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Embedding a Hypervisor onto an SD card or USB drive

Posted on 2009-07-16
Last Modified: 2013-11-11
Never done this before, so here's the situation:

-New Dell PowerEdge R610, which has an internal USB port and an internal SD card slot - right on the motherboard.
-I have downloaded Hyper-V Server (950MB .ISO file) and want to install it.
-Dell gives you the option to ship with the embedded hypervisor, but we didn't choose that option, because they didn't include Hyper-V (only Xen and VMWare).  So I have to do it manually.  Is there an easy way of doing this?

Do I just copy the .ISO file to the SD card (or the USB stick) and set the BIOS order to boot from that internal drive?  I've tried this with the USB, but it isn't working.  What am I missing?  There is zero documentation out there for this process.

Thanks for your help.
Question by:brian_vt_hokie
LVL 13

Assisted Solution

Randy_Bojangles earned 100 total points
ID: 24869982
The ISO file is just the media from which you can install Hyper-V - its not an install of Hyper-V in itself

AFAIK you cant run Hyper-V from an SD or USB as it's simply not thin enough to fit on these mediums

Dell wont give you an option to ship with Hyper-V as its part of the Server 2008 O/S that you have to pay for whilst the ESxi and XenServer are free (the hypervisors, you have to pay for all the extra bits) so can be shipped preinstalled.
LVL 18

Expert Comment

ID: 24870070
There's no way to embed Hyper-V, MS maybe working on something to change that.
LVL 10

Author Comment

ID: 24870446
I'm not talking about Windows Server 2008 with the Hyper-V role.  I'm talking Hyper-V Server.  The standalone hypervisor.


The article references above is over a year old.  And even contains the following:  "Update I've been informed that "Hyper-V Server", the standalone version, will be available to OEMs, same as the other embedded hypervisors."

Does anyone know conclusively if this is possible on this hardware?
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Author Comment

ID: 24870480
Actually, I take that question back.  It *is* supported on this hardware, per Dell's documentation.  That's why we bought it.


"Virtualization on Dell PowerEdge servers just got a performance boost. Featuring Intel® Xeon® 5500 series processors, embedded hypervisors and expanded memory and I/O, Dells servers offer better overall system performance regarding virtualization and more virtual machines per server capacity than ever before. Dell provides a smart path to virtualization, a path that is grounded in choice and defined by industry standards. Customers can choose their hypervisor from market leaders such as VMware® , Citrix®  and Microsoft® , enabling virtualization with a few clicks of a mouse"

LVL 13

Expert Comment

ID: 24870503
The link you posted is to the Hyper-V add on for Windows Server 2008 (for people who bought Server 2008 without Hyper-V)

Its not a standalone hypervisor
LVL 10

Author Comment

ID: 24870556
Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2008
Brief Description:  The standalone hypervisor-based virtualization solution

Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2008 provides a simplified, reliable, and optimized virtualization solution, enabling improved server utilization and reduced costs. Since Hyper-V Server is a dedicated stand-alone product, which contains only the Windows Hypervisor, Windows Server driver model and virtualization components, it provides a small footprint and minimal overhead. It easily plugs into customers existing IT environments, leveraging their existing patching, provisioning, management, support tools, processes, and skills
LVL 10

Author Comment

ID: 24870624
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Author Comment

ID: 24873970
I believe the issue is more about making the USB drive bootable, in order to install the hypervisor.  I've found some documentation on this, but nothing has worked so far.  If anyone has done this procedure before, I'd lvoe to hear how you did it.  Thanks!

Expert Comment

ID: 24889551
You can try the procedure outlined here, although I would advice against booting hypervisor off USB in a production environment.

LVL 10

Accepted Solution

brian_vt_hokie earned 0 total points
ID: 24907560
So here's the final conclusion:

The only way to truly "embed" Hyper-V Server 2008 is through R2, which at this particular moment (7/21/09) is only available to OEM's.  Dell does not offer Hyper-V embedded yet, but plans to in the near future.

That being said, even the "standalone hypervisor" (Hyper-V Server 2008) has a footprint of 10-20 GB.  That seems entirely too large for something like this, in my opinion..but it is what it is.  I had assumed that "embedded Hyper-V" would be at least reasonably comparable to the 200-300 MB footprint that ESXi offers.  I honestly didn't realize that the term "embedded" right now merely means running the OS off of flash media (USB/SD).  This is true for both ESXi, Xen, and eventually Hyper-V.  Not crazy about the idea to be honest - I had assumed that 'embedded' meant it was literally built into the firmware.  In 5 years, that will probably be the case...but for now, that is what is meant by embedded - regardless of virtualization technology, OS, or hardware platform.

Anyway, thanks to everyone for their help.

Expert Comment

ID: 38780095
Please check the below links.  I believe you will find this very helpful.

"Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2008 R2 and Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2012 support the ability to boot from a USB flash device (UFD). This document describes the policy requirements, hardware requirements, and steps to create and deploy a Hyper-V Server image on an embedded USB flash device (UFD)."




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