The release of Windows Server 2008 R2 brings many new features to Hyper-V.

Hyper-V in Windows Server 2008 R2 includes five core areas of improvement for creating dynamic virtual data centers:


Increased availability for virtualized data centers

Improved management of virtualized data centers

Increased Performance and Hardware Support for Hyper-V Virtual Machines

Improved Virtual Networking Performance

A simplified method for physical and virtual computer deployments by using .vhd files

A new release of Hyper-V for Windows Server 2008 also means that a new of release of Citrix Essentials for Hyper-V is coming.

Citrix just made the beta version of Citrix Essentials 5.5 for Microsoft Hyper-V available for download.

Citrix Essentials 5.5 for Hyper-V, otherwise known as the ‘R2’ release of Citrix Essentials, supports the latest Hyper-V and System Center enhancements now available in Windows Server 2008 R2 ( ). In addition to supporting R2, Citrix Essentials adds new disaster recovery capabilities to Hyper-V with StorageLink Site Recovery.

Here’s a glimpse of some of the new goodies available in Citrix Essentials 5.5 for Microsoft Hyper-V:

Site Recovery
Why put a bunch of idle physical hardware at remote recovery sites when you can accomplish your DR objectives with virtualized servers using Hyper-V? Server virtualization with Hyper-V gives your IT organization an extremely cost-effective approach to disaster recovery, while the new Site Recovery capabilities included with Citrix Essentials gives you the control you need to implement, manage, and test your DR solution.

Site Recovery uses StorageLink technology ( ) to unlock underlying storage array replication services, giving you the toolset you need to enable remote fail-over strategies for their Hyper-V environments. You can use StorageLink Site Recovery to set up native storage remote mirroring services, then test the recoverability of virtual infrastructure at remote sites through the staging capabilities included with Site Recovery. Instant clones of recovery VMs can be created and placed in isolated networks where you can test recovery without impacting ongoing data replication or access to critical Hyper-V infrastructure.

Additionally, you can use workflow orchestration tools in Citrix Essentials and Windows Server 2008 Clustering to build out a completely automated DR solution for your Hyper-V infrastructure.

R2 Integration
This release of Citrix Essentials coincides with the R2 release of Windows Server 2008 to ensure you can take full advantage of advanced management and automation included with Citrix Essentials for Hyper-V. It supports the latest Windows Server® technologies, including the R2 releases of Hyper-V and System Center Virtual Machine Manager. Citrix Essentials integration with the R2 release of Hyper-V and System Center includes the simplified setup and administration of shared storage assets required for Microsoft Failover Clustering and Live Migration.

Windows 7 Support
Most IT organizations will spend the coming months testing Windows 7 in their labs as they prepare to roll it out to their users. Citrix Essentials 5.5 for Hyper-V includes updates to its lab management capabilities, including support for Windows 7. Automated lab management in Citrix Essentials automates the setup and tear-down of unique workload configurations, including builds of Windows 7, using self-service template libraries for rapid provisioning and enables cross-team collaboration on common virtual environments. With automated lab management, organizations can accelerate the process of moving workloads through development and testing, and into the live production environment, while reducing virtual machine sprawl and minimizing setup or configuration errors and delays.

Grab the beta and go for a test drive.

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