The free hypervisor space is a very important segment for IT pros getting started with virtualization. It allows organizations to give virtualization a try without incredible financial investment. Further, some organizations are just fine running free virtualization tools in a production capacity.

Last week at Microsoft TechEd North America, the details were laid out for Hyper-V Server 2012. This is the free hypervisor and is not to be confused with Windows Server 2012 with the Hyper-V role; although the codebase is quite similar, they are officially different products.

Hyper-V Server 2012 will bring incredible scale to the free virtualization space; and, in fact, no other free offering comes close. The free version of Hyper-V will support up to 4 TB of RAM on the host, individual virtual machines with 1 TB of RAM, and guest vCPU assignments up to 64 cores. This is absolutely incredible. A free hypervisor that really exceeds many revenue offerings is mind boggling.

The release candidate for Hyper-V Server 2012 is available under certain access levels from Microsoft from resources such as a TechNet subscription. The release candidate installs just like any version of Windows or Hyper-V Server that is available today, quick and painlessly.

After the release candidate is installed; the menu on the host console is materially unchanged from the previous versions of the free Hyper-V as shown in Figure A below:

Figure A

The capabilities of this free hypervisor are very high. Couple that with the free migration technologies that don’t require shared storage, and it’s pretty clear that Microsoft is serious in the virtualization space.

Does this new version of the free Hyper-V operating system appeal to you? Have you downloaded the release candidate? Share your comments below.