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Server Virtualization Validation Program

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Server Virtualization Validation Program FAQ

Why are Hyper-V and Virtual Server not part of SVVP?
Microsoft supports Windows Server and other Microsoft products with Hyper-V and Virtual Server. SVVP is designed for non-Microsoft virtualization solutions.
How/where can I find out more about the vendor, version and configurations that I am considering for deployment? If my deployed solutions are not validated how can I get them to become validated?
Validated solutions will be posted on the Server Virtualization Validation Program as they become available. If a customer has a particular solution in mind that is not posted they should contact the server virtualization software provider and request that the solution be validated by that vendor.
What operating systems will Microsoft support on validated hypervisors?
Windows Server 2012 R2, Windows Server 2012, Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Server 2008 and Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 2 (SP2) and subsequent service packs. Microsoft will continue to provide technical support for these and any future operating systems that are added to SVVP, as long as Microsoft provides technical support for those operating systems under non-virtualized conditions. Microsoft's Life Cycle Support policy still applies for support and end of support for specific versions of an operating system and Service Packs. For more information on Microsoft's support lifecycle policies please see http://support.microsoft.com/?pr=lifecycle.
How often will the list of supported solutions be updated?
The complete list of supported solutions will be updated in an on-going manner. Updates will be based on the frequency and quality of vendor submissions. It is our goal to post a validated configuration as quickly as it is verified to enable customers to benefit from those solutions.
What are the customer benefits of this program and what is different now?
Customers will be able to deploy and operate Windows Server on validated virtualization software knowing that they will be supported. The cooperation between Microsoft and the virtualization vendor will improve the level of support overall for the customer, enabling the parties to more quickly isolate and diagnose customer issues, and should provide quicker final resolution of the problem by the responsible party.
What Microsoft certification is available for third-party applications running in a virtualized Windows Server 2012 R2 environment?
The Windows Server 2012 R2 Software Certification program requires all applications to be tested within a Virtual Machine running on Microsoft Hyper-V. To qualify, both the Hyper-V and the Virtual Machine must be running Windows Server 2012 R2.
Are older versions of virtualization products validated through SVVP supported?
Microsoft only supports Microsoft products running on the specific versions of virtualization software tested and validated through SVVP.
If my company is running a validated configuration and my vendor updates and validates newer versions, will my validation expire? How long will I be able to get support from Microsoft?
Once validated, a configuration is supported until such time as some element of that configuration is no longer supported by its respective vendor. Examples would be if a virtualization vendor declared a version of their product to be "end of life", or when Microsoft Life Cycle Support policy ends support for a specific version of an operating system or Service Pack.
Will we ever have to reproduce issues we are experiencing on SVVP-validated solutions on hardware?
Our goal is to resolve issues without having to turn off features or reproduce them on hardware by collaborating with the virtualization solution providers. Reproducing on hardware will be a last resort to be taken only after Microsoft and the virtualization solution provider has had an opportunity to resolve the problem for the customer.
Does the SVVP cover all Windows Server Roles?
All Windows Server roles are supported with SVVP-validated solutions, except Hyper-V. It does not make sense to run a hypervisor (Hyper-V) on another virtualization solution/hypervisor. Windows Server 2008 and later Failover Clustering is supported by Microsoft on validated virtualization products, contingent on meeting the requirements specified in Microsoft KB article 943984 regarding Cluster support, see http://support.microsoft.com/kb/943984. The fully configured platform must pass the Validate test in the Failover Cluster Management snap-in to qualify for Microsoft support.

Windows Server 2008 and later Failover Clusters configured on virtual machines running on a validated virtualization product may be able to successfully pass the Validate test when configured per the virtualization vendor's requirements for supported configurations. For information on the requirements and supported configurations, refer to the Setup for Failover Clustering and Microsoft Cluster Services on the virtualization vendor's web site. Support for non-Microsoft features used in conjunction with Windows Server 2008 and later Failover Clustering are provided by the virtualization vendor. For more information on failover cluster validation, see http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc732035.aspx.

Windows Server 2003 Failover Clustering is supported by Microsoft on validated virtualization products, contingent on meeting the requirements specified below;
  • Virtual machines hosted by virtualization products that have been submitted for SVVP validation will be considered the same as a physical server for purposes of Windows Server 2003 Cluster submission
  • The virtualization vendor must run the tests included in version 1.4 of the Windows Logo Kit for Windows Server 2003 Cluster submissions, pass, and submit to Microsoft
  • The virtualization vendor must use for testing physical systems that are Windows Server 2008 or later Logo-qualified, in accord with the requirements for SVVP

Support for the cluster configuration(s) submitted, including the storage arrays, will be provided by Microsoft if:
  • the storage array is on Microsoft's supported cluster list for Windows Server 2003 in the Windows Server Catalog, and
  • the storage array is on the virtualization vendor's supported cluster list, and
  • the virtualization vendor requests that the array be included for support, and
  • Microsoft has no data to indicate that the array won't work

MS Corporate Support will accept the support call, and will work the issue in the same manner as any other Windows Server 2003 Cluster issue.
If the Support Engineer's diagnosis of the root cause of the issue leads him to believe that the problem is related to the para-virtualization drivers resident in the Windows Server virtual machine which are provided by the virtualization vendor, or that the problem is related to the hosting virtualization product, then in accord with SVVP policy and process, the virtualization vendor would be responsible for the higher level technical support required to resolve the issue.
If the Support Engineer's diagnosis of the root cause of the issue leads him to believe that the problem is related to the storage array(s) which are part of the cluster configuration, then in accord w/ processes and policies relating to 3rd party products, the storage array, or other, vendor would be responsible for the higher level technical support required to resolve the issue.

Notes:
Cluster submissions for Windows Server 2003 ended per previous announcement in the WHQL Newsletter Dec 31, 2009 Mainstream support for Windows Server 2003 ends July 13, 2010. After this date, Microsoft will only support the above described cluster configurations for customers who have an Extended Support Contract for Windows Server 2003 at that time.
Does Microsoft support virtualization software from other companies?
Microsoft only supports Microsoft's products. You will need to contact the provider of non-Microsoft virtualization software for support on their software.
If a software company validates Windows Server 2012 R2, are earlier versions of Windows Server supported?
When a vendor validates their virtualization solution with Windows Server 2012 R2, then Windows Server 2012, Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Server 2008 and Windows Server 2003 SP2 and subsequent service packs are also supported.
A virtualization solution provider claims to support Windows NT4 and earlier service packs of Windows 2000 Server and Windows Server 2003. Are these earlier operating systems supported through SVVP?
No. Microsoft supports Windows Server 2012 R2, Windows Server 2012, Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Server 2008 and Windows Server 2003 SP2 and subsequent service packs.
Is a validated virtualization product required to expose to the Windows operating system and applications running in a virtual machine that the 'machine' or system environment is virtual?
Virtualization products executing on processors that support virtualization hardware assists must correctly expose the CPUID information to the virtual instance of Windows.

To support software that may need to determine if it is executing in a virtualized environment, the Server Virtualization Validation Program requires virtualization products executing on processors that support virtualization hardware assists to correctly expose the CPUID information to the virtual instance of Windows or applications.

To support utility or application software that may need to determine if it is executing in a virtualized environment, one of the Server Virtualization Validation Program tests determines if virtualization products correctly expose the CPUID information to the virtual instance of Windows or applications. Software in the virtual instance of Windows can determine if it is running within a virtualized environment by executing the CPUID instruction with an input (EAX register) value of 1. When the CPUID instruction is executed by the software and it checks bit 31 of register ECX, the "hypervisor-present" bit should be set by the virtualization product.

There is no requirement for any further information to be provided in registers and leaves by the virtualization product.

Notes: Product and company names mentioned herein are the trademarks of their respective owners Processor virtualization hardware assist is referred to as 'VT' by Intel and 'Pacifica' by AMD

All SVVP testing must take place on systems Logo qualified for the most recent version of Windows Server. The Windows Server Logo requirements include the following, "Processors in the server support virtualization hardware assists".

For more information on this requirement, contact svvpfb@microsoft.com