Take the 2-minute tour ×
Server Fault is a question and answer site for professional system and network administrators. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Would it be reasonable to run the Standard Server 2012 Edition (as opposed to Hyper-V edition) as a virtualisation host? Obviously there is a performance penalty but I guess it's not that bad - are there other disadvantages?

Background

We want to run a simple setup consisting of a physical server with a couple of VMs, one for Exchange and one for Sharepoint. The users are all remote, not on the domain (it's like having a hosted Exchange and SharePoint service).

We're considering which virtualisation technology to use. As a non-profit organisation, it's important to us that our setup be simple to manage and that it be easy to bring in network admins that maybe aren't that experienced.

One of our guys set up Server 2008 core a while ago and found it was a nightmare - the command line is not familiar for a unix guy and management is a right pain if you're not on the domain, which we're not. So we asked ourselves, if we go with Windows (not yet decided), why not just pay a slight performance penalty and run the Standard Edition as the host? The loss in performance in our case is probably worth it as a trade-off for the ease of use. But one of our guys said that this should be avoided and he would never recommend it as the industry standard is VMWare ESXi, Citrix Xen or Hyper-V.

Is using the Standard 2012 edition as a host OS reasonable?

share|improve this question
add comment

1 Answer

up vote 5 down vote accepted

Obviously there is a performance penalty

Hah? Where is this magically supposed to come from? Hyper-V host is a Standard Core with some services not available for install. The different licensing paperwork will not magically make it faster.

One of our guys set up Server 2008 core a while ago

Hope it was a LONG time ago as this is a technology CURRENTLY 2 generations behind (2008 R2, 2012) and SOON (like next month) 3 generations behind. Now I know some organizations want to run REALLY outdated stuff - maybe he should try windows 95 or DOS as host ;)

found it was a nightmare - the command line is not familiar for a unix guy and management is > a right pain

Because you are not supposed to use it. Hyper-V host is pretty much for people running larger setups where the admin tools run on another computer.

It is technically 100% identically to a similar configured Server Core.

But one of our guys said that this should be avoided and he would never recommend it as the industry standard is VMWare ESXi, Citrix Xen or Hyper-V.

He is one of those people that should be fired. Incompetence showing it's ugly head. On the spot. He seems not to undersand that Hyper-V is the technology - not the server product. There are some advantages to run Hyper-V server (notably: more memory) but you ahve to handle licensing separately (wont go into it).

Anyhow, Hyper-V refers to Hyper-V - no difference between Hyper-V server and the WIndows Server Hyper-V role.

It is totally reasonable to run WIndows Server as host. Has many advantages - especially in smaller setups where you really like having a UI around on your (only?) host.

share|improve this answer
1  
+1 for incompetence. I'm a "Unix guy" and I can find my way around PowerShell with some basic Googling. +1 for Server Core. You don't need a GUI here and you can manage the hypervisor from any Windows machine, even without a domain, using RSAT. Oh crap, I can only upvote once. –  Michael Hampton Oct 5 '13 at 19:19
    
Hell, for that matter, I can manage a Hyper-V hypervisor with my Linux box using libvirt/virsh. –  Michael Hampton Oct 5 '13 at 19:20
    
Performance: Ahh, that's interesting. I didn't realise it was about licencing, I thought the idea was to reduce resource usage by removing the GUI etc. So that's good. Re management on another computer: yeah part of the problem was that he has a Mac. Anyway you have certainly answered the question so thank you. Could you please just briefly explain what you mean by "notably: more memory"? –  Fletch Oct 5 '13 at 19:47
    
That is true - Hyper-V server uses less ressources. But that it - stuff you can remove from Sever STandard (install ServerCore, finished).Notably more memory: Check the amount of memory both Server Standard and Enterprise and Hyper-V server can handle. Hyper-V Server can handle more memory in the box than Server Standard. –  TomTom Oct 6 '13 at 5:44
add comment

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.