Hyper-V Server 2012 quick start guide

Here is how I got started with Hyper-V Server 2012

First, let  me be clear which version of Hyper-V am I talking about. This is the Hyper-V standalone version, or the free version as some people call it. Basically it is a separate download from MSDN and runs a pre-configured server core version + hyper-V role already installed.

Installation:

I had two servers – a HP DL580 G7 with 256GB RAM and a Dell R910 with 16GB RAM. I installed this OS on both by booting directly off the Microsoft DVD. I did not use HP SmartStart or similar tools.

Note: I ran into an issue on the Dell server where the installer kept on failing, saying that the DVD is corrupt. I finally tracked it down to a disk issue on the server. By swapping the hard disks between the slots and reconfiguring the RAID array I was able to install the Hypervisor on that Dell server.

Server Configuration:

Initial configuration is very simple. Just follow the options on the servers’ screen to

  1. set hostname
  2. assign a static IP address
  3. enable remote management
  4. disable firewall
  5. join it to the AD domain

I know, I know,  disabling the local firewall is not a good thing…but I was experiencing multiple errors while remotely configuring to the server and thought it was OK to disable the local firewall for the time being.

There are some guides on the ‘net which tell you what you need to do to the firewall on the server to enable remote management successfully. I will report back on that later.

Client configuration:

Note: You need a Windows 8 PC as the Hyper-V 2012 client to be able to use all the features of Hyper-V 2012. You also need to install RSAT for Windows 8. Hyper-V Manager on windows 7 will connect to a Hyper-V server 2012 but some tools like “Virtual Switch manager” are called slightly different and others like “Virtual SAN Manager” and other options are missing. See the screenshot below with differences highlighted:

HV_manager_comparison

  • Install Windows 8

So the first thing you wanna do is to have a Windows 8 machine on the network. I used an old laptop and installed Win 8 on it. I joined it to the domain.

  • Enable Hyper-V Management Tools

Hyper-V Manager is already there in Win 8. You don’t need RSAT for it. Go to

Control Panel >> Programs >> Turn Windows features on or off >> Select Hyper-V management tools as shown below:

HV_tool_install

Note: Sometimes, the HV management tools does not get installed properly. Creating a new VM or VHD/x hangs in the GUI at the last step. I have experienced this problem on two machines. One solution is to remove and re-enable the HV management tools feature. This worked on a physical machine. However, I have seen that on many virtual machines (no matter what I do) HV manager does not work properly. I suspect that this is because that Windows 8 machine is actually a VM running on the  host which HV mgr is trying to manage. Maybe it makes some sort of a loop or something. I tried to create a VM on a XenServer we had here. It does NOT work even on a VM running on a completely different hyper vizor.. My conclusion is that Hyper-V manager needs to be running on a physical machine to work properly.

I am trying out creating a VM on a Citrix XenServer instead. That should behave like a physical machine on the network. I will post back soon here.

  • Change DCOM config on client

The DCOM configuration on the Windows 8 client needs to be changed slightly to allow the connection between the HV manager and the HV server. For this take a look at my post here.

  • Install RSAT

For further configuration of the Hyper-V server you need Remote Server Administration Tools aka RSAT. You can download it for Windows 8 here

Note: On Windows 8 after installation of RSAT you don’t need to manually enable the tools to be visible to the user….like in Windows 7.

This tool will let you do things like view event logs, disk management, user management etc remotely. This is important since there is no GUI tool on the server, even if you RDP to it.

 

 

{More later……under construction}

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