With all the news about the release of the first public look at Windows 7 something might have slipped past you and that was the release of Windows Server 2008 R2. As you might imagine there are quite a few upgrades and improvements and there is a great four page document that covers the Top 10 IT Pro Tasks Made Easier with Server 2008 R2 as well as a PowerPoint that gives a Windows Server 2008 R2 Overview and finally a Windows Server 2008 R2 Reviewers Guide that covers off everything new and different.
Probably the biggest changes, or at least the most important ones in my mind being a virtualization guy, are those related to Hyper-V 2.0. During TechDays one of the most often asked questions was around QuickMigration vs. VMotion and the associated downtime with with a Quick Migration vs. a VMotion migration. Well Hyper-V 2.0 now supports Live Migration which provides seemless migration of VMs between hosts in a cluster with no loss of connectivity, no downtime! Finally I can answer that question, now all I need is the hardware to demo it!
There are a couple of other new bits in there as well, like support for 32 logical processors (v1 supports 24), hot add/remove of storage so you no longer have to take a VM down to add another VHD to it and the ability to boot from a VHD allowing you to mount a VM on physical hardware if necessary. Lastly is something called Second Level Address Translation (SLAT) which takes advantage of new processor features to reduce the load on the hypervisor and increase performance. I haven’t looked into this too much to see what CPU requirements there are or how it works but I will be attending a Windows Server 2008 R2 Airlift in Redmond after TechDays Vancouver and you can be sure I’ll be sharing everything I learn there!
Oh I almost forgot, for those of you using Microsoft Hyper-V Server, there is an R2 version of that as well that adds the same support and new features as above but also adds Windows Server Failover Clustering to the mix allowing you to add high availability and Live Migration capabilities to your free Hyper-V Server deployments!