Whats New in Windows Server 2016 Hyper-V

We have posted various articles about Windows Server 2016. Here comes another useful article that describes what’s new in Windows Server 2016 Hyper-V. There are various new features and improvements have been added to the Hyper-V server role in Windows Server 2016. Some of the major new features of Windows Server 2016 Hyper-V are listed below:

Host Resource Protection

When you run multiple applications on a Hyper-V virtual machine, the virtual machine starts to consume more resources of the Hyper-V host. If the Hyper-V host does not have much of resources, the performance of Hyper-V host will be degraded. Host resource protection feature helps you to overcome these issues. It allows you to enforce a virtual machine to use only the amount of resources for that it is allowed. So the virtual machine cannot use the excessive resources of the host machine. Thus preventing from degrading the performance of the host or other virtual machines.

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Hot Add and Remove Network Adapters and Memory

How swapping is a technique that allows you to add or remove components to a system or device while the device or system is running. In Windows Server 2016 Hyper-V, you can now add or remove a network adapter without shutting down the virtual machine. However, this applies only to the Generation 2 virtual machines. In addition, now, in Windows Server 2016 Hyper-V role, you can also modify the amount of virtual memory for a virtual machine while the virtual machine being used.

Linux Secure Boot

Secure boot is a trending security feature in nowadays. It prevents the systems from the malicious users who try to take control of the system by inserting a code or script that works even before the system or machine boots. With the help of Windows Server 2016 Hyper-V, now, you can enable secure boot for the latest Linux-based virtual machine. Secure Boot is supported on the following Linux platforms and versions:

  • Ubuntu 14.04 and later
  • SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 12 and later
  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.0 and later
  • CentOS 7.0 and later

Nested Virtualization

Nested virtualization allows you to run a Hypervisor inside a Hypervisor. Means, you can run a virtual machine inside a virtual machine. This was initially supported by VMware platform. But, now with Hyper-V in Windows Server 2016, you can install and use Hyper-V role on a virtual machine that is already running on the Hyper-V host. Nested virtualization is especially useful in the development, training, and testing environments. In order to use nested virtualization, the Hyper-V must have at least 4 GB of RAM and the Intel VT-x supported processor.

Note: Currently, only Intel processors support the Nested virtualization.

You may also like: How to install and use Hyper-V inside a VMware virtual machine?

Windows PowerShell Direct

In the previous version Windows servers, the virtual machines are typically managed by using the VMConnect and Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP). However, RDP requires a proper network connection and Windows Firewall configuration. With the introduction of Hyper-V in Windows Server 2016, a new method has been introduced to manage Hyper-V virtual machine called “Windows PowerShell Direct”. By using this feature, you can directly run the PowerShell cmdlets on virtual machines from the Hyper-V host. More importantly, you don’t need to setup networking or configure Windows Firewall.

Discrete Device Assignment

This feature enables Hyper-V virtual machines to directly and exclusively access to some PCIe devices. Logically, it acts in the same manner as a physical machine access the PCIe devices. Thus resulting the faster access the host resources.

Shielded Virtual Machines

With the more and more use and rapid growth of the Cloud technologies, data security becoming a major concern for the companies who want to deploy their virtual machines on the vendor’s Cloud. On the Public Cloud platform, a cloud service provider typically hosts the virtual machines of various customers. What would happen if somehow a customer get access (or copy) the virtual machines’ Virtual Hard Disk (VHD or VHDX) files of another customer’s VHDs? The copied VHDs can be imported and used on the other compatible Hyper-V hosts. Now, I think you got the idea behind introducing the Shielded Virtual Machine feature.

Here, comes a new security feature called “Shielded Virtual Machine” for Windows Server 2016 Hyper-V hosts. Shielded virtual machines make it tougher for unintended Hyper-V administrators and malware on the host to access, interfere with, or steal data from a shielded virtual machine. For this, first, you need to encrypt the virtual machine. Once the virtual machine is encrypted using the Shielded virtual machine, it can run only on the authorized Hyper-V hosts. The authorized Hyper-V hosts are determined by a server called Host Guardian Server.

Hyper-V Containers

Hyper-V containers are the light-weight form of virtual machines. Each Hyper-V container allows you to run many isolated applications on a single system. The most important things behind the popularity of containers are their fast to build, highly scalable, and portable behaviors.

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