Hyper-V RTM

Microsoft has just released the final version of its Hyper-V virtualization engine. This is known as Hyper-V "RTM" for Released To Manufacturing. I'm so interested in how it works that I'm gearing up to do some serious testing on my Road Warrior machine (Dell Latitude D830). In fact, I'm going to make a serious attempt to make Server 2008 the base operating system on that machine. Rumor has it that Server 2008 makes a better workstation OS than Vista, and after Vista SP1 did relatively little to fix Vista's performance problems, I'm willing to try to verify that rumor, assuming I can get all the drivers I need (more on that later), and that my core applications all work OK.

First, let me alert you to some caveats that I've collected in anticipation of installing Hyper-V RTM. One is that if you've been experimenting with Hyper-V beta versions, when you install the RTM code, you will have to recreate your virtual machine settings and your virtual switch settings. Be careful to note down your settings before you apply the update. (The good news is that there's no change to the VHD format, so your virtual hard drives should be fine.) Also be aware that Hyper-V needs to run in a Server 2008 installation on "bare metal" - you can't run Server 2008 in a virtual machine and install Hyper-V on it there. (Probably a good thing from the system overhead standpoint.) The version of Server 2008 has to be 64-bit and RTM, not beta or Release Candidate. Finally, the Hyper-V RTM upgrade is not reversible, so if you're nervous, back up your entire system before installing it.

News flash: Microsoft just last week released an update for Vista clients from which you plan to manage Server 2008 boxes running Hyper-V. It's called the Vista Service Pack 1 Management Tools Update (KB952627) and it's freely downloadable. It consists of the Hyper-V MMC snap-in and a VM connection tool. So, to thoroughly test Hyper-V, you'll need to install the RTM code on a server, and the client update on a Vista admin machine. My hope is that by this time next week, I'll be there, and sharing the experience with you. 

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