This was a very busy week for my team and I as we were working with Microsoft to develop a video documenting our work and successes with Microsoft Virtualization. I had the pleasure of working with some very hardworking, dedicated folks and you really have to see them in action to appreciate all they give day after day. Part of this process involved a number of interviews outlining our work and experience with Hyper-V, Management Tools, Etc.
Later that evening, the team and I headed to dinner and found ourselves discussing the performance of Linux on Hyper-V. It appeared that most of the team wasn't aware that there was a recent update to the Linux Integration Components. At the end of last month, Microsoft released updated components known as the "Linux Integration Components Version 2" for use with all versions of Hyper-V. After learning my team wasn't aware, I started reaching out to others that I network with and realized that there wasn't as much awareness as expected and felt it was appropriate to post about it in detail.
The updated components are supported on all x64 versions of Windows Server 2008, Hyper-V Server 2008, Windows Server 2008 R2 and Hyper-V Server 2008 R2. Supported Linux Guest are SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 10 SP2 (x86 and x64), SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 11 (x86 and x64) and Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.2, 5.3 and 5.4 (x86 and x64), but these guest are only supported when configured with 1 virtual CPU. The updated components provide support for synthetic storage and network drivers allowing them to take advantage of the very fast VMBus. The components also allow the guest to leverage Fastpath boot support, allowing boot devices to leverage the storage VSC (Virtualization Service Client) for enhanced performance. However, the update still doesn't provide mouse support directly and you must leverage a driver made available as part of the Citrix Project Satori.
The certification efforts leading to the development of these components has allowed me to change my thinking from if, to when I will start migrating my production Linux environments to Hyper-V. Every test scenario I have implemented has resulted in a stable well performed virtualized Linux guest which is what every admin strives for.
For more information or to download the Linux Integration Components v2, then please visit the link below.