Better Linux Performance on Hyper-V With Integration Services


I showed you in my last post how to get nearly any OS running on Hyper-V by adding the Legacy Network Adapter (2114X compatible NIC).  Yes it works, but the performance isn’t all that great.


Microsoft provides Integration Services (also sometimes referred to as Integration Components or ICs) for Linux to run on Hyper-V which enable properly configured Linux VMs to take advantage of the high-performance synthetic network adapter as well as other virtual devices.  The currently available Linux Integration Services are essentially drivers that can be installed to access the following synthetic devices:



  • Network Interface

  • IDE (disk)

  • SCSI (disk)

Once they are installed, you’ll be able to see and use new virtual “hardware” inside your Linux virtual machines.  Here (for example) is  the network card configuration view (and  an ifconfig and uname -a) from a SLES VM I was playing with in the lab:


image


Notice that it not only has a 2114x NIC, but also a “Virtual Ethernet Card” (seth0).  To install the Integration Services, I had to download and unzip a Linux specific ISO file containing the necessary tools and code. 


If you want to do this yourself, get started by downloading the Linux Integration Services here:



Hyper-V v1: http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?displaylang=en&FamilyID=ab7f4983-93c5-4a70-8c79-0642f0d59ec2#tm
Hyper-V R2: http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?familyid=C299D675-BB9F-41CF-B5EB-74D0595CCC5C&displaylang=en


There’s  a great post up on the TechNet Social site with "simplified” install instructions here:  http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/winserverhyperv/thread/0d2c5fa8-682c-4f5d-9fe7-388dd80a7e06 
(be sure to read through all the comments – lots of great nuggets there!).


In the not too distant future, these Integration Services will be included in many Linux distributions, as Microsoft released the code for these three drivers to the Linux community!


Yes, you heard me, Microsoft contributed to Linux!  http://port25.technet.com/archive/2009/07/20/the-hyper-v-linux-integration-components.aspx


More on the release of the code, as well as what the ICs do (and do not do) for you in upcoming posts.


-John

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