Mission Impossible? Not with Hyper-V


 

Louis-Philippe Gauthier (Sherbrooke, Quebec)

We’ve all been there, boss calls you in at the last minute for your input on a project that has been brewing for months but all of a sudden needs to be implemented ASAP.  Louis-Philippe from Centre d’élaboration des moyens d’enseignement du Québec (CEMEQ) had such an experience and used Hyper-V to save his weekend 🙂

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The following takes place between 3:30pm and 4:15pm…

3:30 PM   I get back from a meeting have a note on my desk saying to go see accounting regarding something, no real details. So since this is a pay week no reason to delay going there and asking what's up.

3:32 PM   Arrive at the Accounting office.  I am told that they have a consultant showing up tomorrow to install licenses of the accounting software on the terminal server.  No problem except we don't have a terminal server.  Now here is a quote that every IT Pro really enjoys hearing "I think I should've told you a little earlier".  Rewind a couple of months and it is true that I mentioned in a casual talk that a terminal server would be a pretty good solution that we should try out for the accounting software.  Somewhere in between the decision was made and IT wasn’t notified 🙁

3:36 PM   Arrive back in IT.  Time to get cracking!  I start by firing up Hyper-V Manager to create a VM and start to install Windows Server 2008 in the VM.  While this goes on I have time to write this blog post and go over our Hyper-V setup.

Hyper-V is just like any other role that you can install on Windows 2008 x64 editions.  Install the OS, install all the Windows updates (one of which is Hyper-V RTM), reboot and we are ready to go!  As an FYI Windows Server 2008 x64 SP2 will include the RTM version of Hyper-V.  There are very few hardware requirements but they are important to know…

  • x64 version of Windows Server 2008
  • x64 capable CPU with Hardware Assisted Virtualization (Intel VT or AMD-V)
  • BIOS that supports Hardware Assisted Virtualization and has it enabled (most BIOS it is disabled by default)
  • BIOS that supports Data Execution Prevention and has it enabled

In my case I have an HP Proliant DL180G5 (Dual Socket Quad 2.83GHz Xeon with 12GB of RAM and 4TB of direct-attached drives in a RAID 0+1 setup) ready for the task.

3:45 PM   With the OS install done and network connectivity configured I update the VM with the Integration Components, Windows updates and it’s ready to install roles.  Since this is going to be a terminal server and I want to use the Remote Applications feature as well as TSWeb Applications I need to install the following roles…

  • IIS7
  • Terminal Server
    • TSWeb Access (this will automatically select and install the required IIS7 components)
    • TS Licensing

4:00 PM   The installation of the roles is complete and one last check on Windows Updates to ensure all is still up to date and we are golden!  In 15 minutes (give or take) I had a working installation of Windows 2008.  Another 15 minutes gave me a fully updated Windows with TS and IIS roles ready to go. Just in time for me to pack up my stuff and head home for the weekend!

So the Accounting department was happy, I was happy and so was my boss.  Nothing beats a happy boss!  No additional hardware was required, no additional cooling was required and no additional power was required!  If you have 2003 R2 or 2008 Enterprise you don’t even need additional licenses as it includes four virtual licenses (Datacenter includes unlimited licenses). 

Louis-Philippe

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Great example of the power of Hyper-V.  I thought I’d add a few notes at the end with some additional information.

Heroes Happen Here Lab Guide with Terminal Services Demos and Videos

Windows Server Virtualization Licensing Calculators

Hyper-V Getting Started Guide (Download Link)

Comments (5)

  1. Sean Kearney says:

    Enjoy Hyper-V 🙂

    You’ll find the only thing holding you back is RAM!

    Just start throwing servers at that box and if you’ve done it right the only thing that will hold you back is the amount of RAM your motherboard is capable of.

    Typical low end boards cap at 8gb

    Next level is 32 and 64.

    After than break out the Quadruple Plantinum Visas for the Real RAM 🙂

    But it doesn’t matter.  Think (even with 8 gb) how many physical servers you’re not dealing with.  Think of the lack of recovery time.

    Think of how cool it is (LITERALLY! LACK OF HYDRO!)

    Hyper-V makes me want to sing EACH and EVERY DAY!!!!

    YEAH! 🙂

    Hyper-V Rocks! (dude!)

    Sean

    Friday Funny Guy

    (And sold on Hyper-V by seeing it in ACTION!)

  2. Victor Yap says:

    Ahem,

    "Hyper-V Rocks"?  Yeah, a hyper me rocks.  Thanks.

    "You’ll find the only thing holding you back is RAM!"  Actually, one important thing holding me back from Hyper-V is the lack of 3D Video Acceleration.

    Dreaming:

    – I’d like to run a plethora of independently isolated workstation/desktop environments through Hyper-V, for various reasons.

    Meanwhile:

    – I hear various other virtualization systems are able to handle DirectX and OpenGL…

  3. Sean Kearney says:

    Granted.  Also keep in mind Hyper-V is only about 6 months out of official release.  It’s still growing and improving by leaps and bounds.

    In addition, it’s simply a role in Server 2008 to add if you already own the software.

    If you don’t you can download the free Hyper-V server.

    Sure there’s room for improvement in exactly the areas you’re pointing on.   But I’ve had 8 separate servers (Server 2008 class and Vista) co-existing on a DuoCore box with 8 gig of ram.  And the cpu for the most part was idle.

    In the bigger environments, I’ve a bigger pile of Virtuals running production and I’ll stick by my statement.  The only thing holding it back is ram.  The CPU barely gets hit in a real server.  More ram would mean the same Power Supply, the same resources, FAR more servers.

    More Green in your pocket my going Green.

    No matter who does it, VIRTUALIZATION ROCKS!  There’s a fare statement I think we can all agree on. 🙂

  4. Louis-Philippe Gauthier says:

    Yeah I agree RAM will eventually catch up to me. But for now 12 GB does just fine eventually Fully Buffered Single Rank memory will come cheap and I’ll upgrade it for now 12 GB is pretty decent for the price.

  5. Sean Kearney says:

    Dear Santa Claus

    I’ve been an awfully naughty boy this year.   Could I please have a pair of 256 gig ram Dell Servers with Quad / 6core processors with a Raid 50 iSCSI array with 10 gig nics and maybe slip in some fibre channel connections?

    Please?

    I’ll be Oooooooooooo sooooooooooooooooo good next year to make it up.  

    Really.

    For true!

    C’mon.  

    I’ll even get you the GOOD chocolate chip cookies.  None of that stuff I got at the Bargain bin.  Only PRIMO expensive cookies wrapped individually with little bows.

    And milk in the good glass this year too.

    🙂

    Ho ho ho

    the Friday Funny Guy.

    Merry Christmas.

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