Thursday, May 31, 2012

Virtualization on Client OS – Part 2 – Setting up Development Environments on Win 8

In my previous post, I discussed Virtualization Options on Windows 7 Client OS. In this post, I introduce Hyper-V on Windows 8 Client OS.

We all love Microsoft Hyper-V, don’t we? It allows us to have so many different virtual setups on the same limited physical boxes that are available to us.

The big limitation so far was that Hyper-V is only available on Server OS (Win 2008 R2). Many of us have been wishing to have Hyper-V Client OS(Windows 7).

Note: I read a few blog posts that it’s possible to Hyper-V on Windows 7. However, it’s not out of box and does not seem to be straight forward.

Welcome Windows 8, the new Client OS from Microsoft. Windows 8 changes the game. Windows 8 includes the Hyper-V feature out of the box. There is no download required.
 I decided to give it a try on my mid-end Laptop(Intel i3, 4 GB). The installation was smooth sailing.

You have to first enable the Hyper-V feature under Control Panel à Programs à Turn Windows Features On or Off. Select Hyper-V and the check boxes under it and click ok.

It will prompt you to restart the machine, and after the restart, and you are up and running.

The Hyper-V manager interface is similar to the one on Windows 2008 R2. I setup a Virtual Machine using the Virtual Hard Disc (.vhd) that I had previously copied. It was smooth sailing all the way.

Hyper-V is more than software virtualization. It also includes Hardware assisted Virtualization. There are minimal hardware requirements that you need to have which are documented by MS as follows:
Hyper-V requires a 64-bit system that has Second Level Address Translation (SLAT). SLAT is a feature present in the current generation of 64-bit processors by Intel & AMD. You’ll also need a 64-bit version of Windows 8, and at least 4GB of RAM. Hyper-V does support creation of both 32-bit and 64-bit operating systems in the VMs.

So if I have a laptop running Client OS, what are the options for Virtualization????

·         Virtual Box on Windows 7 which I described in my previous post
·         Hyper-V on Windows 8
·         VMWare products (provided you or your project is willing to spend on the license fee)

The above is not all inclusive list, and there may be many other great Virtualization products out there.

My Recommendation:
Hyper-V is one big feature because of which many of our Development/Test teams might want to switch from Windows 7 to Windows 8.
For teams like SharePoint, we can set up a SharePoint Farm having different WFE/App Servers on single machine (provided you have sufficient RAM).

Best way is to upgrade to Win 8, activate and use it. Get your hands dirty.

I will conclude the series by answering some FAQ’s related to Virtualization, 32 bit/64 bit OS, and Win 8.

Update (16/03/2013): Client Hyper-V is available only on Windows 8 Pro and Enterprise. Its not available for basic Windows 8  and Windows  RT.


Prakash Idnani said...

Wonderful article Vinay..!!

Vinay Bhatia said...

Thanks Prakash