Windows Server 2016 Hyper-V: More secure, but not faster

Hyper-V 2016 tightens VM security and eases management, but seems to have lost a step

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At a Glance

With Windows Server 2016, Microsoft has introduced a lengthy list of improvements to Hyper-V. Along with functional additions like container support, nested virtualization, and increased memory and vCPU limits, you’ll find a number of new features, including production-grade checkpoints and the ability to hot-add memory and network adapters, that ease administration.

But Microsoft’s primary goal in the 2016 Hyper-V release seems to have been to improve security. In fact, I would go so far as to say that Hyper-V’s new killer feature is shielded VMs, which work with BitLocker encryption and a guardian service to ensure that virtual machines run only on authorized hosts.

If one Hyper-V 2016 feature would push me to upgrade, it would be the shielded VM feature. But the ability to allocate more memory to Generation 2 VMs, and the ability to hot-add memory and network adapters to virtualization hosts, are also big draws.

One area Hyper-V 2016 may not improve is VM performance. In fact, my Sandra benchmark tests of a Windows Server 2012 R2 virtual machine on Hyper-V 2012 R2 versus Hyper-V 2016 indicate a step backward. I wouldn’t call these results definitive by any means, but keep it in mind as you begin evaluating Windows Server 2016 Hyper-V for your own workloads.

The Hyper-V setup process

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