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.



278 Replies
I switched to the Eval edition of Server 2022 (installed core edition) and with 180 days trial and being able to re-arm 6 (!) times you can extend the usage to more than 3 years without the need to buy a license.

so for homelab usage I'm sticking to this.
Sorry but Azure HCI can't and should not replace Hyper-V!!
In my opinion it is better invest more time to develope more on Hyper-V and create some Agents or something that you can use Hyper-V in a hybrid way instead of replacing Hyper-V!

Another question:
I using Windows 10 Pro on my laptop and play much with Hyper-V VMs and WSL 2. What's the lifecycle of Hyper-V and WSL on Windows? Is there also an end for this? :(

Not sure how this post devolved (but I can imagine).  This is an extraordinarily unfortunate decision.  Time to move back to the other guys.

What does this mean for the Hyper-V feature in Windows Server 2022 Standard install? Can we continue to install that and run a virtual instance of the OS in Hyper-V?

I am referring to the following license terms from Windows 2019: Standard edition permits use of one Running Instance of the server software in the Physical OSE on the Licensed Server (in addition to one Virtual OSE), if the Physical OSE is used solely to host and Manage the Virtual OSE.
As a mod of, I am incredibly disappointed in this decision.

Hyper-V platform has always been a free and reliable platform, allowing home-grown solutions and business platforms to operate on a hypervisor infrastructure with a minimal feature set. From a single laptop for lab or educational use to a fleet of pizza box servers in a datacenter, a free hypervisor should cost nothing. If you use no cloud infrastructure, no management automation, no other infrastructure, the base hypervisor should be free.

As an MCSE: Cloud Platform and Infrastructure, I am incredibly disappointed in this decision.

I've invested lots of time and effort in learning to build secure scalable solutions for on premise infrastructure. This flies in the face of that time and investment and leaves me feeling like I've wasted that time by trusting Microsoft's platform and vision.

As an architect who builds on premise platforms, I am incredibly disappointed in this decision.

One of the key value propositions for free hyper-v server was not requriing extra licensing for extra management servers, etc.... If you have a windows server licensed cluster of hypervisors with windows server datacenter, not requiring additional licensing to run extra physical servers with linux or other guest VMs in a non clustered environment (such as Palo Alto firewalls, Linux VDI, VPN virtual machines, logging machines, and other platforms that utilize application layer redundancy not requiring highly available "VMs", Hyper-v server was a great solution.

As a decision maker who decides bills of materials and application architecture, I am incredibly disappointed in this decision.

I guess we will now be moving everything to VMWare. What a waste.

An important point, we are discussing the free download of Microsoft Hyper-V Server SKU.


The Hyper-V feature is the backbone of what we run in the public cloud with Azure, and on-prem. The Hyper-V feature is being heavily invested in and is not going anywhere. We are discussing the strategic shift of Azure Stack HCI as the premier hypervisor platform, which of course uses Hyper-V feature as well. Windows Server (Standard / Datacenter SKU's) remain unchanged as well, and also use Hyper-V feature.


Again, as an MCSE: Cloud Platform and Infrastructure (I am literally certified on microsoft hypervisor platforms), I know the difference between the SKUs and licensing models.

I am very disappointed to hear that the Microsoft Hyper-V Server is being discontinued.

I know the Hyper-V feature in windows server is alive and well; I am not misunderstanding the statement.

To be clear: I am disappointed the free hypervisor only non-licensed product Hyper-V Server is being discontinued. It was a valuable product and it served a specific purpose: Allowing densification of virtual machines on stand-alone servers with active-directory integrated authentication and no additional licensing.

Stop redirecting or pretending this is a good thing. Microsoft is discontinuing the only "free and unlicensed" way of perpetually using Hyper-V without using windows. Plain and simple.

Hi asdlkf,

I appreciate the passion, but please take a deep breath. I was responding to Mirza who was confused between the Hyper-V feature and the Microsoft Hyper-V Server SKU.

Microsoft Hyper-V Server still required licenses for the Windows Server guests running on top. Unlike Windows Server Datacenter which includes the guest licenses. So I'm a little confused by your statement that it was completely free. 

I thank everyone for their feedback, I recognize change is hard and taking away anything which might have been perceived as completely free is unpopular. I would love any specific feedback around the scenarios, and we can look at how to incorporate them into Azure Stack HCI. I thank the several people who have take the time to do so already!!!


Hyper-V server was not perceived as completely free.

It was completely free.

Just like ESXi is completely free, in perpetuity, when not connected to vCenter or using certain features.

This is a direct competative disadvantage when trying to sell Hyper-V related architectures and solutions to clients. I can no longer propose "we'll start with the free Hyper-V server to get you started and add on Windows Server licensing, System Center licensing, and other related licensing as you grow".

Now, we basically have to price-compete with "well, you need datacenter licensing for everything so we just set the price floor at $5k licensing per host".

Hi asdlkf,

I read your Reddit post and there is one more piece of great feedback you had in there, which is: What about standalone hosts (not clustered)? So you are right, today Azure Stack HCI requires 2+ hosts and requires HCI (meaning Software-defined Storage and optionally SDN). We are looking to change that! As I said above, our goal is for Azure Stack HCI to be the premier hypervisor platform for HCI and beyond. That includes allowing 1-node hosts as well as customers who want a choice in storage, such as SAN or NAS external storage. We are working on it, that's great feedback!

Hyper-V server free was also great if you had a VDI environment running Windows 7/10. you only had to license the Windows 7/10 machine's and you could use the free hypervisor to run them on.

also my homelab ran on 4 hyper-v boxes using the free software. on it where 180 day eval versions of Windows server that I re-deployed almost every week (hence: the lab)

that's gone now. I could still use 2019 server (support till 2029) but everybody knows that a really geek/nerd wants to run the LATEST software and not an older version.

'providing a free hypervisor to run linux on was not Microsofs business goal' ?

.. what's the OS of most of the VMs that run on azure then? linux... that's right. and most of my clients vm's on-prem where also linux
A 1-node system, where the user has no need for Azure integrations, is pretty much functionally the same as Hyper-V Server - but with monthly licensing fees.

Afraid you've really not convinced me (or seemingly anyone else posting on here) that this is a good move. I'm sure Azure Stack HCI is good for some use cases, but for what many of us are using Hyper-V Server for it simply isn't - we just want a basic, on-prem hypervisor. I will probbaly be moving my standalone test servers to ESXi instead. The downside of this is that they will no longer be able to manage the basic USB-connected UPS units we use with them (Windows-only management software), but I'm sure I can find a workaround (such as an old W10 box running the management software, and a shutdown script).
hah. at least esxi allows for USB passthrough... so you could put a windows 10 VM on ESXi, pass the USB port through to the guest, and run your UPS software on the win 10 VM.
Hyper-V has not been able to grab market share from vSphere etc so Microsoft has elected to more or less drag more customers into their data centers.

My webserver is an old laptop stuffed with a SSD and Linux which handles several hats all at once
MS loves making really bad decisions, when they're already doing well financially. I'll never use this. Why they constantly try leverage their loyal customers to more expansive crappy ideas is beyond me.

@Elden Christensen We're a MSP. I know many of my peers that also are MSP's are likely in the same boat as me here on this. Our clients are SMB and the vast majority are hybrid, using M365 BP sku's and at least one on-prem Windows Server (running as a guest on top of Hyper-V Server) due to variety of reasons. We have intentionally rebuilt their networks from whatever it was at onboarding into a platform where their physical server(s) (most are single hosts) are running Hyper-V Server and their original server OS is virtualized onto said host (even if they only have a single server os). We do this for portability between hardware during upgrades, for testing of software upgrade process on key LOB apps, and also for fast recovery of disasters; be it hardware or something awful like a crypto attack.


For our own practice as it relates to how we deploy client infrastructure, our entire internal stack (including scripting, backups and management capabilities) rely on Hyper-V server on each and every server we manage. NONE of these are candidates for Azure Stack HCI for the following reasons: Cost, and minimum hardware requirements (need multiple servers, etc). The pricing structure of adding $10/core/month is a huge price increase (from zero) for these SMB clients when this adds no value over what they can do with alternative offerings that are still free. The ability to just use Server OS with HV role installed is a non-starter as well, as that opens up a large attack surface that is not otherwise needed (something you should be mindful of) as well as potential performance penalties that it will also introduce.


Your decision on this has a pretty substantial impact on our long term plans as it relates to pushing the MS ecosystem. Our clients trust and buy/use whatever we advise them to (being their trusted technology advisors) and as a result we now have to evaluate what we do long term as this impacts our clients and also us (which by extension will impact them further). I can say right off the bat that killing Hyper-V Server will not force people into Stack HCI/Azure-itself. That is a miscalculation. We will move to VMWare or more likely to XCP-ng and by extension so will ALL of our customers over time. This also by osmosis causes us all to look at other competitors for things beyond just the Hypervisor too.


Small fish become big fish, and companies that will now have to use a competitor stack (vmware or otherwise) are not going to later move to MS as they grow; that's an incorrect assumption. I think this is something you guys perhaps did not think about. The Hyper-V Server platform is the entry into the entire infrastructure side of your ecosystem and has a low friction pathway to Azure as they grow. Taking that away ensures that future Azure business will not materialize since once on another platform you cannot easily change it.


I think the solution here is to have Azure Stack be free in some capacity; your goal is to get this out there and adopted right? That solves all problems I mentioned. One sku can do the basics like we did with HV Server, the other paid sku has all the bells and whistles of Azure Stack. This keeps people in the ecosystem with a no-resistance pathway to the full sku and/or Azure as they grow. Short of something like this, you're basically giving up your entire position in the infrastructure space for all SMB and also inviting competitors to encroach on unrelated services that spawn from this move... first we look at XCP-ng, and since that's open source and worked great perhaps we then look at alternatives to Azure AD or M365, etc etc etc.


Another intangible here that applies not only to the businesses out there, but also the future IT engineers just getting started, who may learn on something else now and likely not give MS a look (losing evangelists along the way by extension). Every green tech I have hired over the years were all exposed to and trained on Hyper-V systems. That will go away too as they learn on some other platform.


If there are discussions on pairing back this change, don't wait too long and please do not handicap it with less features than we can do now with HVS as it stands. Everyone else out there in the same position as we are will soon start the journey of moving platforms. It will take a long time for us and others to do out there, but once the glacier is moving it will be hard to reverse it.


I'd prefer to stay in the ecosystem and don't want to switch fwiw.

Thank you Brian for taking the time to write up such thoughtful and constructive feedback, this is very helpful.




I agree that many choices Microsoft makes are not the wisest

One Windows server can handle swarms of Hyper-V blades and it can be mechanized with PowerShell too

Microsoft licensing costs are brutal which is why my Lenovo X230 with a SSD is on the payroll and there is no limits to page views either, somedays i see 1000 page views is popular


@Elden Christensen 


Azure Stack HCI is absolutely not a replacement for Hyper-V Server. For an MSP, what you have done here, is break the disconnect the hardware cycle from the licensing cycle. Many (if not every) one of the servers we got upgraded in the 2008 EOL was done in multiple stages, by upgrading the hardware, migrating the VM's and performing the OS migrations at a later date. We did dozens of clients over 18 months like this. This was only possible due to the HV license being independent of the guest license. These are SMB clients, their not putting out for HCI hardware. End Of Story.


The Server 2012 EOL is putting us in the same position, but this time if we're going to stick to Microsoft Hypervisors, we have to sell them on the 2022 licensing and CAL's along with the hardware. You're doubling to tripling the up front investment we have to sell to these SMB's.


If MS does not have a hyper-v server available for the next migration, it will not be a Microsoft Hypervisor that goes on the hardware. 


Highly disappointing, and frankly shortsighted decision on Microsofts part.

(edit: spelling)

What a bewildering decision.

With the creation of Windows Admin Center, for a moment it looked like Microsoft was finally getting serious about competing with VMWare, then this happens. How disappointing.

Time to start looking for alternatives, XCP-NG and Proxmox are looking better and better. May even revisit ESXi.

Just like me, I'm sure this is will push many MSP, enthusiasts, and nascent IT professional into the welcoming arms of any of those products. Good bye, and thanks for all the fish.