Although VMware is still the clear leader in enterprise virtualization there’s no doubt that Hyper-V has been gaining traction. According to an IDC 2011 study Hyper-V adoption grew 62 percent last year. Other research by Gartner predicted that Hyper-V would have 27 percent of the virtualization market by the end of 2012. Gartner also predicted that 85 percent of businesses with less than 1,000 employees will use Microsoft Hyper-V. Hyper-V’s low-cost alternative to vSphere has let it find its way into organizations for lab and testing purposes, SMB and departmental virtualization, and even as a low-cost way to implement disaster recovery sites.
This trend is sure to continue as the upcomingHyper-V essentially draws even with vSphere in feature parity. For scalability, Server 2012 Hyper-V supports 320 cores and 4TB of RAM per host. It will also support 64 vCPUs and 1TB of RAM per VM. Other important new capabilities will include 64-node clusters, shared-nothing Live Migration, Hyper-V Replica, and built-in NIC teaming.
Server 2012 Hyper-V will continue to be provided as a part of Windows Server 2012, and it will also be available in the free standalone Hyper-V Server 2012 product. With the upcoming Server 2012 release, Microsoft has changed the editions and their support for virtualized instances.
To learn more about the new Server 2012 editions, check out Paul Thurrott’s Windows Server 2012 SKUs Revealed.
A free version of Server 2012 Hyper-V will also be available in the lesser-known Hyper-V Server 2012. Hyper-V Server 2012 has very near feature parity to the version of Hyper-V in Server 2012. The differences are that Hyper-V Server 2012 will have a minimal command-line interface and will provide no guest OS licensing provisions. To find out more about the new Hyper-V Server 2012, check out Sean Deuby’s article Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2012 Release Candidate Now Available
By the way, you might also want to check out the really cool Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V Component Architecture Poster for a quick summary of the new Server 2012 Hyper-V capabilities.