I’m going to do my best (no guarantees – I only have one body and pair of ears/eyes and NDA stuff is hard to track!) to update this page with a listing of each new Windows Server Technical Preview Hyper-V and Hyper-V Server vNext (and related) features as they are revealed and discussed publicly by Microsoft. The links will lead to more detailed descriptions of each feature.
Note, that the features of WS2012 can be found here and the features of WS2012 R2 can be found here.
This list was last updated on 17/February/2015.
Backup Change Tracking
Microsoft will include change tracking so third-party vendors do not need to update/install dodgy kernel level file system filters for change tracking of VM files.
Binary VM Configuration Files
Microsoft is moving away from text-based files to increase scalability and performance.
Cluster Cloud Witness
You can use Azure blob storage as a witness for quorum for a multi-site cluster. Stores just an incremental sequence number.
Cluster Compute Resiliency
Prevents the cluster from failing a host too quickly after a transient error. A host will go into isolation, allowing services to continue to run without disruptive failover.
Cluster Functional Level
A rolling upgrade requires mixed-mode clusters, i.e. WS2012 R2 and Windows Server vNext hosts in the same cluster. The cluster will stay and WS2012 R2 functional level until you finish the rolling upgrade and then manually increase the cluster functional level (one-way).
If a cluster node is flapping (going into & out of isolation too often) then the cluster will quarantine a node, and drain it of resources (Live Migration – see MoveTypeThreshold and DefaultMoveType).
Cluster Rolling Upgrade
You do not need to create a new cluster or do a cluster migration to get from WS2012 R2 to Windows Server vNext. The new process allows hosts in a cluster to be rebuilt IN THE EXISTING cluster with Windows Server vNext.
Delivery of Integration Components
This will be done via Windows Update
Export just the changes between 2 known points in time. Used for incremental file-based backup.
Distributed Storage QoS
Enable per-virtual hard disk QoS for VMs stored on a Scale-Out File Server
Hyper-V is decoupling from volume backup for scalability and reliability reasons
Hot-Add & Hot-Remove of vNICs
You can hot-add and hot-remove virtual NICs to/from a running virtual machine.
Microsoft does not believe in hyper-convergence. Compute and storage scale at different levels, therefore VMs run on one cluster, and storage is a different tier that can scale separately.
Hyper-V Manager Alternative Credentials
With CredSSP-enabled PCs and hosts, you can connect to a host with alternative credentials.
Hyper-V Manager Down-Level Support
You can manage Windows Server vNext, WS2012 R2 and WS2012 Hyper-V from a single console
Hyper-V Manager WinRM
WinRM is used to connect to hosts.
This is a new protocol for Microsoft Storage QoS. It uses SMB 3.0 as a transport, and it describes the conversation between Hyper-V compute nodes and the SOFS storage nodes.
Network Adapter Identification
Not vCDN! You can create/name a vNIC in the settings of a VM and see the name in the guest OS.
A new fabric management feature built-into Windows Server, offering many new features that we see in Azure.
Hot Memory Resize
You can resize the memory of a vNext guest OS in a virtual machine that does not have dynamic memory.
The Hyper-V Manager will show the Memory Demand metric for virtual machines that do not have Dynamic Memory enabled. This illustrates actual memory usage of the guest OS and services from the statically assigned amount of RAM.
Online Resize of Memory
Change memory of running virtual machines that don’t have Dynamic Memory enabled.
Hyper-V has expanded support for power management, including Connected Standby
When talking from one machine to the next via SMB 3.11. This is a security feature that uses checks on the sender & recipient side to ensure that there is no man-in-the-middle.
Using VSS in the guest OS to create a consistent snapshots that workload services should be able to support. Applying a checkpoint is like performing a VM restore from backup.
RDMA to the Host
Remote Direct Memory Access will be supported to the management OS virtual NICs via converged networking.
Replica Support for Hot-Add of VHDX
When you hot-add a VHDX to a running VM that is being replicated by Hyper-V Replica, the VHDX is available to be added to the replica set (MSFT doesn’t assume that you want to replicate the new disk).
Replica support for Cross-Version Hosts
Your hosts can be of different versions.
Runtime Memory Resize
You can increase or decrease the memory assigned to Windows Server vNext guests.
Secure Boot for Linux
Enable protection of the boot loader in Generation 2 VMs
Shared VHDX Improvements
You will be able to do host-based snapshots of Shared VHDX (so you get host-level backups).
SMB 3.10 or SMB3.11
This is a new version of the data transport protocol. The Technical Preview includes 3.10 but the RTM product will probably ship with 3.11. The focus has been on security. There is support for mixed mode clusters so there is backwards compatibility.
SMB Negotiated Encryption
Moving from AES CCM to AES GCM (Galois Counter Mode) for efficiency and performance. It will leverage new modern CPUs that have instructions for AES encryption to offload the heavy lifting.
SMB Forced Encryption
In older versions of SMB, SMB encryption was opt-in on the client side. This is no longer the case in the next version of Windows Server.
Built-in, hardware agnostic, synchronous and asynchronous replication of Windows Storage, performed at the file system level (volume-based). Enables campus or multi-site clusters.
Storage Spaces Shared Nothing
A “low cost” solution for VM storage. A cluster of nodes using internal (DAS) disks to create a consistent storage spaces pools that stretch across the servers. Compute is on a different cluster.
Storage Transient Failures
Avoid VM bugchecks when storage has a transient issue. The VM freezes while the host retries to get storage back online.
Virtual Machine Groups
Group virtual machines for operations such as orchestrated checkpoints (even with shared VHDX) or group checkpoint export.
Virtual Machine ID Management
Control whether a VM has same or new ID as before when you import it.
VM Storage Resiliency
A VM will pause when the physical storage of that VM goes offline. Allows the storage to come back (maybe Live Migration) without crashing the VM.
VM Upgrade Process
VM versions are upgraded manually, allowing VMs to be migrated back down to WS2012 R2 hosts with support from Microsoft.
This is Docker in Windows Server, enabling services to run in containers on a shared set of libaries on an OS, giving you portability, per-OS density, and fast deployment.