Hyper-V Desktop/Network Virtualization

I am looking to setup a new network utilizing Hyper-V. I understand the virtualization when concerning Server OS, but what I am more concerned about is client/guest OS being virtualized in Hyper-V.

Is it possible to have clients machines with PXE support to connect to Hyper-V machines? I have read other people using RIS servers to get client computers to boot Hyper-V machines but can't attest for how that would be accomplished if it even can be done.

Really my goal, and end product, would be to have the following...

Hyper-V Host Running:

Windows Server 2008 Small Business (VM1)
Server 2008 Standard w/ Microsoft Sharepoint Server (VM2)
Server 2008 Standard as File Storage Server (VM3)
5-10x Windows 7 Professional (VM4-14)

And have 5-10 physical PCs that automatically load up to the HyperV Win7 machines. Whether by means of PXE, RIS, RDP would work, but I would rather not.

Call me nuts, but can this be done?
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Michael OrtegaSales & Systems EngineerCommented:
Are you saying that you want to run all your virtual servers and virtualized desktops on one physical server, and then have 5-10 physical client machines run those virtualized Windows 7 desktops at startup?

The answer is yes if that's what you're asking. Med-V would likely be the choice here, but it looks like Windows 7 support for desktop virtualization won't be ready until April 2010. There is a beta out: http://www.microsoft.com/windows/enterprise/products/mdop/med-v.aspx

ne3Author Commented:
Med-V isn't exactly what I'm looking for, unless it works with Hyper-V images instead of Virtual PC. Where Med-V can automatically load a Virtual PC 2007 image at log in and make it the user's primary desktop is somewhat what I'm looking for but not exactly in the since that Med-V is not actually giving the features of Hyper-V.

More specifically snapshots in Hyper-V would be very useful for when an end user infects their computer, being able to revert back to an old snapshot would save hours of time.

So, with Hyper-V there would be say 5 VMs running, which can only be accessed (from what I know now) from the physical server (snap-in console), or from a Remote Desktop connection.

I want the end user, sitting in front of their physical client, to push the power button and, by the time they provide their login credential, actually be viewing the screen of one of those VMs running in Hyper-V. So that when they enter their login credentials, it takes them to the desktop of that VM. Also so that any changes they make, data they save/create/modify are saved to that VM running on Hyper-V.

Whether it connects to the server as the primary OS, or one loaded before the physical OS's desktop loads, makes no difference. As long as the OS that they use is the one running inside of Hyper-V as a VM.

Is this possible?
Michael OrtegaSales & Systems EngineerCommented:
Basically you want to make your client systems like a thin client. After logon they immediately connect to the virtual instance of your client OS on your Hyper-V server via RDP.

You'll want to modify the below reg key

HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon

Change "Shell" value from Explorer.exe to mstsc.exe.


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ne3Author Commented:
That is an idea that would work. Are there any other methods besides RDP?
Michael OrtegaSales & Systems EngineerCommented:
Not that I am familiar with without using 3rd party virtualization products like Citrix. Not sure how the RIS solution you suggested initially would work. RIS is for desktop deployment, not desktop virtualization. If you want to deploy a local desktop installation across the network you use RIS. The method I suggested is the only way you can boot a system up, log on, and then immediately jump to a Remote Desktop connection window. You can add switches to the registry entry if there is a specific computer it needs to connect to or simply specific your .rdp file that you've already configured.
Michael OrtegaSales & Systems EngineerCommented:
I just uploaded a video I just created. Take a look at it. It's really a .mp4 file (Windows Media Player should play it), but I renamed it to .zip so I could upload it. Just change the file extension back to .mp4 in order to play it.

ne3Author Commented:
Yeah, RIS didn't make sense to me either.. I had stumbled upon an article of someone mentioning it. After digging around, I think I have pretty came to the conclusion that RDP is the only solution when using Hyper-V.

Thanks for the affirmation!
Very Helpful video mqorteqa
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