Microsoft to boost ISVs support for Hyper-V with new Windows Logo Program

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The biggest challenge when a customer embraces any form of virtualization is verifying that the ISVs support their products inside the virtual machines, the OS containers or the virtual layers of choice.
Without an official support statement, the ISVs may require to reproduce any technical issue experienced inside the virtualization platform also on a physical machine. And this is a costly and time-consuming process that is often impossible to complete.

The lack of ISVs support is pretty common when dealing with virtualization platform that are brand new or not widely adopted, like Oracle VM or Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization Hypervisor (which is based on KVM).
Compared to VMware ESX, Hyper-V still has a limited diffusion and the ISVs that official support the Microsoft hypervisor are not so many. But things may dramatically change very soon.

With a move that almost passed under the radar, Microsoft just reshaped its Windows Logo specifications in a way that ISVs are now obliged to support Hyper-V:

Hyper-V is no longer an optional requirement. Applications seeking the Logo will be tested on Virtual Machines running on Microsoft Hyper-V enabled Windows Server 2008 R2 Server computers. See the policies section in this document for options to proceed if your application cannot be tested within a Virtual Machine on Microsoft Hyper-V.

This update requires applications to work properly on Virtual Machines with 4 Virtual processors instead of physical machines with 8-cores.

Microsoft approved testing vendors will test the application within a Virtual machine running on top of Microsoft Hyper-V. Applications that cannot be run in this environment must justify the technical and any other reasons for not meeting this policy.

Applications that pass testing on a Virtual Machine running on Microsoft Hyper-V will be listed with an extra modifier in the Windows Server Catalog designating them as Hyper-V tested.

The designation means that the application’s primary functionality has been validated in a Windows Server 2008 R2 virtual machine running on Hyper-V and that the application supports five key Hyper-V features specific to virtual machine behavior – save state, restore, pause, shut down and snapshots.

The designation does not imply that the application is fully Hyper-V compliant and that all application functionality works optimally. In some cases, the application and or some components in the application may have reduced and or missing functionality while running in a virtual machine running on Hyper-V.

The designation also does not imply that the application has passed all the certification requirements while running in a virtual environment. Some test cases in the Certification program may still be executed on a physical machine. If the application is expected to be impacted when running in a Virtual machine on Hyper-V (or) when Hyper-V features such as Save state, restore etc., are performed, then such impact and workarounds if any must be documented and made available to Customers on demand.

VSS aware applications may have special considerations when running inside a Virtual Machine. Although this is not a Certification requirement, Independent Software Vendors must test VSS scenarios and ensure the application continues to work as expected and do not interfere with other services, applications or Windows features.

So the ISVs that want the new Logo don’t have any choice but jump on the Hyper-V bandwagon, and in this way Microsoft is securing the broadest industry support for Hyper-V even if the product is not leading the market.