Hyper-V on Server 2008


I'm just about to get a new server which I will either install server 2008 r2 or 2012 on it, either way my question is...

I would rather not install the hyper v direct as a bare metal install, so once server 2008 has been install in the normal way, is it possible to set up the virtual server to be the main server for the network  (main being the operative word) running as a file server and exchange server as well..? In other words I would need the real (non virtual) server to be simply there as a host but not involved in the network per-say..??

The main reason I would like to go down this road is for disaster recovery..? Am I correct in perusing this as a solution..??

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millardjkConnect With a Mentor Commented:
I suspect that the issue is the distinction between Hyper-V on a Server Core install vs full GUI. Performing a full GUI install gives the user all the local management he desires without putting it on a domain, etc.

Once that is running, the guests on the host will be able to run any server functions that a physical machine would: domain, exchange, etc.

It is also possible for the network to be configured in such a way as to lock out the base OS from participating in ANY network operations, but that would also eliminate remote access for maintenance, updates, backups (!); safer to dedicate at least one NIC to management and the others to the hyper-v environment.

So, in summary: yes, you can go the hyper-v route (on full GUI install) and have the host act as a separate & distinct machine from the guests it is hosting.
Ayman BakrConnect With a Mentor Senior ConsultantCommented:
That is possible and this is usually how it should go. You install Win OS server normally on the bare metal, then make it the hypervisor by enabling the role. Then create new Win OS VMs to run on that hypervisor with different roles: Exchange, File, Print - name it.

But you need to take into consideration that it is not recommended at all to create your Domain Controllers (DCs) as VMs as this will cause you time synchronization issues and even sometimes replication issues.

Ofcourse, one of the main and strong reasons to go for virtualizing your machines is that it makes it easy for setting disaster recovery sites mimicing your production main site and also continuously updating them at the minimal effort and cost involved, let alone also the easiness of recovering your main site.
ServTechAuthor Commented:
ok Mutawadi thanks... So, if I'm only running one server on the network, which at present is the case, the DC would have to go on the main server (non virtual) and everything else could go on the virtual server... I was hoping that everything would be contained on the VM making good for disaster recovery..? Is it only the DC that has to be on the main server.?

Is it then worth the effort going down the hyper road if the services have to be split..?

I have used VMware / Parallels for a long time but never tried to set-up a server on a server using Hyper-V...
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I actually set up a hyper-v 2008 server inside esx 5.1 last night it was not straight forward it wouldn't work no vt-x error but after googling I found by modifying the vmx it would run I am doing an article at the moment to explain how I got it working.

You need to investigate whats called nested virtualization in whatever scenario your going to have

I dont think what you describe will work unless you use esx 5.1 as the host then yes ok
Lee W, MVPConnect With a Mentor Technology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
You DO NOT need a physical DC.  You DO WANT a Physical DC *IF* the Hyper-V host is to be a member of the domain (with out a physical DC *AND* with a Hyper-V host on the domain, there is no DC to talk to it when it boots.

Microsoft Licensing explicitly allows you to install one copy direct to hardware for the EXPLICIT purpose of running Hyper-V - that host copy CANNOT be a DC, file server, print server, DNS server, or ANYTHING else other than Hyper-V / Virtualization management.

If you are doing this for disaster recovery, you should NOT be installing 2008 / 2008 R2.  Hyper-V Replica is a feature new to 2012 and can be extremely important in disaster recovery. Further, if you buy Server 2012, you get TWO virtual server licenses, so you can run TWO servers in VMs on that ONE hardware instance.
ServTechAuthor Commented:
I see, so Hyper-V Replica is not the same as Hyper-V (on 2008 R2)..?

Therefore Hyper-V Replica will allow a complete server, DC and all, to be run from the virtual instance, correct..? or do does the DC still need to reside on another server (the host)..??

no you can use esx free on the host and run hyper-v on the well esx v5.1 I got it working last night it doesn't work straight away you have to change i item in the vmx file
just google nested visualization as hyper-v is a bare hardware but like I saud I goit it working as a vm last night
Lee W, MVPConnect With a Mentor Technology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
Hyper-V is a virtualization platform.  It allows MULTIPLE servers to run on the physical hardware of one.

Hyper-V REPLICA is a new feature of Hyper-V that allows you to create a "replica" on another server and keep them in sync.  The other server could be thousands of miles away.  The replicas are updated (bandwidth provided) to within 5 minutes of each other so if you have a failure of the main server or site, you can metaphorically flip the switch and get them running again at the remote location with MINIMAL data loss.

I'm setting this up for clients now and one of the consultants I know did this for one of his clients during the storm that hit the US East Coast in October - their office was down for a week but they were only out for about 35 minutes as they setup Replica between NY and a Texas site that they ran things from while NY was without power.

If they were using 2008, they couldn't have done that.  They COULD have SHIPPED the entire server to TX - IF UPS/FEDEX were running... but that would have been at least a couple of days they'd have been down (and UPS/FedEx weren't running reliably immediately after the storm.

Put another way, if your office burns down, loses power, is robbed and they take the server, Hyper-V won't help you.  If you had 2012 with Hyper-V replica AND you set it up properly, then you might not lose more than 5 minutes of work and be able to start working again in less than an hour, remotely.
Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
When did he say he wanted to NEST virtualization providers?  It looks to me that he just said he has experience with VMWare and Parallels (which suggests NOT ESXi) and no experience with Hyper-V
I would rather not install the hyper v direct as a bare metal install
un quote

thats needs bare metal host that allows nested virtualization and to my mind only esx i 5.1 allows that I know others can like virtualbox I dont regard virtualbox to be a bare metal hypervisor

see my article

Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
See, I read that to mean he'd rather use the GUI of Windows Server than use the free Hyper-V Server.  But I understand your interpretation.

Is the article published?  I get an error attempting to access it.
Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
IanTh - your article is in editor review and we cannot access it at the moment.
this is the contents from my article as its under review

Hi Guys

Over the weekend I have been looking at other virtualization platforms running in a esx lab as virtual machines so you can do it in 1 host as long as the hardware has enough vcores and vram I tried proxmox which is a linux virtualization platform I have done another article for oroxmox ve. This article is more to do with the esx side of things creating a vm with vt-x / amd-v called nested virtualization.

There are a ton of new features with the latest release of vSphere 5.1, but the one "unsupported" feature I always test first is "Nested Virtualization" (aka Nested ESXi) and with the latest release, it seems to have gotten even better. You will still need to have the same physical CPU prerequisites as you did in the past to run "Nested Virtualization" as well as nesting 64-bit VMs.
Intel VT-x or AMD-V is required for running "Nested Virtualization" which supports nested 32-bit VMs
Intel EPT or AMD RVI is required for running nested 64-bit VMs.
A quick way to verify whether your CPU truly supports both Intel-VT+EPT or AMD-V+RVI, you can paste the following into a browser:  
You will need to login with your root credentials and then look for the "nestedHVSupported" property and if it states false, it means you maybe able to install nested ESXi or other hypervisor, but you will not be able to run nested 64-bit VMs, only 32-bit VMs, assuming you have either Intel-VT or AMD-V support on your CPUs.

I am using Microsoft hyper-v 2008 for this example

ee vt-x 2

However this did not work I still got the error Hyper-V cannot be installed: A hypervisor is already running.

So to get this running I had to download the vmx file from the datastore and modify one line

guestOS = "windows8srv-64"
guestOS = "winhyperv"

you also have to right click on the vm upgrade virtual hardware as it needs v9 hardware / vmtools for this to work
ServTechAuthor Commented:
@ leew ~ Yes, you are correct that is what I meant...

@ millardjk ~ Yes exactly, that was what I was after..!

How does the virtual server treat the raid drive sets..??
Lee W, MVPConnect With a Mentor Technology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
You have two different types of disks.  You can "pass through" the disks DIRECT to the VMs OR you can use VHDs.  If you use VHDs, then the virtual servers don't know or care what type of disk subsystem the host has.  If you use pass through then you are, in a sense, locking the VM to the local system.

(Would be better to use Hyper-V under 2012 Server or the free 2012 Hyper-V as it supports VHDX format drives and ReFS, both of which can increase resiliency from crashing servers.
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