While searching for good links for my WS2012 Hyper-V feature list, I came across a very misleading article by a Microsoft blogger from one of their regional offices. The tile of the post claims that you require SLAT for Windows Server 8.
SLAT, or Second Level Address Translation, is where memory management is offloaded to Intel EPT or AMD NPT/RVI in the processor. It greatly speeds up memory performance (great for memory trashing RDS/Terminal Services and SQL Server) and is a requirement for RemoteFX.
I’ve seen many a confused blog post and tweet on this subject. The author appears to have been confused by a quote that relates to the client operating system, Windows 8, and not the server hypervisor. That’s a risk when you’re dealing with pre-release product codenames, and (as in this case) you’re reading articles that are not in your native language.
Anyway, let’s clear up the confusion. The server operating system continues with the traditional requirements. These are also requirements for the client:
- x64 CPU
- No Execute Bit turned on in the BIOS (DEP – Data Execution Prevention)
- Virtualisation turned on in the CPU
My old Dell Latitude with a Duo Core CPU can run Hyper-V on Windows Server 2012 (the server OS).
Windows 8 (the client OS) Pro and Enterprise include Hyper-V. The hypervisor on the client OS requires the above AND a SLAT capable processor, e.g. an i3, i5, or i7. My old Dell Latitude with a Duo Core CPU can not run Hyper-V on Windows 8 (client OS).
The blogger of the article in question does backtrack a little in a post comment, but how many people ever get to that point when searching?
In summary, you DO NOT need a SLAT capable processor to run Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V. SLAT will, however, give memory trashing VMs a great performance boost, and enables you to take advantage of RemoteFX.