Best Practices Analyzer for Hyper-V – First Impressions

The BPA for Hyper-V was released a while ago but I’ve not had any reason to use it up to now.  I put it onto a lab server yesterday to see what it would do for me.  The results were expected.

As those you will attend my “Best Practices” session on Hyper-V will learn, everything in Hyper-V comes down to the consultant’s favourite line: “it depends”.  Some things are great in some scenarios, some are not.  The advice I give is to understand the scenario, understand the architecture in Hyper-V and make decisions based on organizational goals with an understanding of the trade-offs.  A lot of understanding – and a great reason to pre-order my book or attend one of my presentations ;-)  This does not mean the BPA for Hyper-V is worthless.  Far from it.  You should install it.  You just need to understand what it might report.

The BPA for Hyper-V is a free download for Windows Server 2008 R2.  It takes advantage of the extensibility of Server Manager.  You browse to the Hyper-V role, scroll down and run the scan.  It only takes a few seconds.  A dialog will list a bunch of warnings and (hopefully no) errors.  Each one lists a “best practice” that is not met.  This is where the interpretation is necessary.

This be a powerful learning tool for those new to Hyper-V.  Install a pilot or test machine and run the tool to see what it advises.  From there, you can do a bunch of research to figure out what is right for your organization and infrastructure. 

I also think this will be a good place to start troubleshooting non-obvious issues with hosts or virtual machines.  For example, it’ll warn you about integration components not being installed or up to date.  It might give you a starting point for a certain VM acting up.

My advice?  Install it on every Hyper-V host (once your testing ensures it is fine for your network) and use it as required.  Just be sure to understand what it is telling you.

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