Windows Server 2012 R2 Hyper-V Best Practices (In Easy Checklist Form)

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Hello, everyone! Roger Osborne here with an update on my Hyper-V Best Practices blog for Server 2012. It has been around 7-months since the initial posting, and might I say the response has been (and continues to be) A-MAZ-ING!

In my humble opinion, the interest surrounding my blog points directly to the volume of small, medium and large (Enterprise) businesses making Hyper-V their virtualization solution of choice! Not only has Hyper-V proven to be an enterprise-ready solution in very demanding datacenters around the world, it has also proven to be a cost-effective approach to reducing server footprints in today’s fiscally conscious businesses.

Having a great product doesn’t mean resting on your (proverbial) laurels, however! As some of you may know, Microsoft released Windows Server 2012 R2, and included in that release are some TERRIFIC new/improved features specific to Hyper-V!

Here are just a few of my personal favorites:

  • A greatly improved Live Migration, which can greatly reduce the time to migrate VMs from one node to another using compression.
  • The ability to resize a VHDX that is connected to a running VM
  • Cross-Version Live Migration, which enables you to easily move VMs from Server 2012 Hyper-V hosts to 2012 R2 Hyper-V hosts
  • Automatic VM activation. What’s not to love about automating activation when you’re running the datacenter version of Hyper-V!?
  • And last, but certainly not least, a new Integration Service feature that allows you to copy file(s) from an R2 VM to the R2 host WITHOUT using a network connection! That’s very cool in Roger’s world, my friends!

For a complete list of updates and new features, check out this TechNet article: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dn282278.aspx

With all the improvements in R2 you’d think there would be quite a few additions and/or changes to my Hyper-V Best Practices blog for Windows Server 2012, but that’s just not the case; which is good news for you!! If you’ve already followed the guidance provided in my blog, you can simply carry those same practices over to Hyper-V in Windows Server 2012 R2!

The only addition I am making to the Best Practices blog – related to new/improved R2 features – is the following:

⎕ (New R2 Feature) Shared Virtual Hard Disk: Do not use a shared VHDx file for the operating system disk. Servers should have a unique VHDx (for the OS) that only they can access. Shared Virtual Hard Disks are better used as data disks and for the disk witness.

For more information:

http://blogs.technet.com/b/meamcs/archive/2013/10/03/windows-server-2012-r2-preview-hyper-v-shared-vhdx-and-storage-qos.aspx

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dn265980.aspx

Other changes and updates (not specific to R2) have also been made to the blog over the last few months, so take a few minutes and head over to the newly updated Best Practice blog. Feel free to leave a comment if you have a question or suggestion.

http://blogs.technet.com/b/askpfeplat/archive/2013/03/10/windows-server-2012-hyper-v-best-practices-in-easy-checklist-form.aspx

While I have your attention, have you heard of the Windows 8.x app called Posterpedia? If not, you’re in for a treat! The latest release includes a great poster for Hyper-V on Server 2012 R2. Check it out!

Also, Microsoft is currently offering training and Hyper-V certification — for free!! Check out these posts to learn more:

http://blogs.technet.com/b/in_the_cloud/archive/2013/10/29/microsoft-wants-to-help-vmware-experts-future-proof-their-career.aspx

http://www.virtualizationsquared.com/#section-intro

So, tell me: What’s your favorite new feature in R2? I’d love to hear from you, so add your comment below!

I sincerely hope you find this blog posting useful! If you do, please forward the link on to others who may benefit!

Until next time,

Roger “best practicing” Osborne, Microsoft PFE
(Twitter: RogOsb; LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/rogerosborne)