Infoworld takes a look at Hyper-V, Microsoft’s hypervisor-based virtualization system, and finds: “In a nutshell, one of Hyper-V’s advertised strengths — the host partition’s ability to work with generic Windows device drivers — is also its greatest weakness. That’s because the quality level of Windows device drivers, especially those from third-party developers, is notoriously inconsistent.“
Hyper-V’s Achilles’ Heel
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2008-05-22 8:21 pmVentajou
I agree, Hyper-V is made for servers. It’s like trying to install ESX on a DIY workstation.
With that said, I’d never consider replacing our VMWare Infrastructure setup with a Hyper-V setup, even with the best drivers in the world.
2008-05-23 7:28 pmgoogle_ninja
Why? Hypervisors are better across the board then traditional virtualization software. I wouldn’t go out and junk ESX tomorrow or anything for a beta product like hyper-v, but when it hits SP1 I don’t see why you wouldn’t want to.
2008-05-24 1:07 ammbpark
This is relevant because the HP Proliant servers, which are probably the pre-eminent x86/x86-64 servers in the marketplace just based on market share alone, and the Dell PowerEdge servers (again, if they’re not #1, they’re #2) happen to run ATI/AMD video cards embedded on the motherboard.
Microsoft themselves has shipped known buggy (read: supplied by the vendor and digitally signed) drivers for the onboard ATI video on the HP Proliants (the model I used had a Rage 128 [DL560 G2], but still, this illustrates my point) that I’ve had to boot into Safe Mode and replace due to them blue screening a system (Installing the HP Proliant Support Pack for Windows Server 2003 fixed it).
So, yes, if Microsoft is pushing this out, it means that ATI/AMD have to fix their drivers and ensure that Microsoft ships drivers with Hyper-V/Windows Server 2008 that won’t have these issues. It also means that if the drivers shipped on CD with Windows Server for two of the top-tier server makers out there have issues with the video cards provided therein (and yes, these are not Intel video chip), Hyper-V is going to have some serious production issues.
2008-05-24 1:08 ammbpark
And BTW, the Core mode still loads drivers for HW on the motherboard .
2008-05-25 8:48 pmKaritku
It’s normal blogger thing. Take non-finnished product(RC1 version), use non-realistic hardware(like you said), google 5mins to find other bloggers or anonymous comments in boards, make assumption that since mine isn’t working all have same problem and finally make no attempt to contact makers of software and hardware before publishing. Polish article with flaming and doomday message. Garnish with stupid user comments how Microsoft sux/rules, Linux sux/rules, my OS “that has nothing do with article” rules/sux, my dad is cooler than you.
Firstly, if anyone is still complaining about driver inconsistency, they need to stop trying to run Windows ME. Any shoddy drivers these days is due to one of three sources: MS themselves, ATI, or because no one still knows how to deal with Vista.
As far as ATI goes, IMO they have the most horrid driver developers on the planet. It’s like their hardware engineers are trying to write code. Reason #1 that I will never, ever, under any circumstances purchase an ATI video card.
2008-05-24 9:22 pmdaschmidty
I guess that’s a “your mileage may vary” type situation. I personally have only had video instability from nVidia drivers, forceware caused more programs to crash than catalyst ever did. I’ve had a bunch of ati cards, from a rage 64 up to my current hd3870, and have never had any problems with any version of windows. That’s not to say that I haven’t had windows driver issues, most recently that I couldn’t upgrade Vista to SP1 because of my sound driver, but such is life I guess.
2008-05-25 10:40 ammbpark
You call me when you run 40 HP Proliant servers running Windows Server 2003 and tell me about driver issues and why I need to stop running Windows ME on them . The Windows drivers provided by Microsoft, AMD/ATI, and Broadcom all are horrid (especially the 7.91 Proliant Support Pack). Really buggy software such as Symantec Endpoint Protection 11 for Servers that injects itself into the network stack between the drivers and OS also causes hell (I won’t run that on servers, EVER).
Thankfully, the block of Proliants we have running our VMWare ESX Server farm run quite well, since the drivers are supplied by EMC/VMWare .
However, it doesn’t change that crappy drivers can and will cause issues, no matter what platform they are on, and that you’ve got to have solid device drivers, like VMWare provides, before you can host VMs onit.
2008-05-26 9:32 amPlatformAgnostic
Maybe I have a lack of understanding of how you’re using your Proliants: Just out of curiosity, why do you not just stick with the standard VGA driver that comes with Windows? Is there any reason you need to install the ATI driver on a server system?
I must say, I’m not a big fan of this Randall Kennedy… he appears to be a humorless sort and seems to be rather unjustifiably arrogant and self-promoting.
The gist of the article is a complaint regarding the sorry state of Windows drivers and how they negatively impact the stability of Hyper-V…
The biggest thing to point out, however, is the author of the article had trouble with an ATI graphics card driver. It boggles the imagination as to why this guy is evaluating a server tool such as a hypervisor on a system with a gaming video board, which are notorious for having flaky drivers.
The majority of companies who will use Hyper-V in a production environment will run it on servers from companies such as IBM and HP, who generally have very good driver support for their server hardware and do not use gaming video adapters. In fact, Windows 2008 Server has a “Core” option that omits the GUI entirely, which in turn renders moot any video driver issues.