Windows 8: Client Hyper-V and boot from VHD

Windows 8 Client Hyper-V

Some days before the BUILD conference, Microsoft released a video about Hyper-V in Windows 8. Now after some days of testing I am already a big fan of the client Hyper-V. It lets me create a perfect lab at work or a development VM and Linux VM’s for KTSI.

It’s a great solution for me. Sure there were other solutions like Virtual PC, Virtual Box and VMware Workstation before, but using the built-in Hyper-V has some advantages which make my life a little easier.

  • PowerShell support – it lets me start up a whole lab environment within seconds. I can really quick import Virtual Machines and start them up. And also do some other cool scripted solutions.
  • Performance – it offers great performance.
  • VHD and VHDX – it’s great to work with one virtual disk format and not have to convert virtual disks. It’s also great together with the boot from VHD feature.
  • Dynamic Memory
  • Remote Management for Hyper-V Servers (like the RSAT)
  • Live Storage Migration – Move a running Virtual Machine from local disk to another local disk, USB or network share and back

Microsoft made also the boot from VHD feature a little simpler.

  1. First Mount the VHD you want to boot. (right click on the VHD and “Mount”)
    mount vhd
  2. Now check the new drive letter of the VHD in my case this is G:
  3. Open the command prompt and type bcdboot G:\windows
    bcdboot
  4. Now your VHD will appear in the boot menu. You can check that by typing bcdedit
  5. and as you can see no sysprep or generalize needed

Here a small list of Hyper-V client features:

  • 32 Virtual CPUs
  • NUMA in VM
  • 512 GB RAM
  • Sleep, Hibernate
  • Management console
  • Manage Hyper-V Server from this console
  • Snapshots
  • Up to 1024 running VM’s
  • VHD, and VHDX (up to 16TB)
  • Dynamic disks, Differencing disks, pass through disks, fixedsize disks
  • 4K sector size
  • DMTF comliant WMI
  • Networking offloads
  • Live Storage Migration
  • Native VHD boot
  • Dynamic Memory
  • Remote Management
  • PowerShell
  • Export snapshots
  • Resource Pools
  • External, Internal and Private Networks
  • Bi-Direction audio
  • Enlightened IDE & SCSI controllers
  • Hyper-V on SMB
  • up to256 virtual drives
  • up to 12 virtual NICs
  • VLAN support
  • 3D Graphics (Software)
  • Mutli Touch
  • USB redirection (with RDP)
  • Wireless NICs
  • Export & Import VMs
  • Hyper-V Extensible Switch
  • VHDX Resiliency

Supported Operating Systems:

  • Windows XP SP3
  • Windows Server 2003 SP2
  • Windows Server 2003 R2 SP2
  • Windows Vista
  • Windows Server 2008
  • Windows 7
  • Windows Server 2008 R2
  • Windows Storage Server 2008 R2
  • Windows Home Server 2011
  • Windows SBS 2011
  • Windows 8
  • Windows Server 8
  • CentOS 5.2-5.6
  • CentOS 6.0
  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.2-5.6, 6.0, 6.1
  • SUSE Linux Enterprise 10, 11

In my opinion Client Hyper-V is a great solution and lab to go for Developers, IT Pros, Testers, Sales people and a lot more.