Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2019: overview and product features

Microsoft recently announced the availability of Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2019, the product of free installation, that allows you to adopt the Hyper-V role to deliver an enterprise-class virtualization solution. This is an announcement that many people have been waiting for a long time to take advantage of the new virtualization features in Windows Server 2019. This article introduces the main product features and provides steps to follow to install the product.

Features

Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2019 is a standalone product that includes only the roles related to virtualization, it's totally free and includes the same technologies as the Hyper-V hypervisor present in Windows Server 2019. This product may be of particular interest in scenarios where you don't need to fire Windows Server virtual machines, and when you have to keep Linux or VDI virtual machines running. All operating systems activated on Hyper-V Server 2019 will have to be appropriately licensed if required.

Compared to Windows Server, the footprint is much smaller, because there is no graphical user interface (GUI), contains no other roles and is only available in Server Core mode. In this regard, it should be taken into account that Hyper-V Server 2019 does not allow you to use Software Defined Datacenter features as Storage Spaces Direct (S2D). These features require the presence of Windows Server Datacenter edition.

Product Installation

Before proceeding with the installation it is appropriate to verify the hardware requirements listed in Microsoft's official documentation.

To get Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2019 you need to log inthe specific section of the Microsoft Evaluation Center and start downloading the ISO. With the Hyper-V Server ISO available, you can use it to boot the machine and start the installation of the product.

The installation process does not require any license key and there are no time limits for use. The following are the steps to install the product.

Figure 1 – Selecting the language and region settings

 

Figure 2 – Start the installation process

 

Figure 3 - Accepting the license terms

 

Figure 4 – Selecting the drive on which to install Microsoft Hyper-V Server

Next, the installation will begin, at the end of which, after the Administrator account password change, you will be able to configure Hyper-V Server 2019. The configuration can be done using the command sconfig or by using PowerShell.

Figure 5 – Configuring the server using sconfig

You do not need to install the Hyper-V role because it is already active at the end of the installation.

Windows Admin Center, that allows you to fully and graphically manage the virtualization environment, can also be used to manage Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2019.

Conclusions

The announcement of the availability of Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2019 came after months from the official release of Windows Server 2019, but now it can be used in production, and it may be particularly suitable if it falls within one of the scenarios described in this article. Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2019 is a good solution to adopt a stable and proven virtualization platform without incurring specific costs to fire the operating system of the virtualization host, but you should always consider the limitations.