Petri

Implementing Hyper-V in Windows Server 2008

When it comes to file and application servers, often times the server hardware is grossly underutilized. In fact, many servers only use about ten percent of the hardware’s total capacity. For several years now, Microsoft and various third party companies have offered server virtualization solutions that allow you to run multiple server instances on a single physical computer.

When Microsoft released Windows Server 2008, they introduced a new feature called Hyper-V. Hyper-V is a server virtualization role that is designed to be the successor to Microsoft’s Virtual Server 2005. As you might expect though, Hyper-V uses completely different installation and configuration methods than its predecessor did. In Part 1 of this series on Windows Server 2008 Virtualization, we learned about Planning for Windows Server 2008 Virtualization. In Part 2 in this series, I will show you how to install the Hyper-V role on Windows Server 2008. In the next article in the series, I will show you how to actually create a virtual server that can run in a Hyper-V environment.

Update – January 2009 – from Daniel Petri

Hyper-V is a virtualization platform from Microsoft, originally available as Beta 3 on the RTM installation DVD of Windows Server 2008, but the RTM update for Hyper-V is now available for download or from Windows Update (after July 8, 2008). In order to get the Hyper-V role on Windows Server 2008 you need to install this update. The update package consists of the Hyper-V role, including the x64 version of the remote management tools, and integration services for the supported versions of the Windows operating system. With this update, you can now use Hyper-V in a production environment for supported configurations. Hyper-V is a virtualization platform from Microsoft, originally available as Beta 3 on the RTM installation DVD of Windows Server 2008, but the RTM update for Hyper-V is now available for download or from Windows Update (after July 8, 2008). In order to get the Hyper-V role on Windows Server 2008 you need to install this update. The update package consists of the Hyper-V role, including the x64 version of the remote management tools, and integration services for the supported versions of the Windows operating system. With this update, you can now use Hyper-V in a production environment for supported configurations. Description of the update for the release version of the Hyper-V technology for Windows Server 2008 – 950050

Perform a Clean Installation

The first thing that I recommend doing is to perform a clean installation of Windows Server 2008. Server virtualization is extremely resource intensive, far more so than most other server applications, so I recommend using a clean Windows installation on a dedicated server.

Installing the Hyper-V Role

Now, log in using an account with local administrative privileges, and then open the Server manager. In case you aren’t familiar with the Server Manager, it’s the new tool that acts as a centralized management utility for Windows Server 2008. You can access it by entering the ServerManager.msc command at the server’s Run prompt.

When Server Manager opens, right click on the Roles container, and then choose the Add Roles command from the resulting shortcut menu. Windows will now launch the Add Roles Wizard.

Click Next to bypass the wizard’s Welcome screen and then you should see a screen similar to the one shown in Figure A, asking you which roles you would like to install. Select the Hyper-V check box, and then click Next.

Figure A

You must choose the Hyper-V Role.

At this point, you will see the screen that’s shown in Figure B. Basically, this screen just tells you that you may end up needing to enable virtualization at the BIOS level prior to installing the Hyper-V roll. Some servers require this, and others don’t. The screen also tells you that after installation is complete, you can use the Hyper-V Manager to create and configure your virtual machines. The serene also contains a few links that you can use to access more information about the Hyper-V role.

Figure B

This screen allows you to access more information about the role that you are installing.

Click Next, and you will be taken to a screen similar to the one that’s shown in Figure C. As you can see in the figure, your virtual machines require virtual networks in order for them to be able to communicate with other network hosts. Essentially, this screen allows you to choose the physical network adapter that you want to bind the virtual network adapter to.

Figure C

You must bind the virtual network adapter to at least one physical network adapter.

You have the option of choosing multiple network adapters for load balancing, but you also have the option of using a single physical network adapter for all of your virtual machines. When you have made your selection, click Next.

You should now see a screen confirming that you are about to install the Hyper-V role, and warning you that the server may require a reboot after installing the role. Now, just click the Install button to install the role. The actual amount of time that it takes to install the role varies depending on your server’s performance, but the entire process took about 20 seconds on my server.

When the installation process completes, click the Close button, and then click Yes when you are prompted to reboot the server.  When the server reboots, log back into the server and the Server Manager should automatically load and resume the installation process. After about a minute, you should see a message telling you that Hyper-V has installed successfully. Click Close to complete the wizard.

Conclusion

In this article, I have shown you how to install the Hyper-V role. I will show you how to configure a virtual machine in the next article in this series: Creating and Managing Virtual Servers with Windows 2008 Server & Hyper-V

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