NOTE: Hyper-V is still in Beta, and is a first generation product. It is not really suitable for production environments as yet - especially not for mission critical roles such as AD servers. The full release of Hyper-V is scheduled for release 180 days from the RTM date, so expect it sometime July/August time.
I am dipping my first toe into Windows Server 2008 and its new Hyper-V hyperviser, so thought I'd provide my experiences with everyone.
One thing to remember is that Hyper-V is still classed as a beta product according to the RTM release of Windows Server 2008, so it may be buggy.
Installation of Hyper-V
The installation process is a little odd, due to prerequisites and bugs.
It isn't just a case of selecting is as a role in the Initial Configuration Tasks window and following the onscreen prompts.
There are some prerequisites for running Hyper-V. These are that you have to have an x86-64 processor, that the server has hardware virtualisation support and hardware data execution protection. If you have an HP DL360 G5, these need to be enabled in the BIOS (F9 on boot, in the advanced options menu). If you don't enable them, you will receive an error message from Hyper-V and it won't run.
You have to install Windows Server 2008 with the locale 'English (United States)". This is a problem that seems to exist at the moment, and an annoying one at that. It is not enough to install it with English (United Kingdom) and then change it, it has to start off as United States...
When you have Windows installed, the actual installation of the hypervisor is simple enough - just tick the box when you add roles and follow the prompts.
You will be asked to choose network devices for the creation of virtual networks. Choose one or more devices that you wish to make available to the virtual machine(s).
When it is installed, you have to be logged in to an account that is a member of the local administrators group on the machine when you first try and use the service, as you have to agree to a license agreement.
The licensing limits are as follows:
Windows Server Standard - One copy as the host, one virtualised on top.
Windows Server Enterprise - One copy to host, four virtualised.
Windows Server Data Centre - One copy to host, unlimited virtualised.
Also, the licenses include downgrade rights for the virtualised machines - ie. if you are licensed for enterprise you can use standard in the virtualised machine. You can also use older versions of windows server - so Windows NT4, Windows 2000 Server etc...
The Hyper-V Manager
At the moment, it seems a little unstable - regularly crashing the MMC.
However, that aside, creating a new virtual machine is simple - just go to Action -> New and follow the prompts.
When you set up a disk, ensure it is greater than 10GB in size if you wish to install Server 2008, as that is the minimum disk size required. Also, note that the disks dynamically expand, so don't take up the size you choose - which is a nice.
Other than that, everything is pretty much similar to VMWare, including the inclusion of a integerated services pack which allows the mouse to go between the window and the host OS without having to press the release key combo (Ctrl+Alt+Left arrow).
I will add more if I find any other bugs or bizarre bits.
Last edited by Dos_Box; 20th February 2008 at 08:20 AM. Reason: Added warning
Can the host OS running Hyper-V be server core?
Thanks for that. I couldn't get Hyper-v to work. Your point have brought to light my errors. Cheers and have a big thank you
*I'd best create the Server 2008 forum today*
One of the features I like is that the Hyper-V manager provides a very simple way of finding out how high the demand of each virtual machine is. It lists in simple terms on the panel which machines are using what, in terms of CPU usage.
Also, the system works a lot better than VMWare Server (the free one), as it controls bootup and shutdown of the devices properly - ie. if the host machine needs a reboot, it will suspend the virtual machines and start them up again on startup. You can customise this to start the machine automatically only if it was running before the host was shutdown, automatically always, or not to boot it. It also allows you to delay the start by a specified number of seconds to allow for the pressure on the system to be lowered if you have multiple VMs.
You can also control the amount of processor each VM can take up, and you can provide a 'relative weight' so the host knows which machines take priority if they are all busy wanting resources. I've not actually looked at this aspect of it yet, as I haven't got that far.
One aspect I am yet to find out about is the ability to migrate running machines from one server to another, which would be a useful tool!
my free vmware can do this too. I re-nice the process depending on which machine I need the most.You can also control the amount of processor each VM can take up, and you can provide a 'relative weight' so the host knows which machines take priority if they are all busy wanting resources. I've not actually looked at this aspect of it yet, as I haven't got that far.
My free vmware server can do this too, I use top.One of the features I like is that the Hyper-V manager provides a very simple way of finding out how high the demand of each virtual machine is. It lists in simple terms on the panel which machines are using what, in terms of CPU usage.
Waits for something new that isn't in beta .......
I've got Hyper-V working. It's a dammed sight better than Microsoft's Virtual Server. I particularly like the VM viewer. Not the horrible mess that viewing it under IE was.
That is not the same - you do not get a nice simple list with 'CPU usage' in a column. It is a single glance to get the information, rather than having to ssh into boxes etc... Or use nagios, or use other external programs.My free vmware server can do this too, I use top.
I've never got the 'auto start up' and 'auto suspend' to work with a linux client on vmware server in windows. It simply refuses to work.My free vmware server does this this. It can also do resize partitions with the vmware-vdiskmanager tool . I guess you mean you find the 2008 gui easier to use...
Is the hyper-v as easy to script changes, as vmware?
And yes, the Hyper-V interface is more user friendly, which is a good thing for most people...
And I'm not sure about scripting, it isn't something I've ever looked at doing or needed to do. However, you can control it via WMI though.
Also, why has the title changed? The system is called 'Hyper-V' not 'Hyper-Visor'...
Last edited by localzuk; 19th February 2008 at 03:32 PM. Reason: questioning why the thread has changed title
you started with a comparison to VMWare, stating the differences and the similarities - I was simply pointing out that some of the features that you attributed as new to hyper-v are already being used in existing vmware installations, and xen nodoubt. It's easy to fall into the trap of thinking MS invented something, when they just wrote a gui.
I relate my findings with it within the context of educational establishments. Most such places don't have the time, staff or effort to do things the way you describe - that is why I point out the features in Hyper-V. The fact that it is included with Windows Server 2008 as well means that at some point in the future schools will have access to it anyway, and won't have to investigate 3rd party products which many people would feel uncomfortable using (ie. many techs feel uncomfortable if it doesn't have the name 'Microsoft' before it...).
top and nice are built in features.Using top and using nice are in no way the same as built in features...
yes, so it seems. but this doesn't make it better, easier and certainly not cheaper. If school techs were less afraid of anything without MS before it then they could have been doing this yrs ago without the expense of 2008 server.many techs feel uncomfortable if it doesn't have the name 'Microsoft' before it
oooh sounds good then, may re-wipe the box at work and do it US Style and try it out it may run my VMs better than Virtual Server does
Ive not had that many issues with it actually, lagging on releasing my rodent from it is the only thing thats really annoyed me but I can survive with that for free.
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