What's New in Microsoft Hyper-V Server


Applies To: Hyper-V Server 2012, Hyper-V Server 2012 R2

This document briefly summarizes new features in Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2012 R2 and Hyper-V Server 2012 and outlines current virtual machine maximums, configuration, and workgroup considerations.

Hyper-V Server is a full-featured, enterprise-class, stand-alone Microsoft hypervisor, which provides an optimized virtualization platform that requires fewer updates than a full version of Windows Server. Hyper-V Server consumes half the disk space of a default installation of Windows Server. It supports the same hardware compatibility list as the corresponding editions of Windows Server, and it integrates fully with Microsoft System Center and Windows technologies such as Windows Update and Active Directory.

This product is a free download and its installation is pre-activated. However, the operating systems running on hosted virtual machines each require a proper license.


All the new features that were added to the Hyper-V role in Windows Server 2012 R2 are also included in Hyper-V Server. For an overview of these features, see What’s New in Hyper-V for Windows Server 2012 R2.

What’s new in Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2012 R2 and Hyper-V Server 2012

In addition to supporting all of the new features in the Hyper-V server role of the corresponding editions of Windows Server and other general Windows Server features, Hyper-V Server supports failover clustering, multipath I/O, and server backup. You can also install this product on bootable USB flash drives. For more information, see Deploying Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2008 R2 on USB Flash Drive.

To use Server Manager to manage a server that is not in a domain, add the name of a computer that is running Hyper-V Server to the trusted hosts list of a server that is not in a domain, run the following Windows PowerShell cmdlet:

Set-Item WSMan:\localhost\Client\TrustedHosts -Value <ServerName>  -Concatenate

If the sign-in credentials for the client and for the server use the same user name and password, the connection will be seamless. If the credentials are different on the client and server, you can add match credentials with the following command at a command prompt:

Cmdkey.exe /add: <servername> /user: <servername\accountname> /pass

The following table summarizes several new features in Hyper-V Server. For a more complete list and further details, see What’s New in Hyper-V for Windows Server 2012 R2.


New or updated?


Support for large-scale virtual machines (virtual CPUs, virtual machine RAM, VHDX files)


Supports the following limits:

  • 64 virtual processors per virtual machine

  • 1 TB per virtual machine

  • 64 TB per virtual hard disk

  • 320 logical processors on the computer that runs Hyper-V

  • 4 TB on the computer that runs Hyper-V

  • 1024 virtual machines per host server

Import process


Helps you resolve configuration issues that would otherwise prevent a virtual machine from being imported.

Live migration


Can perform a live migration in a non-clustered environment. Within a cluster, you can now perform more than one live migration at the same time and use higher network bandwidths.

Resource metering


Track and gather data about the physical processor, memory, storage, and network usage by specific virtual machines.

Storage migration


Move the virtual hard disks that are used by a virtual machine to different physical storage while the virtual machine remains running.

Virtual Fibre Channel


Virtualize workloads and applications that require direct access to Fibre Channel-based storage. Also configure clustering directly within the guest operating system (sometimes referred to as guest clustering).

Hyper-V Replica


Send updates of virtual machine states from a primary server to a replica server to maintain continuity during planned or unplanned downtime.

Support for RemoteFX


Virtualizes 3D graphics hardware.

Support for single-root I/O virtualization (SR-IOV)


Provides direct networking to guest operating systems for network adapters that support it.

Storage on SMB2 file shares


Provides a way to provide virtual machines with shared storage without use of a storage area network (SAN).

Virtual NUMA


Newer operating systems and high-performance applications (such as SQL Server) include optimizations that recognize a computer’s NUMA topology. Considering NUMA increases performance when scheduling threads or allocating memory. The guest operating system and NUMA-aware applications running on the virtual machine (such as SQL Server) can take advantage of these performance optimizations.

Virtual switch


Includes programmatically managed and extensible capabilities to connect virtual machines to virtual networks and the physical network. Provides policy enforcement for security, isolation, and service levels. For more information, see Hyper-V Virtual Switch Overview.

Hyper-V Server has the following upper limits on virtual machines:

  • Virtual machines with 64 virtual processors

  • 1 TB of RAM per virtual machine

  • 64 TB virtual hard disks by using the VHDX format

See also