Thursday, April 4, 2013

Setting Up a Virtual Server Lab With Hyper-V

For years I had used VMware as my hypervisor of choice for virtual labs but I recently switched to Hyper-V. The last few weeks I have been getting familiar with how things work in Microsoft's virtualization environment and decided to write a quick step by step on how to get a virtual lab up and running. Before I get started with that I would like to share some of the reasons why I decided to switch.

  • Hyper-V is now included with Windows 8 Pro and Enterprise editions (No need to spend extra money for cutting edge virtualization technology on my laptop or workstation)
  • Hyper-V has matured now to a point where it can now make a great case for enterprises to adopt this technology over any other virtualization platform so I would expect to see more enterprises running their private clouds on Hyper-V. See Hyper-V competitive advantage datasheet
  • I am a Microsoft Certified Professional / Trainer and I work for a Microsoft Gold Partner. There is a great deal of support offered to IT professionals focused on Microsoft technologies and many of the demos / labs are available in the form of Hyper-V virtual machines. It would not be worth it to take the extra time to recreate such resources from scratch using a different virtualization technology.
  • I see I great deal of opportunities derived from the Azure IaaS offering and it's ability to run Hyper-V machines. I can create a Virtual Server and run it on my laptop, the Data Center or upload it to the cloud. 
  • I can browse a VHD as if it were just another disk. 
  • I can boot my windows computer from a VHD

Now, back to the original subject. Let's get started.

Enabling Hyper-V

First things first, right? if you have not already enabled Hyper-V in your windows 8 Pro or Enterprise OS you can do so by executing the following PowerShell command:

enable-WindowsOptionalFeature -Online -FeatureName Microsoft-Hyper-V -All