Difference between standlone hyper-v vs role based
Microsoft HYPER-V solution
Microsoft virtualization [HYPER-V] is available as standalone product and also as „role‟ based
on a Server Class Windows Operating system.
What is Hyper-V?
Hyper-V is a Windows technology that enables you to create multiple virtual machines on a
single physical x64 computer running Microsoft Windows Server 2008, Windows Server 2008
R2, or Windows Server 2012/R2.
So, what is the difference?
The standalone Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2008 & R2, 2012 & R2: [Free]
This is a Stand-alone Microsoft Virtualization product [comparable to a Server Core
installation in terms of foot print] with the hypervisor installed. But, it does not contain the
robust set of features and roles as the Windows Server operating system, along with limited
scaling than full version of Windows Server 2008 with Hyper-V role enabled. But it‟s a great
solution for smaller businesses. But, you need to think about all the Guest OS licenses, so not
all is FREE!
Two fantastic articles can give you more insight & get you started:
Introducing Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2008 - Part 1 :
Introducing Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2008 - Part 2 : Configuration
HYPER-V as a role [On Windows 2008 & R2, 2012 & R2] [Licensed]
Hyper-V is also available as a “role” in Microsoft Windows Server 2008, Windows Server 2008
R2, and Windows Server 2012/R2 versions.
When the Hyper-V role is installed, the host OS becomes [or turned into] the "Parent
Partition" (a quasi-virtual machine), and the “Hypervisor” partition is placed between the
parent partition and the hardware. As a result, it is not recommended to install additional
(non-Hyper-V and/or VDI related) roles. It‟s more important to know how Microsoft HYPER-V
Licensing works before deciding which OS version to choose from. Go to last page for more
What the hell are 'TYPE1' & 'TYPE2' Hypervisors?
Hypervisor – „A layer of software‟ also called VMM (Virtual Machine Monitor) that sits between
the hardware and one or more operating systems. Its primary job is to provide isolated
execution environments called partitions. The hypervisor controls and arbitrates access to the
Type 1 and Type 2 are called so, depending upon whether an underlying operating system is
present or not.
Type 1 hypervisor run directly on the hardware with VM resources provided by the
hypervisor, as shown in the figure below.
VMware ESXi and Citrix XenServer, Microsoft HYPER-V etc.
In Simpler words: This type of hypervisors runs directly on the host's hardware to control the
hardware and to manage guest operating systems. A guest operating-system thus runs on
another level [level 2] above the hypervisor.
Type 2 hypervisor runs on a host operating system to provide virtualization services.
Sun VirtualBox, VMware workstation and Microsoft Virtual PC etc.
In Simpler words: This type of hypervisors runs within a conventional operating-system
environment. With the hypervisor layer as a distinct second software level, guest operating-
systems run at the third level.
You might ask, – Is HYPER-V really TYPE1?
Ans: HYPER-V is indeed TYPE1 hypervisor. This is b'cos "Hypervisor partition is placed between
the parent partition and the hardware" and therefore it runs directly on top on bare-metal
Reason - Microsoft Hyper-V hypervisor loads prior to the management operating-system, and
any virtual environments created run directly on the hypervisor, not via the management
[Windows 2008/2012] operating-system.
Management Operating system [Windows Server 2008] also called parent partition is „actually
virtualized‟ to manage the Type 1 Hyper-V hypervisor that is running beneath it directly on
top of hardware.
This Microsoft discussion forum covers most of the queries around this topic:
Identifying Hyper-V Version
Installing Hyper-V and Deploying Windows Server 2008 as Your First Virtual Machine - Part I
Installing Hyper-V and Deploying Windows Server 2008 as Your First Virtual Machine - Part II
An Introduction to Hyper-V in Windows Server 2008
Download & Evaluate Windows Server 2012 R2 here: [Give it a try]
Hyper-V‟s Actual Hardware Requirements
HYPER-V 2012 LICENSING MODEL
Guest operating systems that are supported on a Hyper-V virtual
Linux Virtual Machines on Hyper-V
For latest Pricing & details on Windows 2012R2: