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Hyper-V Server 2022

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Anyone know whether there will be a Hyper-V Server 2022? i.e. the free version which is just for running VMs and has no GUI?

 

I've seen mentions on forums that this SKU is being dropped, but not found anything official.

 

Thanks

191 Replies
$24 per core per month is nonsense for SMBs. On average I guess it's one host with 8cores and 6 VMs. You can easily license this with Standard core licences vs roughly 14 months of AHCI subscription. So you're overpaying next year... please feel free to correct me.
$200 monthly for the entire life of the host is just not acceptable for SMB environment I think.

So just give us back our beloved hyper-v SKU and we can close this thread :face_savoring_food:
Direct from Elden's profile
"Elden Christensen is a Principal PM Manager in the Core OS group working on Windows Server. Elden has been one of the core leaders in defining Microsoft’s Private Cloud story from its conception and is currently driving Azure Stack HCI."

From Elden's profile who one of those currently responsible for growing azure stack HCI. To make that happen they made the decision to try hit their goals faster by kneecapping an existing product instead of actually making asure stack hci a compelling product.

Cant say I'm surprised overall, hyper-v core had a growing userbase, why not try and take that userbase and just pivot it to a separate business growth metric for a fast win, then use that to leverage for a promotion or a bonus.

@itjamie 

 

That isn't really fair. Sounds like they are trying to grow the evolution of virtual systems and by extension, revenue. In larger deployments, Stack would be wonderful. In SMB it has no place at all as it exists now.

 

My suggestion is simply to create a free tier of stack that works with a single host. Paywall all the fancy features like clustering, and just let it have feature parity with HVS. That solves all problems and allows for direct upgrade/growth path to Azure for all companies.

 

Not sure why they are not jumping on that, it is win win win. 

@Elden Christensen I just have to say that as a manager for corporate infrastructure that has largely depended on Microsoft's virtualization platform for our numerous locations, this decision has me VERY concerned.

 

We have used the Hyper-V Server 2016 and 2019 platforms for server testing and development before deploying to our paid Standard and Datacenter hosts, and we were exploring the use of Hyper-V Server 2019 to facilitate a potential VDI solution towards CMMC compliance, but given this latest bad decision on the part of Microsoft, we will likely be moving back to a VMWare-based solution.

 

As someone who has spent better than a decade as a Hyper-V evangelist, moving multiple companies and clients off competing hypervisors, I actually feel personally betrayed by Microsoft as a result of this decision.

 

This was short-sighted and highly disrespectful to admins and developers that made the case for using Microsoft's hypervisor over competitors, and it's going to drive smaller companies and new developers and admins to non-Microsoft products.

 

For a lot of new people in the field (and small business/startup), Hyper-V Server was the "toe in the water" towards a larger and more expensive Windows Server virtualized infrastructure, and you are slamming that door in the faces of the next generation of admins and businesses.

 

I fear that Microsoft will reverse this decision eventually, but not until the damage is done and you have driven off that entry-userbase into competing products.

@Nick Krewson 

I think you just summed up everyone's feelings towards this.

Well said.

 

62.1K Views and always any solutions...
You won't be the only one, friend
I have just started using TrueNAS SCALE which recently hit release and it's the best replacement I have found yet. The point being, there is a lot of other competition out there, Microsoft should have kept this up, because now they will lose market share.
Hello !

Do you have public social place (like discord, forum, etc) where we can speak about that?
I recently try truenas scale (to replace Ovios), but I never imagine it was good for hypervising...

So, i'm very interessed by your experience.

Thank in advance !

@Elden Christensen 

 

I'll throw in my $0.02 on this change as a tech enthusiast. I'm an IT manager at an SMB. I've spent 7 years here getting rid of ALL linux servers. We are literally 100% on MS now. Its been a long time coming. This change will affect literally $0 of next purchase. We buy windows server and its absolutely not going to get MS any extra money. Which is good for our business that this change won't cost us anything extra.

 

However, here at my homelab, I play around with lots of MS stuff and this change WILL affect me. I have multiple blogs hosted on Azure Static Web Apps. I have discord bots running on Azure Functions instances. I love PowerShell and Azure and MS. And I'm not willing to pay for Server just to have a VM host. Instead, I've spent the last few days venturing out into the lands of the Free replacements. ProxMox, XNG, ESXi, etc. I'll soon be moving my homelab entirely over to ProxMox.

 

Honestly, this is stuff that I never even LOOKED at because I was 100% in on MS and Azure. And now that I'm looking outside MS for my home lab VM host, there is a chance that I start doing more of it outside the MS ecosystem. I dunno, honestly. If you want me to use Hyper-V in my spare time so that I am more familiar with it when purchasing for the business, I need there to be some free tier for my homelab. At present, removing the free sku means that my free time will not be spent with Hyper-V. Up to you to decide if that matters.

 

I hope the feedback is helpful.

@Szeraax Thank you for the thoughtful feedback.  For kicking the tires and trying it out we currently have two options:

1.  Free Trial - This was originally 30-days, but we bumped it up to 60-days based on feedback.  I've even seen some customers script rebuild test systems to reset the trial timer.   Azure Stack HCI 60-Day Free Trial Now Available | Azure updates | Microsoft Azure

2.  Preview Channel - The Preview Channel gives early access to bits, but is not supported in production and comes without CSS support.    Join the Azure Stack HCI preview channel - Azure Stack HCI | Microsoft Docs

 

Note:  We also heard the feedback, which is important for your scenario to support 1-node... that's coming soon.

 

Do either of the above suit your home lab needs?  If not, do you need full functionality?  What if there was a mode that had significantly reduced functionality but allowed basic VM hosting?  Such as maybe removing enterprise grade / production critical features... like clustering / HA?  VM mobility?  DR capabilities? 

 

Thanks!
Elden

Hi @Elden Christensen good to hear from you again.

With option 2, to have access to a fully featured Preview Channel for free and without time or other limits but on the condition that you will be forced to install updates early to be the 'Guinea pig' (Similar to how the Windows Home users protect the Enterprise users) I think is a reasonable tradeoff/compromise. If we are getting something for free, putting in more testing and risk is reasonable. It also helps you avoid rolling out dodgy updates - We only know that Microsoft really need to improve on testing, the January 2022 Windows Updates were horrendous. We are also generally early adopters using it for our home labs and such so it would be good to try new features and give the early feedback.

The trick here is running an effective Insider Program where the feedback is actually taken on board. So, you would probably want to offer an extremely basic level of support for the purposes of Beta testing. A forum for HCI Insiders would be nice too, when we get together, we can make better feedback. If you don't run it, we'd just gather on other Forums anyway so not a big deal if you don't.

As far as being "not supported and without access to support", I am not fully sure what the implication is when that is said. Does that mean that you'd actually try to prevent running production workload with some kind of technical or licensing limitation? Because that would be a deal breaker. If it is just a case of making it clear "Here you go but you are on your own if something goes wrong" that that is fair, and what we would already expect for a free product.

I would strongly recommend against crippling features to be any less than Hyper-V 2019. Whilst I might not need all the features possible, I can't speak for everyone who might, and even if they don't these are still features to help you get your foot in the door by having these powerusers try them out. HCI/Hyper-V Server is pretty feature limited as it is already, no need to make it even harder.

For me, I am already started transitioned to something else so it doesn't matter that much to me anymore. Thanks to this experience I have discovered some other great options... it really opened the door to other FOSS options throughout their stack as well, and they have really come a long way since last time I played with Linux - You definitely have some tough competition in this space, I just hadn't realised it before. But if you actually end up listening to us and did something in this space, I would at least respect that, it might even help you slow down people leaving the Microsoft stack.

@Elden Christensen 

 

I'm going to respond to your questions in reverse order, hope you'll forgive me :)

 

1. For my homelab, I don't need clustering, HA, Live migration, or DR (replication). I use those at work. I just need a basic VM service that I can use to run my test lab of machines and my 1 linux router OS. Now, if it some method to hook into my personal azure subscription, that may cause an added value at some point in the future, but no current plans there. Certainly don't want to back up Eval windows server to azure! :p

 

2. Thanks for replying about single node capability. Yes, this is just a little NUC running in my laundry room. If the VM host OS dies, I install a on a new SSD and restore my machine(s) to the new OS. Downtime is fine, as long as its not while my wife is watching netflix. Single node is a necessity for this lower tier.

 

3. Free Trial vs Preview Channel. Free trial definitely is a no go for me. This is our home infrastructure. I run it 24x7 and use it for testbed for other stuff that is more transient as well as that router OS (OpnSense) that runs on it too. Preview Channel is potentially allowable if the previews don't force tons of downtime and the solution is pretty stable. I'll admit I'm a little leery about using preview, but its not an automatic disqualifier of this product.

 

Final thoughts: My aim for the homelab VM host is to have a stable solution that I can double as my router and run my test DC's, member servers, etc. Right now, I have that with Hyper-V standalone. I don't want to have to test lab where the VM host isn't very stable and forces lots of reboots. That's what concerns me about Preview Channel. If that is how Preview Channel works, I'd likely have to just either use a 2nd VM host at home for the "real test lab" and my existing NUC with ProxMox being the infrastructure "stable" host.

 

At that point, there is no benefit to Azure Stack HCI and I should just run the DC's, member servers, and guests that I tinker with all in the stable ProxMox VM Host. In short: If Preview Channel is stable enough (and can run in a single node setup) to not bother my wife, then I can use it fine. If it is a materially worse experience for my wife and my kids, then I'd have 2 options:

 

1. Jump ship to another free hypervisor that is stable.

2. Setup a 2nd VM host that is dedicated to unstable configuration (HCI- Preview Channel) and run another free hypervisor for our home infrastructure that is stable.

 

Given these two options, I'd rather do #1 over #2 if HCI preview channel doesn't keep my wife and kids happy.

 

That all make sense?

@Elden Christensen 

Awesome to hear you're addressing the single node issue, that will help a lot in the SMB space. If you can do certified hardware next, then we'll almost be to HV Server 2022...

 

As for the idea of a crippled HV, that's a non-starter. If you're looking for some limitation, I'd say look at a mode for free, that's not registered with Azure. We need the business features, cause we're in business. We all understand the monthly subscription requirement for an Azure service, and there's lots of benefits to using those features, when they make sense. Most of our clientele does not need Azure, they need a server in their office running Sage or something. What people on This thread want, is a hypervisor, not tied to the VM licensing, without strings attached and a monthly bill.

 

Keep in mind, no one is asking for hand outs. Every one of us (or nearly), is purchasing Windows Server and Application licensing, and CALs for the VM's. We're your customers, and our customers are your customers. We're spending $10's of thousands a month at Microsoft, and we're just one small Partner.

 

Give us a mode, where HCI runs more or less the same as a HV Server 2019, on the same type of hardware scenario, for the same price and this thread/issue goes away tomorrow. It sounds like you're half way there.

> Give us a mode, where HCI runs more or less the same as a HV Server 2019, on the same type of hardware scenario, for the same price and this thread/issue goes away tomorrow.

That's windows server with Hyper-V feature added. It literally costs nothing if you are already buying MS Server licenses.

@imschmidt 

 

You read his reply different than I did. I took it as there will be a 1 node ability with HCL, but that's it. That frankly does nothing to address the bulk of the issues most folks have posed. Certified hardware is a problem and eliminates all lab setups or using existing hardware. Then there is the cost issue as well; which may or may not be solved by insider program, but either way this combined with all the changes to Partner Program as well as NCE in CSP program, and well.... the writing is on the wall.

Full Server with HV role is no even close to the same as HV Server. See many previous posts about attack surface, larger management overhead, bloat, performance, etc etc.
I've actually recently learned HCI will install on uncertified hardware just fine, as well as inside another hypervisor using nested virtualization. For a lab, you can get started without certified hardware.

As for the comment: That's windows server with Hyper-V feature added. It literally costs nothing if you are already buying MS Server licenses.

This is true, to some extent. I cannot install Server 2022 as a hypervisor, to run Server 2016 VM's, if I own S2016 licensing. Where I could install HV2019 and run licensed S2016 VM's.

With HCI and HV servers, the hypervisor licensing is not tied to the VM licensing.

I'm not sure all of that is true though. In real-world terms, the memory usage between Windows Server Core and Hyper-V Server are almost identical, and the additional 'attack surface' is only an issue if you think that having a compressed cache of features available (but not installed) is a threat. In real life the attack surface is basically the same. Some actual research into disk usage, memory usage and attack surface here concludes that Windows Server Core with Hyper-V has:
x Comparable deployment size to Hyper-V Server
x Comparable surface area to Hyper-V Server
x Comparable memory usage to Hyper-V Server
x Comparable patch requirements to Hyper-V Server

https://www.altaro.com/hyper-v/hyper-v-2016-host-mode-gui-core/


And Server Core's reduced attack surface area is shown here:
https://yongrhee.wordpress.com/2020/05/01/windows-server-core-reducing-the-attack-surface-area/

I'm also not aware there's any performance difference between Windows Server Core and Hyper-V Server in real-world benchmarks, unless you have any you can link to?

@Brian Martin

Yup, first this, and then NCE, then Partner Program minimum sales requirement. Hopefully Microsoft reverses all this, but as I was alluding to with my new found usage of FOSS, the writing is on the wall that Microsoft no longer care about Partners especially the small guys, and I am not the only one who is looking at alternatives to replace the entire Microsoft stack.

It is really quite incredible how Microsoft have completely turned on their own Partners in less than 6 months. We are the guys who actually make their solutions work and they act like end users can just press a button to make everything work and not need any IT support, despite being highly complex products.

It is basically a sinking ship at this point so that is why I am not even fussed anymore on whether this ends up being fixed, it just gives even more reason to use better products elsewhere when a free Hyper-V server doesn't exist. Microsoft are making the decision to not use them anymore quite easy. So actually, thanks Microsoft for discontinuing Hyper-V Server - you made me look at better solutions sooner.