Virtualizing your environment with Microsoft Hyper-V

After having completed 3 more virtualization projects this month, I have decided that anyone who hasn’t done so yet must be the same type of people running CRT monitors, Intel Pentium 4 processors and Windows XP.  So… let me explain the benefits of virtualization.

First of all, if you pay your own electric bill and you have more than 2 servers this will reduce your power bill. The new HP servers, in combination with Windows 2008 R2, have excellent “green” features such as the ability to shut off cores that are not in use (google: p-states). Newer processors run somewhere in the neighborhood of 65 to 80 watts. Older processors fall somewhere above 100 watts. Chalk one up for savings: You are running all of your servers on 1 or 2 servers that can run on a fraction of their cores when idle.

Second… ease of management. If you have ever worked for a company that offers managed services then you know how ridiculous it is to managed a customer with lets say… 10 different physical servers. I’m sure you just love trying to manage 10 open RDP windows. On top of that… one of those 10 physical servers locks up. Does it have iLO? If it does, did I document it? I didn’t… crap, now what! Hyper-V allows you to manage the console of each virtualized server from one server. You can shutdown, restart, pause/save state without having to RDP into the server. You can manage the consoles the way you would manage 10 open word documents (Windows 2008 R2, like Windows 7, has that nifty taskbar grouping feature).

Third… if you spend a little extra dough you should add a second server (hopefully you decided on the enterprise version of Windows Server) and implement a Hyper-V cluster. You can have failover and the ability to avoid downtime even when its time to do all those pesky maintenance tasks. Live migration is pretty awesome, I just wish that when a Hyper-V node crashed, that the server wouldn’t reboot unexpectedly. They should really figure that one out… anyways… FAILOVER AND LESS DOWNTIME.

Lastly, and least important of all… you get to put all your old hardware on eBay… clean out that rack and have it look presentable again. Cosmetic, I know… but any IT guy can appreciate a clean, clutter-free rack space.

Something new to me that I have been playing around with is Microsoft’s Windows Deployment Services in R2… its benefits really stand out in a virtual environment. Deploying new servers, or prepping virtual servers for customers has never been easier.

If you want consulting to see if you can benefit from virtualization, or perhaps you already know the benefits and you need a company with several years of virtualization experience over a wide variety of platforms (yea, yea… VMWare can do it too), head on over to www.dcicorporation.com and drop us a line.

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