With the launch of Windows Server 2022, Microsoft will not be launching a new version of Hyper-V Server. Hyper-V Server is a free tool historically offered alongside Windows Server to build hybrid clouds and manage sets of virtual machines.
News of this first arose in a Microsoft TechCommunity thread. A user by the name of “DavidYorkshire” asked whether there’d be a new version of the Hyper-V Server. They’d seen mentions of it being dropped but read nothing official.
A principal product manager for Microsoft, Elden Christensen, entered the thread and didn’t outright confirm or deny the end of the Hyper-V Server. Instead, he implied it by suggesting that users should look into the Azure Stack HCI, which has a free trial.
He went on to say Microsoft’s vision going forward lies in this offering. Azure is Microsoft’s main cloud computing solution, a partner of some of the biggest managed hosting services out there.
The Register attempted to get some clarity on the issue, but Microsoft didn’t give a strong indication either way.
The Future is Hybrid
Hyper-V Server is Microsoft’s free virtual machine management platform. Its main competitor and the dominant product in this area of cloud computing is VMware’s vSphere. It holds 75% of the server virtualization market in spite of its premium cost.
Microsoft’s decision to drop the free Hyper-V Server in favor of the Azure Stack HCI (Hyper-Converged Infrastructure) is a step towards more monetization. The Stack brings more Azure services onto the premises of clients. This, Microsoft hopes, will lead to the adoption of its other cloud services, ranging from hosting to backup.
Cloud providers are always jostling to win market share by improving and balancing service provisions to steer customers in beneficial directions, so this move should come as no surprise.
All is not lost for Hyper V—the hypervisor that works with the Hyper-V Server—however. The technology used in Azure is extremely similar, so users will still have some of the capabilities they’re used to, albeit in another space.