Windows Server 2008 HyperV is now released – all the links

Windows Server 2008 HyperV is now released – all the links


Microsoft has released HyperV for RTM – downloadable using Windows Update – or as a "normal" download using:

Hyper-V Remote Management Update for Windows Vista:
Hyper-V Language Pack Update for Windows Server 2008 – for non english versions of Windows Server 2008:
Hyper-V Step-by-Step Guide: Testing Hyper-V and Failover Clustering:
Performance Tuning Guidelines for Windows Server 2008:
Performance Tuning Guidelines for Windows Server 2008: Hyper-V :
Microsoft Assessment and Planning Toolkit Solution Accelerator:
Microsoft Virtualization Case Studies :

Hyper-V Integration Components

Hyper-V Integration Components

Integration Components (ICs) is the component that makes the operating system supported within the Hyper-V environment, it can be enabled as part of the operating system in:

  • Windows Server 2008 x86
  • Windows Server 2008 x64

Besides it can be installed on these operating systems:

  • Windows Server 2003 R2 x86
  • Windows Server 2003 R2 x86
  • Windows Vista x86 (not released for RC1 yet)
  • Windows Vista x64 (not released for RC1 yet)
  • SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 10 SP1 x86  and x64 versions (using Microsoft Connect download)

Installation is done by mounting the VMGUEST.ISO file, in the %SYSTEMROOT%\system32 directory.

Integration Components is the component that enables the VMBus/virtualization drivers, enabling almost "direct" access to the hosts physical hardware and fully integrates into the desktop experience of the server host.

Non Hyper-V supported Microsoft operating systems

So what about Windows XP x86 and x64, well Microsoft has not said it will or will not support Windows XP within Hyper-V – time will tell. But add a Legacy Network Adapter for running Windows XP anyway.

And what about Windows Server 2008 PE – until now the normal drivers are the only ones loaded not the Integration Components – back to using Legacy Network Adapters.

Operating systems without Integration Components installed

Well as long as you use the legacy devices (remember to add these to the virtual guest configuration), things should work as it would on a physical computer – but you will not have mouse integration (this is only used when using the host desktop), synthetic storage (SCSI), synthetic network adapters (lost performance). But in theory you should be able to run any x86 or x64 operating system within Hyper-V.

Hyper-V emulation or virtualization – which is better?

Hyper-V emulation or virtualization – which is better?

Windows Server 2008 Hyper-V has 2 kinds of devices:

  • Emulated devices
  • Virtualized or synthetic devices

Both support network cards, disk controllers, display adapters and so on – the main difference is the way data is passed from the virtual guest to the hardware – which normally would give a performance decrease but Microsoft did a good job programming drivers for emulation that almost removes the performance issues, especially the IDE driver .

Emulated devices are used for operating systems that does not support the VMBus, like UNIX or DOS – OR emulated devices like network drivers used for network booting, like PXE.

Since the BIOS of Virtual Guests does not support virtualized devices, these devices are not available until the VMBus aware operating system has loaded all drivers.

IDE is always Emulated, and SCSI is always virtualized or synthetic.

  • Supported operating systems, uses both emulated and virtualized/synthetic devices. Enabling the virtualized devices is done by installing/enabling Integration Services much like the VM-Ware additions.
  • Unsupported operating systems only uses emulated devices.

Hyper-V and network configuration

Hyper-V and network configuration

As with other virtualization platforms, Microsoft has a Virtual Network Switch in Hyper-V, this enables support for more different networks per virtual guest, each Virtual Network Switch represented as a Virtual Network Adapter, that can be bound to a physical network adapter giving the switch full network access, including VLANs.

A Virtual Network Switch support more virtual guests, and more Virtual Network Switches can be created on the same Hyper-V host server.

Remember that the host server itself acts like a "guest" (see earlier article), so when creating a Virtual Network Switch the IP protocol is disabled on the physical adapter, and the new Virtual Network Adapter is the one where IP addresses are configured. Each virtual guest has at least one Virtual Network Adapter that is bound to the physical network adapter through the Virtual Network Switch.

When creating, editing and disabling a Virtual Network Switch, connected Virtual Network Adapter are affected.

A Windows Server 2008 Hyper-V server can host many virtual guests, virtual network switches and many virtual network adapters per virtual guest.

Virtual Network Switches can work together with the physical network infrastructure, supporting VLAN configuration, much like VM-Ware ESX Server does.

Emulated network adapters

For booting using PXE a legacy network adapter can be added, this emulated Intel 21140-based PCI Fast Ethernet Adapter can used during boot or installation, just remember that this adapter is emulated, and not as flexible and fast as the 

Helping yourself – a tip

Remember to rename your network adapters, it is so much easier keeping track of them when doing so.

Wireless support

Need support for wireless networking on your laptop, or test equipment – this is possible using ICS as described by The Virtual PC Guy – link.

Step-by-Step Guide to Getting Started with Hyper-V from Microsoft

Step-by-Step Guide to Getting Started with Hyper-V from Microsoft

Hyper-V™ is a new role in Windows Server® 2008 that provides you with the tools and services you can use to create a virtualized server computing environment. This guide introduces Hyper-V by providing instructions for installing this role and configuring a virtual machine for testing purposes.

In this guide

  • Requirements for Hyper-V
  • Step 1: Install Hyper-V
  • Step 2: Create and set up a virtual machine
  • Step 3: Install the operating system and integration services

Link: Step-by-Step_Guide_to_Getting_Started_with_Hyper-V.doc & relnotes.htm

Hyper-V Booting from IDE – not SCSI

Hyper-V Booting from IDE – not SCSI

When creating a Virtual guest inside Hyper-V, it is not possible to boot from a SCSI device, this is according to Microsoft due to the way Hyper-V works. The IDE controller is emulated, meaning that all disk transactions (or I/O) are passed through the vmwp.exe (a user mode process for each started VM). The SCSI controller is not emulated, since the SCSI Controller uses the VMBus (se earlier blog entry/article).

In essence this dictates that a virtual guest, must contain at least 2 virtual disks – at least for production purposes.
  1. One disk attached to a IDE controller, for booting (the operating system)
  2. At least one disk for data attached to the SCSI controller, for better performance

This does not present a problem, since the IDE driver has been optimized a great deal compared to earlier versions of Microsoft virtualization products. Remember that Hyper-V still uses the .VHD format for virtual disks, and supports what VM-Ware calls RAW disks – dedicated physical disks for large data like Exchange, SQL or large file servers.

Supported virtual disks and controllers
  • IDE supports 2 controllers with 2 devices each, if/when using a CD-ROM/DVD drive/ISO image it will consume one of these devices.
  • SCSI supports 4 controllers with up to 255 devices per controller, a total of 1020 disks enough for even very large servers.
Hyper-V virtual guests can boot from the following devices:
  • CD (meaning CD & DVD – physical or ISO file)
  • IDE (up to 4 devices)
  • Legacy Network Adapter (more adapters can be added)
  • Floppy (physical or image)
    • The root reason is SCSI in a synthetic device and there is no VMBUS until after boot.

Keep in mind that Windows Server 2008 and the Hyper-V technology has not ben released yet, so things might change.

Robert Larson : Building a Host Cluster with Hyper-V Beta 1

Robert Larson : Building a Host Cluster with Hyper-V Beta 1

Robert Larson posted this great guide for building a Windows Server cluster inside Windows Server 2008 Hyper-V, great for testing applications like Exchange 2007 or SQL.

By the way take a look at the other articles at his site.

Link: Building a Host Cluster with Hyper-V Beta 1