- Test Lab: This is what I use it mainly for to test all the wickedly cool technologies in Windows Server 2012 R2, among others. It provides a great way to test and design basic infrastructures, especially leveraging the built-in virtual machine networking.
- Application Testing: Testing home-spun or package applications can be done very easily inside of Windows 8.1 client Hyper-V
- Import Production Servers for testing. If you have production virtual machines created with Hyper-V or if you have created vhds with tools like Disk2VHD, you easily bring them into Hyper-V for testing. Windows 8.1 even supports snapshotting of virtual machines.
- Windows To Go Virtual Hard Disks, you can use Hyper-V to create Windows To Go .vhds, you can learn more about Windows To Go here: Windows To Go
Hardware Requirements for Client Hyper-V:
When anyone asks me about hardware requirements and virtualization technologies, it is my favorite answer to any IT related question…It depends. Especially when it comes to the big 3 in resources:
It depends on what you want to use virtualization use for, what the servers look like, what workloads are you testing…etc. Here is the official list:
- Be running a 64-bit version of Windows 8 Professional or Enterprise Edition.
- Have a CPU that supports Second Level Address Translation (SLAT). You can see if your CPU supports SLAT take a look here: Hyper-V: List of SLAT-Capable CPUs for Hosts
- Also it is recommended that your CPU supports NX and SSE2. You can use the Sysinternals COREINFO tool to test for both: Coreinfo v3.21.
- At minimum 4 gigabytes (GB) of RAM followed closely by….IT DEPENDS!.
- Storage…Yes. The actual feature requires minimal hardware, when it comes to the .VHD’s or .VHDX’s it really depends on what you are storing and how many of them will be attached to a system. In addition Windows 8.1 Hyper-V supports “Live Storage Move” capability which helps your VMs to be fairly independent of the underlying storage You can learn more about live migration here:
Virtual Machine Live Migration Overview
Installing Client Hyper-V
On most systems you will have to go into the BIOS and enable virtualization support. To accomplish this, it will vary from system to system. After you enable virtualization in the BIOS then you will need to install the Client Hyper-V feature.
By default this is not installed, you can find this in the add programs and features control panel. In the Programs and Features control panel click on Turn Windows Features on or off. Then select Hyper-V, this will include the Hyper-V manager as well as the PowerShell module for managing Hyper-V in PowerShell. More than most likely this will require a reboot after the feature is installed as well.
Working with Client Hyper-V
Once Client Hyper-V is installed then it works almost identically to Hyper-V running on a server when it comes to creating virtual machines, creating virtual networking, configuring the hosts and guests. If you are new to Hyper-V I would highly recommend you go through the Early Expert Virtualizer quest:
- Display Configuration
- Audio redirection
- Printer redirection
- Full clipboard support (improved over limited prior-generation clipboard support)
- Smart Card support
- USB Device redirection
- Drive redirection
- Redirection for supported Plug and Play devices
For more information on Enhanced Session mode take a look at this article from the Windows Blog:
Good Video from Build in 2011, Developing and testing on Windows 8 with Hyper-V:
We hope you are enjoying the series, and if you missed any of the Windows 8.1 for business series you can find them here: https://aka.ms/Win814Biz
- Client Hyper-V Survival Guide
- Bringing Hyper-V to “Windows 8”
- Hyper-V Support in Windows 8
- MVA Hyper-V Deployment Options & Architecture- Hyper-V (good overview, but it is server focused)