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Hyper-V Server 2022

Steel Contributor

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

278 Replies

@SpenceFoxtrot with yours and other similar comments on licensing:

Could you please outline what is running on Windows Server Hyper-V SKU. Only Linux VMs? 

 

 

Microsoft appears to have withdrawn it in an effort to drive subscription revenue to Azure / Azure Stack HCI. 

 

@Karl-WE 
1 only runs linux (and a freebsd)
1 other linux and a win11

the others, mainly windows server

@bmartindcs I would love to hear more about details of your usencase.

 

Is there any licensing term that forbids "hosting" VMs for own use on Windows 11 Pro using Hyper-V? You can even leverage ReFS and Storage Spaces on Windows 11 Enterprise.

 

Just asking if you need nothing more than Hyper-V Plus running Windows Client VMs. Technically it is the same core OS and Hyper-V. Licensing Windows host and VMs plus access apply. If you need more than just the ability to run VMs then Windows Server is viable.

 

@SpenceFoxtrot yes the footprint and attack surface was minimal with Windows Server Hyper-V SKU compared to Windows 11 / Enterprise. You can still harden it easily like security baseline GPOs and good notes from the field about this. The OS will use more RAM compared to Hyper-V SKU. You can find which Servicesw are not used deactivate all features and optional features not needed. Eventually you have licensing for Windows 11 LTSC with lesser bells and whistles like Microsoft Store which I do not see as threat. 

 

Just trying to think outside the box for you. Check licensing terms could imagine that this is possible with Windows Pro / Enterprise as parent OS.

 

If it just run Linux give.Windows 11 23H2 /24H2 preview a chance. If it runs Windows Server you need to license these anyway and at any time. There's no change, when ist Hyper-V Server 2019 is gone. Let me know if this is helpful or anything is unclear. Happy to help.

@ECPTA ESXi no longer free. So same as Hyper-V SKU debated here. 

@Karl-WE 

I'm not interessed by large os like windows 10/11. Too high, too many updates etc.

Same for windows server ; too many forced reboot, where HyperV server not needed.

 

I'm going on proxmox finaly.

@SpenceFoxtrot 

Hyper-V server had monthly patches requiring a reboot, so in that sense it's little different from any other version of Windows Server.

@Karl-WE 

 

"You can consider Windows 11 and Hyper-V if you do not need much VM."

 

This would only apply if only you would need access, you had a sufficiently powerful local machine, and you weren't running on server hardware. In many cases, using a client version of Windows as the host really isn't suitable.

 

"The point is that's only for Linux workloads. For Windows Server licensing apply and so could favour Windows Server or Azure Stack HCI as a platform depending your licensing and needs. "

 

Plus manage with WAC your comment assumes your VMs are Linux only otherwise you have had to license Windows Server on Hardware anyway."

 

Not necessarily. I can think of three scenarios where Hyper-V server was useful:

 

  • Linux (as you say) - and the same would apply to any other non-Microsoft OSs
  • Client versions of Windows, either standalone or as part of a VDI setup. M365 E3 and above subscriptions allow running of W10/11 Enterprise in a VM
  • Testing - Windows Server has a grace period before activation, and this is useful for short-term, non-production testing. E.g. you might want to create a VM to test some new GPOs before applying them to live systems, and the test VM could be created, the testing done and the VM deleted again within a few days and without it ever being activated

But we are where we are, and Microsoft is clearly not going to back down on this. VMWare is also not an option now. I've been doing some testing with Proxmox, as I'm sure others have too.

I'm not sure aout that.
But I know windows server needs more than 1 reboot per month usually.
I don't know precise details, but one of our customers (small margin-operating factory floor) has one single expensive beefy server, running Hyper-V Server 2019, onto which they migrate workload VMs for whose they need immediate compute capacity (or network throughput), and then later migrate them off to more efficient HW. Those VMs are running various versions of Windows Server, older, newer, some even Client OSs.

I'm told that having Hyper-V Server on that machine saves them tons of money on licenses, and headache figuring out how to have that legally. The alternative is having properly licensed Datacenter Server, and upgrading all the workload VMs to be EULA compliant.
The Statement about number of reboots is not true. It's one LCU and one dotnet Update. The dotnet can now be installed with the LCU and often do no longer require seperate reboot. This got addressed back in time.

If reboots are forced or not is a matter of your settings, local GPO or Domain GPO. Extremely controlable for Windows Server and Clients.
I am not disagreeing about to fuss, it's your decision to change to a not that good hpervisor and ecosystem at costs of security, Performance and handling in case things break. And the Proxmox underlying OS Breaks easily esp for driver updates.

@DavidYorkshire thanks for sharing your usecases.

 

Linux only.

Agreed Windows Server makes no sense. Windows Client is a good option. 

It is not less stable or needs more updates. Same core OS, same Hyper-V. Eventually some special features missing like GPU pooling, now with Windows Server 2025.

 

VDI 

Windows Client as a host might work if there is nothing in licensing terms that does not allow it.

 

Testing

Both Windows Client and Windows Server are best fit with github mslab which offer easy and near automated lab deployments. Try this with Proxmox. You cannot due lack of PowerShell Host to VM communication. 

 

Hardware 

Windows Client OS will work with Server hardware. You can put your RAID Controller into Bypass Mode and use Storage Spaces instead. Best with Windows Enterprise (needs Qualified OS + Enterprise addon or M365) With Windows 11 Enterprise you can leverage ReFS which is superb with storage Spaces and performance. The the only thing missing compared to Server is dedup and compression. 

 

If you used Windows Server 2019 Hyper-V SKU with SAN, well not that good with Windows Client. It can use iSCSI though.

 

I don't want to appear stubborn, but seriously changing platform, I see no benefits, except higher complexity. Am I happy about Hyper-V SKU gone? Nope.

 

As soon you are hosting Windows Server VM this change does not affect anyone. It's an unfortunate side effect.

Hyper-V needs overhauling only for things like dual socket and above rigs such as some recent 1U boxes I have seen.

Now how about GPU swarms for say a Avid Pro Media shop that needs to render 120 minutes of video for a feature release

 

I use Blender and it also needs some extra GPU horsepower. UBC-C eGPU does not scale.

Lots of ideas that come to mind for Hyper-V above a Linux VM appliance

> Hyper-V needs overhauling only for things like dual socket and above rigs such as some recent 1U boxes I have seen.

Hyper-V already does have extensive NUMA options for multiple CPUs with their own RAM attached. Introduced with Server 2012 (without R2), and improved with every subsequent version. it is even exposed in the GUI, and a bit mor options in powershell.
https://learn.microsoft.com/en-us/previous-versions/windows/it-pro/windows-server-2012-r2-and-2012/d...)

@Karl-WE 

 

We virtualize all client servers as we onboard them. The reason being for portability ease when changing hardware, for ease of backups/restores, and for ease of DR. We keep loaner servers that we can spit a restored VM onto and have clients up in no time in the event of a significant DR situation.

 

We could run the VM's on a Pro machine. I am aware we can use GPO's etc to harden it, but it's overall just a stupid step backwards. MS goal is to push us all to Stack or Azure. MS has not considered the fact that the former is not an option for most of the SMB space, and the later is cost prohibited for many and also not practical for others if you have any kind of data/throughput/latency heavy LOB app. That seems to imply that MS position is that if Azure or Stack are not a fit, then you should run bare metal and/or buy Server all over again just to run the hypervisor - all of which is a step backwards.

 

They could have converted HV Server into Server Core with HV as a Role, without licensing required, and they can block the other features from being installed to avoid gaming the system. That would collapse the sku chain from a code standpoint.

 

Just seems to be another poke in the eye. I'm still bitter about NCE, so this is another fun change.

@bmartindcs You’re saying that you wish Microsoft would just offer Windows Server Core w/ Hyper-V role as a ‘free’ license - but for the clients you mentioned, aren’t they licensed for this anyway?

 

Earlier you said: ‘These users all own licenses of Windows Server’.

 

So can’t you just deploy Server Core for them?

 

https://www.microsoft.com/licensing/terms/productoffering/WindowsServerStandardDatacenterEssentials/...

'
Standard edition permits use of one Running Instance of the server software in the Physical OSE on the Licensed Server (in addition to two Virtual OSEs), if the Physical OSE is used solely to host and manage the Virtual OSEs.'

Hi @bmartindcs thank your extending on your point and use case it is very important to learn about that and I believe that thread is not only read by us admins and consultants.

 

Certainly see that those that just host Linux or VDI and nothing else feel unhappy with the change of dropping the SKU. If this relates into Azure Stack HCI, I doubt this. Windows Server is technically as good as for these use cases, when you are not looking into cloud hybrid / #adaptivecloud and AVD.

 

Frankly have to disagree on Azure Stack HCI being the target for your use case provided.

And my strong feeling is founded by the massive change we have with Azure Stack HCI.

 

Without proper licensing, skilling, and / or externalization - Azure Stack HCI - today - is not that same Windows Server+ added by Azure billing and some good stuff, anymore. It needs more careful considerations.

Feel invited to read on: https://multicloud.is/tags/azure-stack-hci

 

 

Second to feel your pain that licensing Windows Server for the use of Hyper-V feels wrong when just hosting Linux or Windows Client (VDI).

@ChrisAtMaf brought up a good point though.

Cheapest is Windows Server 2022 Standard OEM, until you reach the Datacenter Break Even.
In EU licenses are transferable when hardware dies or decomissioned. This is EU only, due to regulations.

Pro Tip: With Windows Server 2022 through OEM you could also license just active cores opposed to the default licensing rules. Check the OEM terms when installing they are not on Product Terms.

If this applies to your OEM license, what prevents you to license just 8 pCPUs and disable more CPUs in BIOS if these pCores are good enough for VDI hosting Windows Clients? Make notes or fetch logs for licensing compliance when you enable or disable CPUs.

As soon you have volume licensing or CSP, this is a different game.
Default licensing rules apply so usual 16 cores min. per box. And again, why not Windows Server 2022 Standard OEM in Core install mode?
It is a smaller extra fee for support via OEM. Gives a bit peace of mind of you require support, you obtain through the OEM.

Grand game could be Windows Server Standard CSP Subscription, which includes SA, or any other Volume Licensing programme your are eligible to.

Datacenter when required.
Unfortunately after reading the Licensing terms linked by Chris, there is no WS Standard allowed to run any number of VMs with Windows Client OS. As each VM is a VOSE or at least running instance by definition. Thank you Chris, because often one hears it is one or two Windows Server VMs per licensed stack. It is clear now this spans to any OS running. Bad luck.

If you have Windows Server licensed through EA or similar volume licensing programs, please mind your commitment obligations before buying CSP or OEM.

Yes, we can "just deploy Server Core". Not looking for free licensing necessarily, everyone is licensed. As I stated, using Core is not the same though as it has additional features and roles in full Server OS (even in Core) vs HVS. As I also stated, we can probably through a combination of a bunch of GPO and local sec policy, restrict those roles/features but that seems to be cobbling together a way to get small attack surface like HVS had. My idea/solution was just an option like Core is during installation, for "HyperVisor" only, in that it strips all that out for us out of the box - eliminating the need to make it entirely custom to get that small attack surface that HVS had.

@bmartindcs Great - glad you’re aware of that. In terms of your security concerns, I’m sure you’re aware that having roles and features ‘available to install’, is not the same as having them ‘installed by default’. To compare with other alternatives that you’ve suggested, Proxmox is also based on and uses the ‘standard’ Debian repositories for security updates - it is therefore similarly ‘vulnerable’ to additional feature installs as Windows Server Core + Hyper-V role, assuming that the hypervisor has access to those repos (which is necessary to keep patched)

https://pve.proxmox.com/wiki/Package_Repositories#_repositories_in_proxmox_ve

XCP-NG is better - it appears it uses dedicated repos with only the relevant packages enabled - but they still allow you to install packages from other repositories using the enablerepo switch in yum - so again, if you’re looking for a hypervisor which is ‘unable’ to have an increased attack surface, rather than having a reduced surface ‘by default’, that may not entirely fit the bill either.

 

https://docs.xcp-ng.org/management/additional-packages/

I am quite familiar with XCP-NG and it was my next choice but there are DR reasons holding us back at the moment. Veeam recently announced support for Proxmox is coming, so that's likely what we'll be moving to after validating it etc.