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The Right Time to Implement Hyper-V

Hyper-V has had an interesting release cycle. It was bundled into the release of Windows 2008 as a beta component when Windows 2008 shipped in February 2008. And over the first few months of 2008 as Windows Server 2008 was gaining momentum in organizations as a solid server operating system, organizations were installing the beta version of Hyper-V and giving it a try. Early adopters found Hyper-V to be extremely stable and reliable, and because the images use the same Virtual Hard Disk (VHD) file format used in Microsoft Virtual Server 2005, the adoption of Hyper-V since its formal release has been brisk.

So, the decision of when to implement Hyper-V has come down to the same decision on implementing any technology: Identify the value received by implementing Hyper-V virtualization, test the solution in a limited environment, and roll out Hyper-V when you are comfortable that the product meets the needs of your organization.

Adding a Hyper-V Host Server in an Existing Active Directory 2000/2003 Environment

The Hyper-V server is nothing more than any other application server in a Windows environment. You can join the Windows 2008 Hyper-V host to an existing Active Directory 2000 or Active Directory 2003 environment. The Hyper-V host will operate just like any member server in the environment. If you want to remove the server, just "unjoin" the member server from Active Directory. Because it is so easy to add and remove a Hyper-V host to Active Directory and being that it requires no schema updates to Active Directory, the choice to add or remove Hyper-V from Active Directory is pretty simple and self-contained.

In addition, the fact that the Hyper-V host is or is not joined to the domain has no effect on whether the Hyper-V guest sessions need to join or can choose to not be joined to the domain. The guest sessions run completely independently of the host server. In fact, while Hyper-V is joined to one domain, the guest sessions of a Hyper-V host can easily be joined to a different domain or to a completely different forest. Again, the guest sessions run independently of the host server.

Waiting to Fully Implement Windows 2008 in the Environment

Although an administrator may choose to wait until more Windows 2008 servers are added to the network before adding Hyper-V to the network, or wait until Active Directory is upgraded to an Active Directory 2008 level, it is not necessary. In fact, there are no benefits in joining Hyper-V to a Windows 2008 versus Windows 2000 or 2003 Active Directory. In the early-adopter community, Hyper-V has been one of the first Windows 2008 servers added to an existing Active Directory 2000 or 2003 domain; after all, it is so easy to just join or remove the Hyper-V server from the domain. And the benefits gained from using virtualization (as discussed throughout this chapter) have been compelling reasons for organizations to add Hyper-V to a network.

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