Ignite 2015–What’s New in Windows Server Hyper-V

Speakers: Ben Armstrong & Sarah Cooley

This is a detailed view of everything you can do with Hyper-V in Windows Server 2016 TPv2 build. 14 demos. This is not a complete overview of everything in the release. This is what you can realistically do in labs with the build at the moment. A lot of the features are also in Windows 10.

Nano Server

Cloud-first refactoring. Hyper-V and storage are the two key IaaS scenarios for Nano Server.


Hyper-V can be used to deploy containers. Not talking about in this session – there was another session by Taylor Brown on this. Not in this build – coming in the future.

Making Cloud Great

This is how the Hyper-V team thinks: everything from Azure, public, private and small “clouds”.

Virtual Machine Protection:

Trust in the cloud is biggest blocker to adoption. Want customers to know that their data is safe.

A virtual TPM can be injected into a VM. Now we can enable BiLocker in the VM and protect data from anyone outside of the VM. I can run a VM on someone else’s infrastructure and they cannot see or use my data.

Secure boot is enabled for Linux. The hardware can verify that the kernel mode code is uncompromised. Secure boot is already in Windows guest OSs in WS2012 R2.

Shielded VMs

Virtual TPM is a part of this story. This is a System Center & Hyper-V orchestrated solution for highly secure VMs. Shielded VMs can only run in fabrics that are designated as owners of that VM.

Distributed Storage QoS

See my previous post.

Host Resource Protection

Dynamically detect VMs that are not “playing well” and reduce their resource allocation. Comes from Azure. Lots of people deploy VMs and do everything they can to break out and attack Azure. No one has ever broken out, but their attempts eat up a lot of resources. HRP detects “patterns of access”, e.g. loading kernel code that attacks the system, to reduce their resource usage. A status will appear to say that HRP has been enabled on this VM.

Storage and Cluster Resiliency

What happens when the network has a brief glitch between cluster nodes? This can cause more harm than good by failing over and booting up the VMs again – can take longer than waiting out the issue.

Virtual Machine Cluster Resiliency:

  • Cluster doesn’t jump to failover after immediate time out.
  • The node goes into isolated state and VM goes unmonitored.
  • If the node returns in under 4 minutes (default) then the node returns and VM goes back to running state.
  • If a host is flapping, the host is put into a quarantine. All VMs will be live migrated off of the node to prevent issues.

Storage Resiliency:

  • If the storage disappears: the VM is paused ahead of a timeout to prevent a crash.
  • Once the storage system resumes, the VM un-pauses and IOPS continues.

Shared VHDX

Makes it easy to do guest clustering. But WS2012 R2 is v1.0 tech. Can’t do any virtualization features with it, e.g. backup, online resize.

In TPv2, starting to return features:

  • Host-based, no agent in the guest, backup of guest clusters with shared VHDX.
  • You will also be able to do online resizing of the shared VHDX.
  • Shared drive has it’s own h/w category when you Add Hardware in VM settings. Underlying mechanism is the exact same, just making the feature more obvious.

VHDS is the extension of shared VHDX files.

Hyper-V Replica & Hot-Add

By default, a newly added disk won’t replicated. Set-VMReplication –ReplicatedDisks (Get-VMHardDiskDrive VM01) will add a disk to the replica set.

Behind the scenes there is an initial copy happening for the new disk while replication continues for the original disks.

Runtime Memory Resize

You can:

  • Resize the memory of a VM with static RAM while it running.
  • You can see the memory demand of static RAM VMs – useful to resize.

Hot Add/Remove Network Adapters

This can be done with Generation 2 VMs.

Rolling Cluster Upgrade

No need to build a new cluster to deploy a new OS. You actually rebuild 1 host at a time inside the cluster. VMs can failover and live migrate. You need WS2012 R2 to start off. Once done, you upgrade the version of the cluster to use new features. You can also rollback a cluster from WS2016 to WS2012 R2.

New VM Upgrade Process

Previous versions of Hyper-V automatically upgraded a VM automatically once it was running on a new version of Hyper-V. This has changed.

There is now a concept of a VM configuration version. It is not upgraded automatically – done manually. This is necessary to allow rollback from Cluster Rolling Upgrade.

Version 5.0 is the configuration version of WS2012 R2. Version 2.1a was WS2012 R2 SP1. The configuration version was always there for internal usage, and was not displayed to users. In TPv2 they are 6.2.

A VM with v5.0 works with that host’s features. A v5.0 VM on WS2016 runs with compatibility for WS2012 R2 Hyper-V. No new features are supplied to that VM. Process for manually upgrading:

  1. Shutdown the VM
  2. Upgrade the VM config version via UI or PoSH
  3. Boot up again – now you get the v6.2 features.

Production Checkpoints

Uses VSS in the guest OS instead of saved state to create checkpoint. Restoring a production checkpoint is just like restoring a system backup. S/W inside of the guest OS, like Exchange or SQL Server, understand what to do when they are “restored from backup”, e.g. replay logs, etc.

Now this is a “supported in production” way to checkpoint production VMs that should reduce support calls.

PowerShell Direct

You can run cmdlets against the guest OS via the VMBus. Easier administration – no need for network access.

ReFS Accelerated VHDX Operations

Instant disk creation and checkpoint merging. Ben created a 5TB fixed VHDX w/o ODX and it took 22 hours.

Creating 1GB disk. Does a demo of 1 GB disk on non-accelerated volume on same physical disks takes 71 seconds on ReFS and it takes: 4.77 seconds. 50 GB takes 3.9 seconds.

DOes a merge on non-accelerated volume and it takes 68 seconds. Same files on ReFS and it takes 6.9 seconds. This has a huge impact on backup of large volumes – file-based backup uses checkpoints and merge. There is zero data copy involved.

Hyper-V Manager and PoSh Improvements

  • Support for alternate credentials
  • Connecting via IP address
  • Connecting via WinRM

There’s a demo to completely configure IIS and deploy/start a website from an admin machine without logging into the VM, using PowerShell Direct with no n/w access.

Cross-Version Management

You can manage WS2012 and WS2012 R2 hosts with Hyper-V Manager. There are two versions of PowerShell 1.1 and 2.0.

Integration Services

Insert Integration Components is gone from the UI. It did not scale out. VM Drivers re updated via Windows Update (critical update). Updates go to VMs on correct version of Hyper-V.

Hyper-V Backup

File-based backup and built-in change tracking. No longer dependent on h/w snapshots, but able to use them if they are there.

VM Configuration Changes

New configuration file format. Moving to binary format away from XML for performance efficiency when you have thousands of VMs. New file extensions:

  • VMCX:
  • VMRS:

This one was done for Azure, and trickles down to us. Also solves the problem of people editing the XML which was unsupported. Everything can be done via PowerShell anyway.

Hyper-V Cluster Management

A new under-the-covers administration model that abstracts the cluster. You can manage a cluster like a single host. You don’t need to worry about cluster resource and groups to configure VMs anymore.

Updated Power Management

Conencted Standby Works


OpenGL 4.4 and OpenCL 1.1 API supported.

Survey Results – What UI Option Do You Use For Hyper-V Hosts?

Thank you to the 424 (!) people who answered the survey that I started late on Friday afternoon and finished today (Tuesday morning). I asked one question:

What kind of UI installation do you use on Hyper-V hosts?

  • The FREE Hyper-V Server 2012 R2
  • Full UI
  • MinShell
  • Core

Before I get to the results …

The Survey

Me and some other MVPs used to do a much bigger annual survey. The work required by us was massive, and the amount of questions put people off. I kept this very simple. There were no “why’s” or further breakdowns of information. This lead to a bigger sample size.

The Sample

We got a pretty big sample size from all around the world, with results from the EU, USA and Canada, eastern Europe, Asia, Africa, the south Pacific, and south America. That’s amazing! Thank you to everyone who helped spread the word. We got a great sample in a very short period of time.


However (there’s always one of these with surveys!), I recognize that the sample is skewed. Anyone, like you, who reads a blog like this, follows influencers on social media, or regularly attends something like a TechNet/Ignite/community IT pro events is not a regular IT pro. You are more educated and are not 100% representative of the wider audience. I suspect that more of you are using non-Full UI options (Hyper-V Server, MinShell or Core) than in the wider market.

Also, some of you who answered this question are consultants or have more complex deployments with a mixture of installations. I asked you to submit your most common answer. So a consultant that selects X might have 15 customers with X, 5 with Y and 2 with Z.

The Results

So, here are the results:



70% of the overall sample chose the full UI for the management OS of their Hyper-V hosts. If we discount the choice of Hyper-V Server (they went that way for specific economic reasons and had no choice of UI) then the result changes.

Of those who had a choice of UI when deploying their hosts, 79% went with the Full UI, 5.5% went with MinShell, and 15% went with Server Core. These numbers aren’t much different to what we saw with W2008 R2, with the addition of MinShell taking share from Server Core. Despite everything Microsoft says, customers have chosen easier management and troubleshooting by leaving the UI on their hosts.


Is there a specific country bias? The biggest response came from the USA (111):

  • Core: 19.79%
  • MinShell: 4.17%
  • Full UI: 76.04%

In the USA, we find more people than average (but still a small minority) using Core and MinShell. Next I compared this to Great Britain, Germany, Austria, Ireland, The Netherlands, Sweden, Belgium, Denmark, Norway, Slovenia, France and Poland (not an entire European sample but a pretty large one from the top 20 responding countries, coming in at a total of 196 responses):

  • Core: 13.78%
  • MinShell: 4.08%
  • Full UI: 82.14%

It is very clear. The market has spoken and the market has said:

  • We like that we have the option to deploy Core or MinShell
  • But most of us want a Full UI

Those of you who selected Hyper-V Server did not waste your time. There are very specific and useful scenarios for this freely licensed product. And Microsoft loves to hear that their work in maintaining this SKU has a value in the market. To be honest, I expect this number (10.59%) to gradually grow over time as those without Software Assurance choose to opt into new Hyper-V features without upgrading their guest OS licensing.

My Opinion

I have had one opinion on this matter since I first tried a Core install for Hyper-V during the beta of Windows Server 2008. I would only ever deploy a Full UI. If (and it’s a huge IIF), I managed a HUGE cloud with HA infrastructure then I would deploy Nano Server on vNext. But in every other scenario, I would always choose a Full UI.

The arguments for Core are:

  • Smaller installation: Who cares if it’s 6GB or 16 GB? I can’t buy SD cards that small anymore, let alone hard disks!!!
  • Smaller attack footprint: You deserve all the bad that can happen if you read email or browse from your hosts.
  • Fewer patches: Only people who don’t work in the real world count patches. We in the real world count reboots, and there are no reductions. To be honest, this is irrelevant with Cluster Aware Updating (CAU).
  • More CPU: I’ve yet to see a host in person where CPU is over 33% average utilisation.
  • Less RAM: A few MB savings on a host with at least 64 GB (rare I see these anymore) isn’t going to be much benefit.
  • You should use PowerShell: Try using 3rd party management or troubleshooting isolated hosts with PowerShell. Even Microsoft support cannot do this.
  • Use System Center: Oh, child! You don’t get out much.
  • It stops admins from doing X: You’ve got other problems that need to be solved.
  • You can add the UI back: This person has not patched a Core install over several months and actually tried to re-add the UI – it is not reliable.

In my experience, and that of most people. servers are not cattle; they are not pets either; no – they are sacred cows (thank you for finding a good ending to that phrase, Didier). We cannot afford to just rebuild servers when things go wrong. They do need to be rescued and trouble needs to be fixed. Right now, the vast majority of problems I hear about are network card driver and firmware related. Try solving those with PowerShell or remote management. You need to be on the machine and solving these issues and you need a full UI. The unreliable HCL for Windows Server has lead to awful customer experiences on Broadcom (VMQ enabled and faulty) and Emulex NICs (taking nearly 12 months to acknowledge the VMQ issue on FCoE NICs).

Owning a host is like owning a car. Those who live in the mainstream have a better experience. Things work better. Those who try to find cheaper alternatives, dare to be different, find other sources … they’re the ones who call for roadside assistance more. I see this even in the Hyper-V MVP community … those who dare to be on the ragged edge of everything are the ones having all the issues. Those who stay a little more mainstream, even with the latest tech, are the ones who have a reliable infrastructure and can spend more time focusing on getting more value out of their systems.

Another survey will be coming soon. Please feel free to comment your opinions on the above and what you might like to see in a survey. Remember, surveys need closed answers with few options. Open questions are 100% useless in a survey.

What about Application Servers?

That’s the subject of my next survey.

Using This Data

Please feel free to use the results of the survey if:

  • You link back to this post
  • You may use 1 small quote from this post

Two New Hyper-V Books

I am not writing a WS2012 R2 Hyper-V book, but some of my Hyper-V MVP colleagues have been busy writing. I haven’t read these books, but the authors are more than qualified and greatly respected in the Hyper-V MVP community.

Hyper-V Security

By Eric Siron & Andy Syrewicze

Available on Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk


Keeping systems safe and secure is a new challenge for Hyper-V Administrators. As critical data and systems are transitioned from traditional hardware installations into hypervisor guests, it becomes essential to know how to defend your virtual operating systems from intruders and hackers.

Hyper-V Security is a rapid guide on how to defend your virtual environment from attack.

This book takes you step by step through your architecture, showing you practical security solutions to apply in every area. After the basics, you’ll learn methods to secure your hosts, delegate security through the web portal, and reduce malware threats.

Hyper-V Best Practices

By Benedict Berger

Available on Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk


Hyper-V Server and Windows Server 2012 R2 with Hyper-V provide best in class virtualization capabilities. Hyper-V is a Windows-based, very cost-effective virtualization solution with easy-to-use and well-known administrative consoles.

With an example-oriented approach, this book covers all the different guides and suggestions to configure Hyper-V and provides readers with real-world proven solutions. After applying the concepts shown in this book, your Hyper-V setup will run on a stable and validated platform.

The book begins with setting up single and multiple High Availability systems. It then takes you through all the typical infrastructure components such as storage and network, and its necessary processes such as backup and disaster recovery for optimal configuration. The book does not only show you what to do and how to plan the different scenarios, but it also provides in-depth configuration options. These scalable and automated configurations are then optimized via performance tuning and central management.

New Features in Windows Server 2016 (WS2016) Hyper-V

I’m going to do my best (no guarantees – I only have one body and pair of ears/eyes and NDA stuff is hard to track!) to update this page with a listing of each new feature in Windows Server 2016 (WS2016) Hyper-V and Hyper-V Server 2016 after they are discussed publicly by Microsoft. The links will lead to more detailed descriptions of each feature.

Note, that the features of WS2012 can be found here and the features of WS2012 R2 can be found here.

This list was last updated on 25/May/2015 (during Technical Preview 2).


Active memory dump

Windows Server 2016 introduces a dump type of “Active memory dump”, which filters out most memory pages allocated to VMs making the memory.dmp file much smaller and easier to save/copy.


Azure Stack

A replacement for Windows Azure Pack (WAPack), bringing the code of the “Ibiza” “preview portal” of Azure to on-premises for private cloud or hosted public cloud. Uses providers to interact with Windows Server 2016. Does not require System Center, but you will want management for some things (monitoring, Hyper-V Network Virtualization, etc).


Azure Storage

A post-RTM update (flight) will add support for blobs, tables, and storage accounts, allowing you to deploy Azure storage on-premises or in hosted solutions.


Backup Change Tracking

Microsoft will include change tracking so third-party vendors do not need to update/install dodgy kernel level file system filters for change tracking of VM files.


Binary VM Configuration Files

Microsoft is moving away from text-based files to increase scalability and performance.


Cluster Cloud Witness

You can use Azure storage as a witness for quorum for a multi-site cluster. Stores just an incremental sequence number in an Azure Storage Account, secured by an access key.


Cluster Compute Resiliency

Prevents the cluster from failing a host too quickly after a transient error. A host will go into isolation, allowing services to continue to run without disruptive failover.


Cluster Functional Level

A rolling upgrade requires mixed-mode clusters, i.e. WS2012 R2 and Windows Server vNext hosts in the same cluster. The cluster will stay and WS2012 R2 functional level until you finish the rolling upgrade and then manually increase the cluster functional level (one-way).


Cluster Quarantine

If a cluster node is flapping (going into & out of isolation too often) then the cluster will quarantine a node, and drain it of resources (Live Migration – see MoveTypeThreshold and DefaultMoveType).


Cluster Rolling Upgrade

You do not need to create a new cluster or do a cluster migration to get from WS2012 R2 to Windows Server vNext. The new process allows hosts in a cluster to be rebuilt IN THE EXISTING cluster with Windows Server vNext.



Deploy born-in-the-cloud stateless applications using Windows Server Containers or Hyper-V Containers.


Converged RDMA

Remote Direct Memory Access (RDMA) NICs (rNICs) can be converged to share both tenant and host storage/clustering traffic roles.


Delivery of Integration Components

This will be done via Windows Update


Differential Export

Export just the changes between 2 known points in time. Used for incremental file-based backup.


Distributed Storage QoS

Enable per-virtual hard disk QoS for VMs stored on a Scale-Out File Server, possibly also available for SANs.


File-Based Backup

Hyper-V is decoupling from volume backup for scalability and reliability reasons


Host Resource Protection

An automated process for restricting resource availability to VMs that display unwanted “patterns of access”.


Hot-Add & Hot-Remove of vNICs

You can hot-add and hot-remove virtual NICs to/from a running virtual machine.



This is made possible with Storage Spaces Direct and is aimed initially at smaller deployments.


Hyper-V Cluster Management

A new administration model that allows tools to abstract the cluster as a single host. Enables much easier VM management, visible initially with PowerShell (e.g. Get-VM, etc).


Hyper-V Replica & Hot Add of Disks

You can add disks to a virtual machine that is already being replicated. Later you can add the disks to the replica set using Set-VMReplication.


Hyper-V Manager Alternative Credentials

With CredSSP-enabled PCs and hosts, you can connect to a host with alternative credentials.


Hyper-V Manager Down-Level Support

You can manage Windows Server vNext, WS2012 R2 and WS2012 Hyper-V from a single console


Hyper-V Manager WinRM

WinRM is used to connect to hosts.



This is a new protocol for Microsoft Storage QoS. It uses SMB 3.0 as a transport, and it describes the conversation between Hyper-V compute nodes and the SOFS storage nodes. IOPS, latency, initiator names, imitator node information is sent from the compute nodes to the storage nodes. The storage nodes, send back the enforcement commands to limit flows, etc.


Nested Virtualization

Yes, you read that right! Required for Hyper-V containers in a hosted environment, e.g. Azure. Side-effect is that WS2016 Hyper-V can run in WS2016 via virtualization of VT-X.


Network Controller

A new fabric management feature built-into Windows Server, offering many new features that we see in Azure. Examples are a distributed firewall and software load balancer.


Online Resize of Memory

Change memory of running virtual machines that don’t have Dynamic Memory enabled.


Power Management

Hyper-V has expanded support for power management, including Connected Standby


PowerShell Direct

Target PowerShell at VMs via the hypervisor (VMbus) without requiring network access. You still need local admin credentials for the guest OS.


Pre-Authentication Integrity

When talking from one machine to the next via SMB 3.1.1. This is a security feature that uses checks on the sender & recipient side to ensure that there is no man-in-the-middle.


Production Checkpoints

Using VSS in the guest OS to create a consistent snapshots that workload services should be able to support. Applying a checkpoint is like performing a VM restore from backup.


Nano Server

A new installation option that allows you to deploy headless Windows Servers with tiny install footprint and no UI of any kind. Intended for storage and virtualization scenarios at first. There will be a web version of admin tools that you can deploy centrally.


RDMA to the Host

Remote Direct Memory Access will be supported to the management OS virtual NICs via converged networking.


ReFS Accelerated VHDX Operations

Operations are accelerated by converting them into metadata operations: fixed VHDX creation, dynamic VHDX extension, merge of checkpoints (better file-based backup).



OpenFL 4.4 and OpenCL 1.1 API are supported.


Replica Support for Hot-Add of VHDX

When you hot-add a VHDX to a running VM that is being replicated by Hyper-V Replica, the VHDX is available to be added to the replica set (MSFT doesn’t assume that you want to replicate the new disk).


Replica support for Cross-Version Hosts

Your hosts can be of different versions.


Runtime Memory Resize

You can increase or decrease the memory assigned to Windows Server vNext guests.


Secure Boot for Linux

Enable protection of the boot loader in Generation 2 VMs


Shared VHDX Improvements

You will be able to do host-based snapshots of Shared VHDX (so you get host-level backups) and guest clusters. You will be able to hot-resize a Shared VHDX.

Shared VHDX will have its own hardware category in the UI. Note that there is a new file format for Shared VHDX. There will be a tool to upgrade existing files.


Shielded Virtual Machines

A new security model that hardens Hyper-V and protects virtual machines against unwanted tampering at the fabric level.


SMB 3.1.1

This is a new version of the data transport protocol. The focus has been on security. There is support for mixed mode clusters so there is backwards compatibility. SMB 3.02 is now called SMB 3.0.2.


SMB  Negotiated Encryption

Moving from AES CCM to AES GCM (Galois Counter Mode) for efficiency and performance. It will leverage new modern CPUs that have instructions for AES encryption to offload the heavy lifting.


SMB Forced Encryption

In older versions of SMB, SMB encryption was opt-in on the client side. This is no longer the case in the next version of Windows Server.


Storage Accounts

A later release of WS2016 will bring support for hosting Azure-style Storage accounts, meaning that you can deploy Azure-style storage on-premises or in a hosted cloud.


Storage Replica

Built-in, hardware agnostic, synchronous and asynchronous replication of Windows Storage, performed at the file system level (volume-based). Enables campus or multi-site clusters.

Requires GPT. Source and destination need to be the same size. Need low latency. Finish the solution with the Cluster Cloud Witness.


Storage Spaces Direct (S2D)

A “low cost” solution for VM storage. A cluster of nodes using internal (DAS) disks (SAS or SATA, SSD, HDD, or NVMe) to create a consistent storage spaces pools that stretch across the servers. Compute is normally on a different cluster (converged) but it can be on one tier (hyper-converged)


Storage Transient Failures

Avoid VM bugchecks when storage has a transient issue. The VM freezes while the host retries to get storage back online.


Stretch Clusters

The preferred term for when Failover Clustering spans two sites.


System Center 2016

Those of you who can afford the per-host SMLs will be able to get System Center 2016 to manage your shiny new Hyper-V hosts and fabric.


System Requirements

The system requirements for a server host have been increased. You now must have support for Second-Level Address Translation (SLAT), known as Intel EPT or AMD RVI or NPT. Previously SLAT (Intel Nehalem and later) was recommended but not required on servers and required on Client Hyper-V. It shouldn’t be an issue for most hosts because SLAT has been around for quite some time.


Virtual Machine Groups

Group virtual machines for operations such as orchestrated checkpoints (even with shared VHDX) or group checkpoint export.


Virtual Machine ID Management

Control whether a VM has same or new ID as before when you import it.


Virtual Network Adapter Identification

Not vCDN! You can create/name a vNIC in the settings of a VM and see the name in the guest OS.


Virtual Secure Mode (VSM)

A feature of Windows 10 Enterprise that protects LSASS (secret keys) from pass-the-hash attacks by storing the process in a stripped down Hyper-V virtual machine.


Virtual TPM (vTPM)

A feature of shielded virtual machines that enables secure boot, disk encrypting within the virtual machine, and VSC.


VM Storage Resiliency

A VM will pause when the physical storage of that VM goes offline. Allows the storage to come back (maybe Live Migration) without crashing the VM.


VM Upgrade Process

VM versions are upgraded manually, allowing VMs to be migrated back down to WS2012 R2 hosts with support from Microsoft.


VXLAN Support

The new Network Controller will support VXLAN as well as the incumbent NVGRE for network virtualization.


Windows Containers

This is Docker in Windows Server, enabling services to run in containers on a shared set of libaries on an OS, giving you portability, per-OS density, and fast deployment.

Windows Server vNext Technical Preview is Available

You can see the features of the next version of Hyper-V (and related parts of Windows Server) here.

I just checked and you can find:

  • Windows Server (Standard) Technical Preview
  • Windows Server Datacenter Technical Preview
  • Hyper-V Server Technical Preview

The Windows 10 technical previews are also there.


An image is available in the Azure gallery for the Windows Server Technical Preview. I deployed it in Europe North and it works fine.


You can also get the Remote Server Administration Tools for Windows 10 Technical Preview.

What’s New in the Windows Server Technical Preview

The System Center preview (minus SCCM) is also available to download from MSDN. Note that App Controller no longer exists, and Windows Azure Pack should be used instead.


Microsoft has released the Windows Server & System Center previews to the general public.

Download Hyper-V Server 2012 R2

It has come to the attention of myself and several other Hyper-V MVPs that people are having a nightmare searching for the download ISO for Hyper-V Server 2012 R2. I’ve verified the problem on Bing and Google and Microsoft are aware of the issue.

In the meantime you here is the download page for Hyper-V Server 2012 R2.

Hyper-V Server 2012 R2 Is Available

The free version of Hyper-V has been updated to 2012 R2 and released and available to download … for free.  This is the same Hyper-V as you get in the Standard and Datacenter editions minus the GUI and Automatic Virtual Machine Activation (AVMA – Datacenter only). 

You can learn more about Hyper-V Server 2012 R2 here.  Did I mention that it’s free?  And full scalable?  And includes HA, and … and … ?

Configuring SMB Delegation Just Got Much Easier

To me, there’s no doubt that using SMB 3.0 storage makes a Hyper-V-powered data centre much more flexible.  Getting away from the constraints of traditional block storage data protocols and using “simple” file shares and permissions means that workloads are even more mobile, able to Live Migrate between non-clustered hosts, just the same as with a cluster, and able to use Cross-Version Live Migration to move from WS2012 hosts/clusters to WS2012 R2 hosts/clusters.

One of the pain points in WS2012 of SMB 3.0 storage is the need to configure Kerberos Constrained Delegation for Live Migration between hosts that are not in the same cluster (including non-clustered hosts).  It’s … messy and the process requires that you do one of the following to each host afterwards:

  • Reboot the host – Live Migrate VMs to avoid service downtime.
  • Restart the Virtual Machine Management Service (VMMS) – no downtime to VMs.

Just more stuff to do!

WS2012 R2 adds three cmdlets to the AD PowerShell module (which you can install on your PC via RSAT).  Your AD forest must also be at the “Windows Server 2012” (not necessarily R2) functional level.  The three cmdlets that use the new resource-based delegation functionality are:

  • Get-SmbDelegation –SmbServer X
  • Enable-SmbDelegation –SmbServer X –SmbClient Y
  • Disable-SmbDelegation –SmbServer X [–SmbClient Y] [-Force]

I’ve just tested the cmdlets and no reboots were required.  My test scenario: Hyper-V Replica secondary site hosts require delegation to be configured to store replica VMs on SMB 3.0 shares.  I configured delegation using Enable-SMBDelegation, did not reboot, and the problem was solved.

KB2885465 – CPU Not Allocated Correctly VMs On Win8 Or WS2012 Hyper-V

Microsoft has released a KB article for when CPU resources are not allocated correctly for a virtual machine running on Windows 8 Client Hyper-V or Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V.

This article is related to unexpected behaviour with the virtual processor resource control settings of a VM in Hyper-V.  Most people never touch these settings, and probably aren’t even aware of what they do.  My guess is the only people who touch them are maybe hosting companies, and those who want to dedicate processor to SQL Server, Exchange, or SharePoint VMs by reserving 50% or 100% of a logical processor (physical core, or half core with Hyperthreading enabled) capacity to each vCPU in the VM.  That’s probably why this article has appeared now rather than a long time ago.



When the Hyper-V role is installed on a Windows Server 2012-based computer, or the Hyper-V feature is enabled on a Windows 8-based computer, you experience the following issues.

Issue 1

When you set the CPU limit on a virtual machine to a value that is 15 percent or less of the total CPU resources on the computer, the virtual machine crashes.
Note This issue does not occur when the virtual machine is running Windows 8, Windows Server 2012, or a later version of Windows.

Issue 2

When you configure the CPU limit on a virtual machine, the virtual machine is allocated less resources than the limit that you configured. For example, if you set the CPU limit on a virtual machine to 20 percent of CPU resources on the computer, the virtual machine is allocated less than 20 percent of CPU resources.



Cause of Issue 1

This issue occurs because the timer clock interrupts are not sent to the virtual machine in time. Therefore, the virtual machine assumes that a hardware error occurred.

Cause of Issue 2

This issue occurs because the hypervisor throttles the resources that are provided to the virtual machine.

A supported hotfix is available from Microsoft.

HVRemote Updated To Support WS2012 R2 and Hyper-V Server 2012 R2

I was just checking something and I saw that HVRemote was updated a few days ago (to v1.08) include support for Windows Server 2012 R2, Hyper-V Server 2012 R2, and Windows 8.1 Client Hyper-V.

HVRemote is a Codeplex (not supported by Microsoft) product that makes enabling remote support of workgroup machines a lot easier.  It is written by John Howard of Microsoft who works in the Hyper-V team.