What is Hyper-V? Hyper-V gives you the ability to install virtual machines. Hardware and/or System virtual machines allow the sharing of the underlying physical machine resources between different virtual machines, each running its own operating system. The software layer providing the virtualization is called a virtual machine monitor or hypervisor.
The main advantages of Virtual Machines (VMs) are:
What does all of this mean? If you are currently running Windows Server 2008 on your computer you can also have Windows XP installed. XP would run in a separate space on your hard drive and would launch in a new window on top of your Windows Server 2008 installation. Giving you two operating systems to run. You could use the XP virtual machine to run older software. Another example would be if you were a developer and you wanted to test different applications in different operating systems. You would use the virtual machine to test your applications, if something were to go wrong with the new software you were testing it wouldn't harm your Windows Server installation. IT companies would use virtual machines on their network to test applications before deploying the applications network wide. Now that you understand what a virtual machine is lets get started with the installation process.
Just for giggles I am going to be installing Hyper-V inside a virtual machine already created with VMWare. When I am finished I will have a virtual machine running inside a virtual machine. I have Windows Server 2008 installed as a virtual machine with VMWare in my current Windows 7 Ultimate operating system. If you are brave you can follow along, view how to create a virtual machine with VMWare Server. When you are finished with that article come back and follow along. If you are not the brave type continue reading.
Stuff you need to install Hyper-V is as follows:
Installation Instructions For Hyper-V on Windows Server 2008