Microsoft Hyper-V allows the creation of virtual computing (VC) environments to run and manage multiple operating systems or software versions on a single physical server.
It allows a configured server computer to expose individual virtual machines (VMs) to one or more networks. This provides more flexibility, saves time, and is a more efficient and cost-effective way to use hardware.
Hyper-V can also run each virtual machine in its own isolated space that allows running multiple VMs on the same hardware at the same time.
See below to learn all about Microsoft Hyper-V and where it stands in the hypervisor sector:
Microsoft and the hypervisor market
The virtualization market was valued at $62.7 billion in 2020, and it is expected to reach $120.41 billion by 2026, registering a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 11.5% from 2021 to 2026.
The hypervisor sector in particular is increasing with the demands of administrators. The hypervisor market was valued at $720 million in 2020, and it is expected to reach $4.45 billion by 2027, registering a CAGR of 29.78% from 2021 to 2027, according to Maximize Market Research. Microsoft Hyper-V is one of the market leaders, with an estimated 10.66% of the hypervisor market share.
See all about the Storage Virtualization Market.
Microsoft Hyper-V key features
Microsoft Hyper-V has a feature set that provides effective and efficient services, such as:
Virtual computing environment
Hyper-V VMs have the components of a physical computer, including a processor, memory, storage, and networking, and they provide flexibility for provisioning the computing resources. As end-user requirements, the components can be configured in several ways.
Back and recovery
Hyper-V Replica can be used to replicate for recovery and creates copies of VMs that are stored in several physical locations to ensure higher availability and quick restoration. There are two types of backup — one uses saved states and the other uses Volume Shadow Copy Service (VSS), which allows application-consistent backups for programs that support VSS.
Portability and remote connectivity
Hyper-V offers several features that make it easier to move or distribute a VM, such as storage migration, live migration, and import/export. Hyper-V has Virtual Machine Connection, a remote connection tool used with both Windows and Linux. The tool gives console access and allows users to see what’s happening in the guest even when the OS isn’t booted yet.
Microsoft Hyper-V is used by companies for several reasons, including higher availability, ease of use, faster deployment, and low licensing cost:
“Hyper-V gets the job done while being included in the cost of Windows Server. Hyper-V is used across the whole organization. It solves the problem of agility, not having to purchase a physical for every function needed, saves money, allows for maintenance during business hours, etc.” -Jeffrey Sabotin, director of IT, RealTime Services
“This is an easy system with intuitive capabilities for effective virtualization and great functions for multiple big data transportation across other platforms through Cloud services. The interface of Hyper-V is a clean and very accessible tool. Hyper-V deployment and the features configuration are easy and their performance on cloud services is excellent.” -Alex Wilson, project manager, Omobono
“Hyper-V is great for the right scenarios. Remains basic, but does the job and is easy to use. Hyper-V comes with specific Microsoft licenses to our organization so we use it as a ‘freebie,’ which makes it more desirable in some cases than any other virtualization solution simply because we don’t need to pay hefty Enterprise-grade licenses. We do use Hyper-V in a rather simplistic way — host servers and guest VMs on each one. However, for this purpose alone we are pretty satisfied with what we get. In a previous company, I was a part of the efforts for automated provisioning of VMs in Hyper-V, and even though it required a lot of reading semi-internal documentation and some in-depth posts, we got it running in a pretty stable state.” -Borislav Traykov, DevOps team leader, Cognyte
Some of the key areas of differentiation for Microsoft Hyper-V in the space include:
Hardware and software virtualization
Hyper-V VMs offer a complete hardware and software virtualization that has the components of a physical computer. The components can be configured in many different ways based on requirements. In addition, its remote connectivity tool allows administrators to access VMs remotely without booting the guest operating system.
Integration and migration
Customized drivers and services support guest OSs on a Hyper-V VM. The Live Migration feature supports several types of migrations for moving a VM from one host to another without suspending running applications. Hyper-V’s storage migration allows administrators to migrate or distribute a file system across separate storage locations without downtime.
Optimization and security
Each supported guest OS has integration services that make Hyper-V easier to use and optimize the OS in the VCs. The secure boot and shielded VMs help protect against malware and other unauthorized access. Moreover, Hyper-V has some important security features, such as encrypted networks, guarded fabric, host guardian services (HGS), and shielded VMs. Hyper-V client-side security protections include Credential Guard, HVCI, and others.
User reviews of Microsoft Hyper-V
Microsoft Hyper-V receives mostly positive reviews from users at several review sites. Users rate Hyper-V at 4.5 out of 5, and 84% would recommend it, according to Gartner Peer Insights.
In addition, users at Gartner Peer Insights rate customer experience as:
- Evaluation and contracting 4.5 out of 5
- Integration and deployment 4.5 out of 5
- Service and support 4.3 out of 5
- Product capabilities 4.5 out of 5
Users at PeerSpot rate Hyper-V with 3.7 out of 5.0.
At TrustRadius, Hyper-V is rated well in several customer experience categories, with an overall rating of 8.4 out of 10. Other Popular features rated at TrustRadius include:
- Live virtual machine backup 8.5 out of 10
- Hypervisor-level security 8.2 out of 10
- Live virtual machine migration 8.2 out of 10
- Management console 8.0 out of 10
- Server virtualization 8.2 out of 10
Microsoft offers Hyper-V through five pricing editions from $24.95 to $199 as well as free with other services:
- Developer edition $24.95 per month
- Bronze edition $49 per month
- Silver edition $89 per month
- Gold edition $135 per month
- Platinum edition $199 per month
“Hyper-V has provided for an extremely cost-effective virtual environment with disaster recovery,” says Nathan Roberts, director of management information systems, CareerSource Florida.
“For the size of our business, it’s all we need to ensure our desired level of continuity of services and protection against hardware failures.”
Looking for a server virtualization product?: VMware: vSphere Review.