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Microsoft offers the standalone Hyper-V server for free. I'm wondering if I can install roles other than the Hyper-V role on this? I know installing other roles alongside Hyper-V is a bad practice, but what I'm trying to ask is if the Hyper-V Server edition of Windows Server allows installation of other roles, like DNS server, File Server etc. Infact I'm not interested in running Hyper-V, just looking for a free windows server to install some roles on.


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up vote 4 down vote accepted

From here

Hyper-V Server is a dedicated stand-alone product that contains the hypervisor, Windows Server driver model, virtualization capabilities, and supporting components such as failover clustering, but does not contain the robust set of features and roles as the Windows Server operating system.

So I'd say the answer is No, you can't use it as a free windows server.

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The reason MS offers this functionality is to seriously compete with the likes of VMWare, Xen, etc. If MS allowed other services like Active Directory, File Sharing, etc to run as a part of Hyper-V standalone - what reason would anyone have to purchase licenses for Windows Server? I think Microsoft got into the enterprise VM market a bit late, but Hyper-V standalone is sure to give them a foothold to build from for the future. I personally use Hyper-V at work and could not imagine how I would manage the same number of machines if they were physical boxes.

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