The Hyper-V server role and associated management tools that ship with Windows Server 2012 R2 introduce some compelling new features in addition to the existing functionality from previous releases. Here are some notes so I can remember.
- Enhanced Sessions – a pseudo RDP session providing enhanced VM console sessions launched from Hyper-V Manager. Important enhancements include: TWO-WAY clipboard sharing, printer redirection, rdp-style full screen, etc. This is a huge improvement to the older limited VM console sessions prior to 2012 R2. These are supported without any need for IP connectivity between host and VM (uses Hyper-V VMBus for host-vm connectivity). Sessions appear to require Guest OS of Win 8.1+ or Server 2012R2+?
- Generation 2 VM’s – an optimized virtualization “hardware” platform designed to support newer vm-aware guests. Initially vm guest support is limited to Win 8+ and Server 2012+. Gen 2 standardizes on virtual UEFI and SCSI for boot vs gen1 legacy BIOS and IDE. Gen 2 also adds support for PXE boot. For Guests running Linux or older versions of Windows, only Gen 1 vm hardware is supported.
- VHDX Virtual Disks – introduced with Server 2012, the newer VHDX provides IMPORTANT PERFORMANCE IMPROVEMENTS for Hyper-V virtual disks in addition to allowing larger volume sizes, etc.
- Microsoft Virtual Machine Converter (MVMC) – convert physical (and virtual) systems to Hyper-V VM’s. Note that the “physical” conversion method appears to be the most consistent even with vmware vm’s. PREREQUISITES: use “winrm quickconfig” on source system to allow MVMC P2V agent to install, install BITS Compact Server feature on your Hyper-V system to receive the converted VM files. Make sure to remove vmware tools and install the latest Hyper-V Integration Services (Bottom of Action Menu for VM in Hyper-V Manager). Manually reconfigure any static IP.
DANGER! Just a note-to-self that Hyper-V Manager often will allow you to commit a destructive operation against virtual disks or other vm settings WITHOUT WARNING OR PROMTING YOU TO CONFIRM the destructive action. Be VERY CAREFUL when modifying vm hardware settings or virtual disks and ALWAYS KEEP A SEPARATE BACKUP of anything important before making changes to important systems.