David U. asked this of us at our Saint Louis TechNet Event:
“Free Hyper-V Server can be installed on bare metal. Do I need Windows Server 2008 R2 plus Hyper-V running elsewhere to manage the Hyper-V Server, or is there another way I can manage that?”
Great question David. Thanks!
For those of you not familiar with it, there is a FREE (yes, FREE) version of Hyper-V that you can download and install onto bare metal called Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2008 R2. This installs basically just as a small, efficient platform for Hyper-V virtualization. To manage it, it’s best to do it from another computer using tools such as Hyper-V Manager and Server Manager. So, part of the answer to your question is: No, it doesn’t require Hyper-V to be installed elsewhere. Nor does it require you to manage it from a Windows Server 2008 R2 server. You can just install the Remote Server Administration Tools (RSAT) and use those to manage the Hyper-V Server either from a Server or from a Windows desktop. See these TechNet articles for details on how to install the Hyper-V tools for remote administration, and how to remotely manage Hyper-V Server 2008 R2.
Another item you may not be aware of is that you can do much of the initial configuration right from the Hyper-V Server console. Your user interface for Hyper-V server is basically two windows. One is the basic commandline interface (very much like Windows Server 2008 R2 core installation). The other is the updated Server Configuration Tool:
The Server Configuration tool is designed to simplify the most common configuration tasks. It helps you configure the initial settings without having to type command-line strings. In Hyper-V Server 2008, this utility is called Hyper-V Configuration Utility (HVConfig). In Hyper-V Server 2008 R2, this tool is called the Server Configuration tool (SConfig.cmd). It is included in Hyper-V Server 2008 R2 and in the Server Core installation option of Windows Server 2008 R2. Two configuration options are available only when you run the Server Configuration tool on a server running Hyper-V Server 2008 R2:
- An option to have the Server Configuration tool start automatically every time you log on to a computer running Hyper-V Server with the Administrator account
- An option to configure failover clustering
On a related note – did you know that not only is Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2008 R2 FREE, but it also includes support running as a node in a Hyper-V failover cluster, and as such can participate in the Live Migration of running virtual machines?
“Wait.. What? A free virtualization platform that does that? Do you have any idea how much that would cost us to do with VMware?”
I hope that answers your question. But if you have others, please feel free to put them in the comments.