The third major version of Hyper-V will be released alongside Windows Server 2012 and Windows 8. It features several new fault tolerance technologies and much greater scalability, including up to a terabyte of memory per virtual machine and 64TB of virtual disk.
Microsoft is starting to push virtualization technology forward, instead of just playing catch-up. As mentioned earlier, Hyper-V currently supports live migration of a VM from one server to another, assuming they share storage. In Hyper-V 3.0, the shared storage requirement is dropped, allowing live migration over nothing more than a network cable.
Hyper-V goes hand-in-hand with Microsoft’s System Center Virtual Machine Manager, software that manages both Hyper-V virtual machines and VMs from competitors VMware and Citrix XenServer. The flexibility of Microsoft’s software makes it easier to deploy multiple hypervisors instead of putting all your eggs in one basket.
Hyper-V is a free download, but so is VMware’s ESXi. Virtualization has basically become a commodity. But customers pay—and keep paying—for software like VMware’s vSphere and Microsoft’s System Center, which makes it possible to manage giant pools of virtualized resources without being on duty 24 hours a day.