Hyper-V on a Laptop

This post is an introduction to how I have configured my demo laptop.  I can comfortably run eleven VMs on the one laptop, including a two node Hyper-V cluster, App-V and the four main System Center products (Virtual Machine Manager, Data Protection Manager, Operations Manager and Configuration Manager).

Hyper-V Manager

I have built this to enable me to demonstrate Microsoft's Virtualisation offerings: everything from Terminal Services and Application Virtualisation to self service provisioning of new Hyper-V virtual machines using System Center Virtual Machine Manager.

If you have ever seen me talk about Microsoft & Virtualisation, this is the laptop I use for my demos.  It's nothing spectacular, just a small, dual core business laptop with 8GB of memory and a couple of extra disks.

In subsequent posts I intend to explain in detail what I went through to get this working, what was easy & hard, what I would do differently if I ever do it again.


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Comments (13)

  1. Hi Joe.  Currently running a Dell Lattitude E6400.  8GB memory and two SSDs.


  2. G says:

    Ha Ha, funny how you say 8GB of Ram as if it’s normal…


  3. Joseph Durnal says:

    Nothing that abnormal about 8GB of RAM these days.  I’m trying to hold out until Windows Server 2008 R2 is released, and I’ll do the same thing.  My demo labs can no longer be done on Virtual PC 🙂 E2K10, OCS, Windows Server 2008 R2, and so on are all 64 bit only, and won’t work on Virtual PC.

  4. Joe says:

    What model laptop are you currently using as I would like to purchase a similiar model to support Hyper V as well.

  5. Warren says:

    Hi Joe, are you running 64-bit or 32-bit?? I am interested in laptops capable of running 64-bit.

  6. Claude says:

    Anyone have a list of laptops that can run hyper-v?

  7. DevInstinct says:

    Can you run it AND use your video card driver? Have a Dell Studio 1747 + ATI Mobility Radeon 4650. Can only run Hyper-V with the default Windows Server 2008 R2 video driver. As soon as I use the ATI driver, blue screen on boot. Note: the ATI driver works fine for games and with Windows Virtual PC – only conflicts with Hyper-V.

  8. Dave Northey says:

    The 64-bit Windows 7 drivers work perfectly on Windows Server 2008 R2 – so you should be able to.  That said, Servers don’t "normally" have high end graphics cards in them.

    I do use the Nvidia drivers & they work perfectly.


  9. paul says:

    I haven’t done any virtualization. Can you setup some or all of the virtualized instances as a communicating LAN? So you could have a server with Active Directory, a few XP Pro clients, etc,… all talking together?

  10. Joe says:

    Dave – I followed your recommendation and purchased a Dell E6410 (6400 discontinued).  I also maxed out with 8GB Ram & 128 SSD and the machine is lightning fast.  Installed Server 2008 R2 but unable to install network drivers.  Have the Dell Drivers CD's and will install Win7 drivers when I get a chance and see if that resolves the issue.    One questions…How did you configure laptop for 2 SSD's?  I didn't see option on Dell site to add additional HD's…

  11. Dave Northey says:

    Dell sell a second hard drive for Latitudes – it's a pretty crappy, 5400 rpm drive that replaces the DVD drive.  I have one of these where I've replaced the hard drive with a SSD.  I did see a disk tray on ebay once for a Latitude E6400 – it was €10 from China I think..


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