We have a page that lists our supported OS’ under Hyper-V here. This is where I need to explain the difference between supported and Yes it works. Supported means that we will help troubleshoot and maybe even provide fixes if there are issues with a guest OS on Hyper-V. While Operating Systems like Windows NT Server 4.0 are no longer supported, they still run just fine on Hyper-V. Yes I’ve installed NT 4.0 Server on my Hyper-V server just to prove it still works. While it works, it is not supported in the sense that Microsoft will provide a fix to NT 4.0 or Hyper-V, if there is an issue identified with NT 4.0 running on Hyper-V.
But VMWare says they support Windows NT on ESX… Right? Well they say NT 4.0 will run, but I took this statement directly from their site:
Operating Systems That the Operating System Vendor No Longer Supports
For operating systems listed in this guide that the operating system vendor no longer supports, VMware may, at its sole discretion, provide support and fixes to VMware products to address problems that are exposed by running such operating systems on a VMware virtual machine. VMware is not responsible for resolving problems with, or providing support or fixes to, the operating system itself.
To me, this reads like they may fix their hypervisor if there’s some bug identified, but no guarantees. The reality at this point though is that there shouldn’t really be any new bugs discovered around NT 4.0 SP6a, which is the version VMware says it supports. And yes, we feel you should be running NT 4.0 SP6a on Hyper-V as well. While I hope you still don’t have to run NT 4.0 in your environment, if you are running it, moving it to a virtual environment will probably make it run a whole lot faster, and give you the ability to run the NT 4.0 workload on a current generation server.
Until next time!