Mental Ward

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Setting Up Hyper-V

So now I've got my HP DL360 G5 set up, and I'm starting to load hypervisors on it. I thought I'd walk you through what I'm experiencing, as it may provide some insight that you may find helpful -- or perhaps you can get a few good laughs at my expense (you know what they say: As long as you're reading...)

One note: This is quite literally my first time working with virtualization. I've been reporting on it for almost a half-year now, and am getting comfortable with understanding what it is and how it works. But there's nothing like getting your hands greasy to fully grasp its abilities. What I'm saying is that these steps are probably very basic for many of you, and I may be stating what seems ridiculously obvious. But as this is my first foray into this world, it's all new to me.

OK, caveats out of the way. I got my copy of Windows Server 2008 loaded on the server (and many thanks to the folks at Microsoft for setting me up with a copy of Windows 2008. You make my job easier.) Installation was a breeze, with no hiccups whatsoever. My copy of the OS had the beta version of Hyper-V, Microsoft's bundled hypervisor. Since the first release candidate (RC) is out, I downloaded that and installed it instead. Pretty easy to do. In Windows 2008, go to Server Manager > Roles > Add Roles and choose Hyper-V.

Easy as pie. That is, until I tried to create a VM and was told that the hypervisor wasn't loaded. Retry. Nada. Strange, since I was in the Hyper-V Manager (available at Start > Administrative Tools > Hyper-V Manager after you've installed Hyper-V as a server role). So the management console was fine, but no hypervisor.

A little clicking here and there, a little bit of TechNet later, and I determined that it might be my processor setup that was the problem. Since I have virtualization-capable procs (Intel Xeons), I assumed that they were enabled by default. Maybe not. So after a reboot and going into the HP BIOS, I learned that they were, in fact, turned off by default. The two BIOS settings that needed to be enabled were "No-Execute Memory Protection" and "Intel Virtualization Technology." After that, another reboot and voila! Hyper-V fired up. (Again: for seasoned virtualization admins, this likely qualifies as a big "Duh!" moment; for me, it was a revelation).

I loaded to two VMs yesterday: Windows XP and Windows Server 2003 R2 (64-bit edition). I've just started playing with them, and don't have much to report. One key combination you'll learn quickly: CTRL/ALT/Left Arrow. That frees up your mouse to leave the confines of the VM. It took about 40 minutes to load XP and about an hour for Windows 2003.

That's all for now. More updates coming.

Posted by Keith Ward on 03/25/2008 at 12:48 PM


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