September’s TechNet Newsletter Q&A

As promised, I am publishing the best questions and their answers that I received over the previous month:

Q. We run our website on Windows Server 2008 R2.  In testing we are seeing a delay of anywhere between 4-15 secs every time we load a particular page. Help!

A. There is a feature in IIS7.5 (the version in 2008 R2) called failed-request tracing.  Basically you turn it on and configure it to trace any event (in your case pages that take more than a few seconds to load).  The tracing can be as detailed as you want.  More info here:  It won’t fix the issue obviously – but will pinpoint where to look.

Q. My customer is deploying a number of Branch Servers with Hyper-V and wants to use a Windows 2008 R2 Enterprise License for the Physical Server and deploy four guest machines. What OS can they install in the guest VMs?

A. Windows Licensing is hypervisor agnostic (it doesn’t make a difference if you’re using Hyper-V or VMware or Xen or whatever). If you assign an Enterprise license to a physical box, the license entitles you to run four VMs of either Enterprise or Standard editions. As your customer is deploying this as a Branch Server, this is irrelevant to you, but worth mentioning anyway: The license is assigned to the physical box – so if this was a failover cluster and one node could end up running more than four VMs, it needs to be licensed for that (for the maximum number of VMs it could ever run). You can assign more than one Enterprise license to each physical node (to allow them to run 8 or 12 VMs for example) or you could simply license each physical box with Datacentre edition, which allows you run as many VMs as your servers will allow (and they can run Datacentre, Enterprise or Standard).

Q. Does VMware’s new licensing model make looking at Hyper-V common sense?

A. The basic principle for VMware licensing model is: The more memory your Virtual Machines consume, the more licenses you require.  This is called vRAM entitlement.  With the above in mind:

  1. Its hard to tell what future memory requirements might be for your key applications.  If your organization grows or the next software version requires more RAM you may have to pay more for your VMware license.
  2. You cannot know for sure what the developers of your internal custom developed applications are going to do. Applications tend to expand in functionality over time, and as they expand in functionality they tend to use more memory.
  3. You cannot know for sure what VMware is going to do with vRAM entitlements as CPU price/performance continues down the road of Moore’s law (a doubling of price/performance every 18 months). From VMware’s perspective, this new pricing is simply designed to ensure that the number of vSphere licenses that you require does not get cut in half if you replace 100 existing servers with 50 new ones each of which have twice the memory of the previous one. However, this march toward increased density will ultimately cause many customers to buy more licenses than they had before, which is what people want to guard against.

Hyper-V is part of Windows.  The Datacentre Edition Virtualisation rights give customers FLAT costs for infrastructure.  There are fewer variables with an MS solution.  So, yes looking at Hyper-V makes perfect sense!


Comments (1)

  1. Aidan Finn says:

    For the branch office host question, Dave has covered off your entitlement nicely.  The up to date supported OS list is on the TechNet WIki at…/2761.aspx.  

    You might want to consider manging those remote hosts using a central VMM server.  You can do this; you just need to make sure that you keep a local library file share in the branch office for content distribution.  Things like data transfer will happen directly between the library and host, P2V will happen between the physical machine and host, etc.