If you are somewhere along the way on your journey to virtualization, you’re probably evaluating your current resources and trying to plan what additional gear you need to buy, what software and tools you need to add, and what you can repurpose from your existing stash. I want to recommend that you consider Hyper-V Server 2012 for some or all of your virtualization hosting needs.

Hyper-V Server 2012 is a completely free, stand-alone, purpose built product which you can download from Microsoft and use in building out your IT infrastructure. It consists of:

  • Core OS
  • Hypervisor
  • Windows Server driver model
  • Key virtualization components

HS 2012 deploys in a smaller footprint than WS 2012 and requires less overhead to operate. It’s fully supported by Microsoft and integrates easily with your Active Directory and other Windows servers, and you have access to the feature-rich CLI that PowerShell provides.

I found this really good session online comparing virtualization platforms (Hyper-V, XenServer and vSphere) and highlighting some very helpful use cases for HS 2012.

Lastly, I thought it might be helpful to give you a comparison of the feature-richness of HS 2012 compared to HS 2008R2 so you can see how MSFT has really improved the robustness of this free product.

FREE Hyper-V

If you haven’t already, please download Unitrends Enterprise Backup and give it a try. It will fully protect your heterogeneous environment, including all your virtual machines as well as your physical servers and storage. Unitrends was first to market with protection for WS 2012, releasing support within 5 days of MSFT’s release.

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About Unitrends

Unitrends increases uptime, productivity and confidence in a world in which IT professionals must do more with less. Unitrends leverages high-availability hardware and software engineering, cloud economics, enterprise power with consumer-grade design, and customer-obsessed support to natively provide all-in-one enterprise backup and continuity. The result is a “one throat to choke” set of offerings that allow customers to focus on their business rather than backup.