2, you can install it on two or more physical computers with compatible with Hyper-V, enable Hyper-V role on them. After that, you can build Hyper-V Failover Cluster between these physical computers.

     

    You can also create several Windows Server 2008 R2 VMs and then set cluster between them, they are cluster between VMs instead of physical computers.

     

    However, if you have Hyper-V Server 2008 R2, you can only install them on physical computers and then build Hyper-V Failover Cluster between these physical computers. However, you can’t install Hyper-V Server 2008 R2 into VMs and then build cluster between these VMs.

     

     

    Best Regards,

    Vincent Hu

     

    • Marked as answer by Vincent Hu Tuesday, July 20, 2010 6:24 AM
    Friday, July 16, 2010 5:43 AM

All replies

  • I'll first clarify a few things.  Hyper-V is nothing more than a role built into Server 2008 and Server 2008 R2, just the same as Clustering and IIS.  There is also a free standalone product of Hyper-V Server 2008 R2, but this is really nothing more than a stripped down version of Server 2008 R2 Core with Hyper-V and Clustering available.  Its really meant for testing in lab environments since its such a limited product, and provides no licensing for guests. 

    With that being clarified, Hyper-V Server 2008 R2 (the free product) again includes no licensing.  You will have to purchase individual licenses for each VM, which is not cost effective.  Server 2008 R2 Standard does not support clustering, so even if you install Hyper-V, it won't meet your needs.  You honestly need to look at Server 2008 R2 Enterprise or Datacenter edition to get what you want.  Enterprise licenses you for 4 VMs on top of the Host OS, and more Enterprise licenses can be purchased to cover additional VMs.  Eventually, this stacking of licenses can become cost ineffective and make you look at Datacenter as the alternative (priced per CPU), which gives unlimited VM licensing.

    When it comes to clustering, clustering is clustering is clustering.  The only thing that makes it different for Hyper-V with Live Migration is the use of Cluster Shared Volumes (CSVs).  CSVs give the ability for all nodes on the cluster to actively use a LUN, allowing fewer resources to be transfered during migration.  To my knowledge, Hyper-V is the only service that supports CSVs.  You can also utilize the cluster as an Active-Active cluster, allowing both nodes to be used at once.  Just be aware that in case of failure, you need to make sure resources are available for the VMs to transfer and continue running on the surviving host.

    Friday, July 16, 2010 1:20 AM
  • Hello,

    Hyper-V Server 2008 R2 and Windows Server 2008 R2 w/ Hyper-V are very similar:

    *  They are both built on the Windows Server 2008 R2 platform

    *  They both support failover clustering, enabling live migration of VMs and CSV volumes

    *  They both support a large number of VMs.

    Check out the comparison grid on this site:

    http://www.microsoft.com/hyper-v-server/en/us/default.aspx

     

    The principal difference between Hyper-V Server 2008 R2 and Windows Server 2008 R2 w/ Hyper-V are these:

    *  Hyper-V Server 2008 R2 (the free product) does not include licensing for guests, as it is a free product.

    *  Hyper-V Server 2008 R2 only support Hyper-V.  It does not support other server roles, which frankly, you wouldn't want to install anyway.

     

    I've used them both in large virtualization projects, though I always prefer to use datacenter because of its licensing advantages, opportunity to support other roles, and option to be installed with the full GUI.

     

    Nathan Lasnoski


    http://blog.concurrency.com/author/nlasnoski/
    Friday, July 16, 2010 4:31 AM
  • Hi,

     

    I read that Hyper-V 2008 R2 supports host clustering... does it mean only guest supports clustering?

     

    >> If you have Windows Server 2008 R2, you can install it on two or more physical computers with compatible with Hyper-V, enable Hyper-V role on them. After that, you can build Hyper-V Failover Cluster between these physical computers.

     

    You can also create several Windows Server 2008 R2 VMs and then set cluster between them, they are cluster between VMs instead of physical computers.

     

    However, if you have Hyper-V Server 2008 R2, you can only install them on physical computers and then build Hyper-V Failover Cluster between these physical computers. However, you can’t install Hyper-V Server 2008 R2 into VMs and then build cluster between these VMs.

     

     

    Best Regards,

    Vincent Hu

     

    • Marked as answer by Vincent Hu Tuesday, July 20, 2010 6:24 AM
    Friday, July 16, 2010 5:43 AM
  • >>>However, if you have Hyper-V Server 2008 R2, you can only install them on physical computers and then build Hyper-V Failover Cluster between these physical computers

    Did u mean enable "Failover clustering feature" on item 11 from Hyper-V server 2008 R2 (Sorry, I could not test it myself since I only have one server with Hyper-V server 2008 R2) If this Failover clustering feauture for the physical servers assume if i bought two new servers.... What about VMs guest? What exactly does host clustering offer? Failover clusting to both physical servers and VMs as well if someone can clarify.

    Thanks.

    Friday, July 16, 2010 7:38 PM
  • Hi,

     

    If you have Hyper-V Server 2008 R2, you can install it on physical computers and then build cluster between two physical computers.

     

    If you have Windows Server 2008 R2, you can install it on physical computers, then you can build cluster between two physical computer too. Or you can install it within virtual machines, and then you can build cluster between two virtual machines. In some environment, for example, you only have one Hyper-V computer and you want to test a file server cluster, you can do it with the latter.

     

    By the way, please elaborate your environment.

     

     

    Best Regards,

    Vincent Hu

     

    Monday, July 19, 2010 9:14 AM