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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 and Windows Server 2008. 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, as Microsoft in s not involved in testing or submission of these 3rd party products, and does not control when such submissions are made. 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 or later Windows Server version environment?
The Windows Server 2012 R2 and later versions 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.
What product changes require a vendor to retest and resubmit their product?
SVVP policies regarding retest and resubmission are closely aligned w/ those for physical systems. At a high level, any "Major" or "Minor" version change of the product triggers the need for retest and resubmission in order for the product to be supported under SVVP. These Major and Minor changes are typically reflected in the version numbers of a product, w/ Major version changes often being related to significant changes in functionality or features, or possible incompatibility w/ already released products, and Minor version changes related to feature or function changes that are not expected to cause incompatibility issues. Hotfixes or other small changes to the product that do not add features, functionality or improve performance do not trigger a need for retest and resubmission in order for the product to be supported. These hotfix changes are typically reflected in the Revision number(s) of a product. The other policies regarding what changes to products Microsoft requires that the vendor retest and resubmit the product for certification can be found at this link, Windows Hardware Compatibility Requirements, as a download at this location on the page, "Hardware Certification Policies and Processes"
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.
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 or later versions of Windows Server, are earlier versions of Windows Server supported?
When a vendor validates their virtualization solution with the latest version of Windows Server, then Windows Server 2012, Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Server 2008 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 versions currently supported as listed in the Support Lifecycle matrix. Windows Server 2012 R2, Windows Server 2012, Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Server 2008 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