Q: Do I need to use System Center to cluster Hyper-V servers?
A: No. Failover clustering is a feature of Windows Server and has no requirement for System Center. I can cluster Hyper-V hosts and manage using Failover Cluster Manager. This doesn't mean that System Center doesn't add value. System Center enhances Hyper-V in many ways, including actually creating clusters, deploying hosts, and deploying virtual machines. Specific to Hyper-V hosts in a cluster, System Center Virtual Machine Manager adds the functionality to optimize the placement of virtual machines on hosts, so hosts maintain an equal workload of virtual machines and can even consolidate virtual machines to a smaller number of hosts and power servers down during quiet times. This is known as Dynamic Optimization and Power Optimization.