18 Hyper-V Requirements and Recommended Hardware

Below is a list of requirements and recommended hardware when you set up a Hyper-V host or system. Microsoft states (http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc731898.aspx)

    • An x64-based processor. Hyper-V is available in x64-based versions of Windows Server 2008—specifically, the x64-based versions of Windows Server 2008 Standard, Windows Server 2008 Enterprise, and Windows Server 2008 Datacenter.


    • Hardware-assisted virtualization. This is available in processors that include a virtualization option—specifically, Intel Virtualization Technology (Intel VT) or AMD Virtualization (AMD-V).


    • Hardware-enforced Data Execution Prevention (DEP) must be available and be enabled. Specifically, you must enable the Intel XD bit (execute disable bit) or AMD NX bit (no execute bit).


Every “modern” PC bought within the last five years will satisfy the above requirement.


Here are some real world Hyper-V requirements

  • Use really fast hard drives.
  • RAID probably won’t help as much as a really fast SSD or at least a hybrid SSD drive
  • Storage: the more the better. Buy at least twice as much hard drive space as you think you need today
  • RAM: Don’t bother below 16 GB. Use the fastest RAM available
  • CPU: The more cores the better. You will want to allocate certain cores to certain VMs for best performance
  • Hard disks, again(!). Use several fast hard drives rather than one single hard drive, why? because:
  • Split the virtual disk load to separate hard drives. Mechanic drives impose a huge penalty when having to move the drive heads. SSDs don’t have this issue but wear down much faster than mechanical drives
  • Multi-processor motherboards may not be worth the money, depending on your situation. You may be better off using separate Hyper-V servers. Remember that Windows Server 2012 R2 now offers “shared nothing live migration” so you don’t have to have a SAN and a CSV to have a great, small, and effective data center.
  • We recommend Seagate drives. We’re not affiliated with Seagate. But from our test lab experience, no other manufacturers hardware survived our Hyper-V backup test procedures.
  • Use a server case that is very well ventilated and has dust filtration. Unlike an average server, Hyper-V servers burn a lot of energy
  • Format using 4KB NTFS and stay clear from file system compression or encryption
  • Use GPT layouts for data disks so you can grow volumes as necessary
  • Use a separate disk for the system paging file. Hyper-V needs a paging file 3x the RAM size. Use a fixed size (min and max the same value)
  • Use BackupChain to protect your investment.