On the 30’th of April 2008 we held the Heroes happen here community launch for Windows server 2008 in Cape Town. I spoke on Windows Server 2008 new features with particular emphasis on the Hyper-V role.
What made this launch event really special for me is that I managed to get by with zero slides, due to a fully functional Intel server kindly loaned to me by Intel and Microsoft Partners netService in Cape Town. Having this kind of hardware available to a community demo, made the difference between "yet another demo" and "Oh Wow", which is what Server 2008 new features are about.
I managed to show the native Hyper-V support in the Windows 2008 server kernel, and feedback was awesome. One of the attendees said "I finally understand the hype about Hyper-V" – more to follow towards the end of the post.
As I mentioned in my previous post, I needed a hardware sponsor to do a large amount of virtualization. At the same time I had a the Windows 2008 Community launch coming up. netService kindly custom built me an Intel server to use for the demo!
The server used an entry level server board the S3200SH. What makes this board so amazing is that I could use desktop components to build a server platform, since the board accepts both server and desktop spec hardware. The server configuration was as following:
Intel Core 2 Duo Desktop processor E8200, 2.6 GHZ 133FSB with 6MB cache
4 x 2GB Trancend DIMMS
2 x 500GB Seagate SATA drives with 32 MB Cache, RAID 1 hardware mirror
This effectively allowed me to demo the Hyper-V capabilities using hardware virtualization made available courtesy of the server board and a total setup cost around the R10 000 mark excluding software and CALs. That’s right, IU was able to demonstrate hardware based virtualization on server hardware in a rack-able chassis for around R10 000. At our current Exchange rate, that’s just under $1500.00 US. This same platform can easily run SBS 2008 or EBS 2008.
Let me get back to the big deal here: Yes, Hyper-V is still in beta, and so are the System Centre extensions for it and everything else, and yes ESX has been doing this stuff for 7 years and is really good at it, BUT for someone like me who spends a LOT of time building and running VM’s, and for most small businesses who’d like to virtualize their apps, this SERIOUSLY lowers the barrier to entry, especially if you’ve had a look at the ESX HCL lately! I can run hardware based virtualization on a 64 bit platform for not much money at all, and that’s a big deal!