How to set up a Hyper-V failover cluster

Hyper-V can enable high-availability using Windows Server Failover Cluster Manager. This allows you to create a virtual infrastructure which is resilient to server failures.

A typical Hyper-V failover cluster setup consists of 2 or more servers, which share clustered network and clustered storage resources. In the event of a server failure, the clustered resources are seemlessly failed over to the next available server. To the end user, there is generally no impact on services running on the server.

Failover is an automated process which is managed by the Operating System. Hyper-V enables you to create clustered storage and clustered networking which are an infrastructure requirement for cluster failover manager. (more…)

How to create a VM Template with Hyper-V

Microsoft Hyper-V lacks the capability to create and manage templates and this can be troublesome for IT specialists requiring to deploy a large number of identical virtual machines. A time-consuming task that could be much more efficient and simple.

To save your time, we suggest the following methodology that is more similar to a work-around. You will be able to deploy several virtual machines without much effort but it will still be difficult to deploy hundreds (or worst thousands) of them.

How to configure a pass-through disk with Hyper-V

Usually, virtual machines use virtual hard disks as storage device. A virtual disk is an area of space on a physical drive allocated for use by VMs.

But it’s also possible to use a physical disk connected to the host machine as storage device. This setup is named pass-through disk and Microsoft Hyper-V support it. The configuration is quick, you just need a spare HD connected to the Hyper-V server.

How to create a Virtual Switch on a Hyper-V server

Networking is a critical part of creating a VM infrastructure. Virtual machines need to communicate with other physical and/or virtual machines and/or with the Internet.

Having the possibility to build a virtual network infrastructure simplifies the job of system administrators. Furthermore it improves network efficiency and decreases costs.

Hyper-V can create and manage virtual switches, the backbone of a virtual network. A switch, physical or virtual, is a device operating at Layer 2 of the Open Systems Interconnect (OSI) reference model.

Hyper-V requires the configuration of a default virtual switch during the installation procedure. You can skip the configuration but sooner or later you’ll be forced to configure at least one virtual switch.

How to run a Hyper-V server on an ESXi VM (nested virtualization)

We know it’s a weird scenario but you may need to run Hyper-V on an ESXi virtual machine for testing purposes. Let’s make an example: you have an ESXi 5.5 node with a Windows Server 2012 R2 running on it. You need to install Hyper-V.. but you can’t! Because your hardware configuration doesn’t support virtualization (Windows will refuse to add the role).

Is there a solution? Yes, an easy one.

VMware ESX(i) to Hyper-V conversion with Microsoft Virtual Machine Converter

We’ve already seen how you can convert a VMware ESX(i) virtual machine in a Hyper-V one, using 5nine V2V Easy Converter. We can do the same, with some limitation, with a tool called Microsoft Virtual Machine Converter.

Compared to the 5Nine application we have the support of Microsoft, a good news, but we’re limited by a condition: the Hyper-V node must be in the same Active Directory Domain Services of the virtual machine.

Microsoft Virtual Machine Converter also allows to convert physical machines and to deploy converted machines directly to Azure.

How to configure virtual machine replication on Hyper-V (Replica)

Virtual machine replication is a powerful technology for business continuity and disaster recorvery. Microsoft introduced its own replication technology, called Hyper-V Replica, with Windows Server 2012.

Hyper-V Replica allows asynchronous replication between two Hyper-V hosts. The configuration is quite simple and can save your day in case of accident.