- The Hyper-V server virtualization role is not available on Small Business Server 2011 Essentials or Standard Editions
- The Small Business Server 2011 Premium Add-on does support the Hyper-V role when installing Hyper-V on the separate Windows Server 2008 R2 licensed server instance that is included with this add-on
- Small Business Server 2011 is fully supported running in a Hyper-V client virtual machine … aka you can safely virtualize SBS 2011 in a client VM that is running on a Hyper-V host.
So, how can you better leverage Hyper-V if you only have the Essentials or Standard editions and want to play with Server Virtualization? The answer is: Hyper-V Server 2008 R2 … and, better yet, it’s FREE! Here’s the 10 steps to try for yourself:
- Backup and verify the backup of your existing SBS 2011 physical server – we won’t be making any intended changes to this server, but it’s always good form to backup before any migration
- Download the FREE version of Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2008 R2 to use as your new Hyper-V host. This will permit you to virtualize SBS in a client VM on a new Hyper-V host side-by-side with other client VMs.
- Install Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2008 R2 on a new 64-bit, virtualization-capable hardware platform using these steps (See hardware requirements here)
- Enable Remote Server management on your new Hyper-V Server 2008 R2 host using these steps
- Install the Hyper-V Remote Server Management Tools on your administrator workstation so that you can manage Hyper-V Server 2008 R2 remotely from your workstation.
- Configure at least one virtual network on your new Hyper-V host using these steps
- Use the FREE Disk2VHD tool to copy each of your existing SBS 2011 volumes to virtual hard disk (VHD) files. Copy these files to your new Hyper-V host.
- Create a new child virtual machine in Hyper-V Manager using the VHD files you created with Disk2VHD.
- Shutdown your old SBS 2011 physical server and disconnect it from the network to prevent IP and network name conflicts from occurring.
- Start your new VM in Hyper-V Manager and install Hyper-V integration services
That’s it! Now, just test logging in and accessing your new virtualized SBS 2011 server, and, if successful, wipe and re-use the old physical server box for something else!