Microsoft's Hyper-V platform enables admins to transition to a virtualized infrastructure. With a variety of features, the product appeals to a number of enterprises looking to extend their server networks at minimal cost. But is it the right choice for your organization? And if you're already using it, how can you get the most from Hyper-V?

In this guide, find out how Hyper-V compares to other hypervisor platforms, explore tools and features like dynamic memory allocation, and learn how it can help you transition into the cloud. We'll also take a look at the future of the Hyper-V platform with version 3.0, shipping in 2012 with Windows Server 8.

Table of contents:

Weighing Hyper-V against other virtualization options

Comparing Hyper-V and VMware
Is Microsoft's native option really the best option for every enterprise, or is a third-party hypervisor solution the better choice? We scope out the subtle differences between the two main contenders.

The 10 best hypervisor technologies
Hyper-V and VMware may get the most attention, but there are other competitors to consider, each with its own strengths and weaknesses.

Hyper-V shops get a new backup option in Veeam
In a sign that Hyper-V is becoming even more competitive with VMware, Veeam is a new backup option available to those deploying Microsoft's virtualization platform.

The future of Hyper-V

The hardware requirements for testing Hyper-V 3.0
Testing Hyper-V 3.0 is a no-brainer, considering the minimal hardware requirements. It will help you gain skills and experience before the release.

Live migration, extensible virtual switch come to Hyper-V 3.0
Windows Server 8 features Hyper-V 3.0. Find out which features have admins most excited.

Hyper-V 3.0 shared-nothing live migration gives a boost to small shops
There are some limits to Hyper-V 3.0, but it should help smaller IT shops looking to virtualize.

Hyper-V 3.0 and Windows 8

Installing Hyper-V 3.0 on a test server
Whether you prefer a GUI or the command line, installing and configuring Hyper-V 3.0 on a test server is a breeze.

Hyper-V comes to Windows 8 desktop
Windows 8's inclusion of a client hypervisor will help admins tackle application compatibility problems.

How Windows 8 could affect the future of Microsoft Hyper-V
Previously, Hyper-V was tied to Windows Server – but its inclusion with the desktop OS could create some issues for users down the road.

Supporting Hyper-V

Deciding how many virtual machines to run on a Hyper-V server
In Windows Server 8, Hyper-V will support more virtual machines, but there are some considerations to keep in mind when staying within those limits.

Note to admins: pay attention to Hyper-V drivers
Hyper-V drivers can help boost performance, but it's important to learn the distinctions, like synthetic and emulated drivers.

Building a Hyper-V high-availability cluster
Setting up a failover cluster to ensure high availability requires advanced hardware and other considerations.

Hyper-V's cloud potential

System Center 2012 facilitates Hyper-V private clouds
System Center 2012 can help admins create Hyper-V private clouds, with the tools to make applications elastic and enable on-demand self-service.

Maximizing Hyper-V for cloud integration
Just deploying Hyper-V is a good first step in cloud integration, but admins can take it a step further.

Server App-V's implications for applications in the cloud
Will more companies adopt Azure if Microsoft provides an easy option with Server App-V?

Tools and security on Hyper-V

Finding the right Hyper-V tools for your Windows environment
New tools are being developed all the time for Hyper-V, but which ones are best for your deployment?

Warding off Microsoft Hyper-V security hacks
It's not just forgetting to apply updates that can leave the door open for hackers, it's sloppy configuration, too.

Dynamic Memory allocation

Using Dynamic Memory allocation in Hyper-V R2 SP1
How can you get the best performance bang for your buck with over-allocating memory in Hyper-V R2 SP1 ?

Hyper-V's dynamic memory allocation helps address VM problem
Before dynamic memory allocation, assigning the right amount of memory was a tough task, considering the VM might not need it all of the time.

Understanding virtual memory settings in Hyper-V Dynamic Memory
Hyper-V's Dynamic Memory virtual memory settings are easy to use, but there are some things to know.