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Virtualization using Hyper V

Posted on 2013-06-02
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I am new to Virtualization and need some advice.

I have a server that I had just put 2008 server std on.
So I installed Hyper V
Set up a new Virtual server and all great.
Both on Evaluation licences for now.
Also set up a windows 8 on server.

But I have a whole load of obscure questions that I hope you might be able to clarify for me.

1. Should I have put the cut down version of 2008 on first not full version?  I am not going to have any roles on the base.

2. Should I be using 2012 server instead of 2008 to host and to use for that matter?

3. Should I be using “Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2012” instead as host, as it seems to be free?  Can I put a mix of 2003, 2008 and 2012 servers on it?

4. I think I need to use P2V: Converting Physical Computers to Virtual Machines in VMM.  As I want to import 2 old 2003 servers from physical to virtual.  Does it really work in real time without problems?  Is it free or do I have to buy, and again which version.

5. I have to buy new licences as we are all 2003 at the moment.  
Somewhere I read that if I buy 2012 server and cals, that I can install 2008 and use these.  if so does that mean that the no. I get with the 2012 licence will work if I install 2008?  This will then mean I don’t have to buy new cals when we eventually go over to 2012.

6. I believe if I buy 1 copy of 2008 or 2012 Enterprise version I can load 4 virtual servers on the same host?

Thanks Terry
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Question by:terrybuck9
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Carol Chisholm earned 250 total points
ID: 39214192
2012. Don't even think about 2008. Perhaps 2008R2 if you really must!

1. if you are not familiar with Hyper-V you will need the GUI (full version). You need to know what you are doing to run server core.

Definitely use 2012 if you can.

Questions 2 & 3 are related they depend on licenses.

If you use the free Hyper-V you have to buy licenses for the guest machine OS.
If you BUY Server 2012 datacenter you can run AS MANY windows 2012 server guests as you want.
If you get BUY 2008 Enterprise you only get 4 included guest servers.

2012 Hyper-V supports all the OS you mention and more as guests.
You can downgrade but you don't want to if you can avoid it. I really don't recommend running 2003 servers in a virtualised environment if you can avoid it. 2003 is not virtualisation aware.

You have to have all the servers on the same host...
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Author Comment

by:terrybuck9
ID: 39214201
Hi Carolchi

Thank very much for the info, I have a few questions about your recommendations.

I have 2 old 2003 servers that I want to import, and 1 2008 server that I may import, and a few new servers I have to set up from scratch.   If 2012 is the way to go, are you saying I cant have a mix?  or is it just 2003 that is a problem as I really want to import these with P2V?

thanks Terry
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Assisted Solution

by:Lee W, MVP
Lee W, MVP earned 250 total points
ID: 39214206
1. Should I have put the cut down version of 2008 on first not full version?  I am not going to have any roles on the base.
Do you mean the Core version as opposed to the full version?  Assuming you do I'll say that STRICTLY speaking, as a best practice, you should install Core only.  HOWEVER - Hyper-V can be a pain in the butt to manage without the management tools installed (and they can't be installed or run on a core install - though you can BUY third party tools to do so).  For EASE and especially for someone new to the product, I STRONGLY recommend you install the FULL version.  

As a further note, it's good that you won't be running any other roles - and strictly speaking, if you were going to install a VM of Windows Server, then you can't without buying an extra license.  The way you want to do it is perfect - Microsoft allows 1+x licensing where the "1" is the license to install to hardware.  The x (depending on the version of Server purchased) is the number of installs of Windows you are already licensed for just buy having the single license installed on the server.  You lose an "x" license if you do anything other than virtualization/virtualization management on the host server.

2. Should I be using 2012 server instead of 2008 to host and to use for that matter?
In my opinion, YES.  Hyper-V in 2012 offers one killer feature not available in 2008 R2 Hyper-V - Hyper-V Replica.  This can potentially allow you to replicate VMs to another server with minimal potential data loss.  If you're not familiar with this, google it - TONS of information on this and it's free (though licensing rules may apply/require additional copies of Server).

3. Should I be using “Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2012” instead as host, as it seems to be free?  Can I put a mix of 2003, 2008 and 2012 servers on it?
Yes, it's free, but it's the Core version only which, as I mention above, is a PAIN to manage.  But because of the licensing model and the way you've already described your intended usage, you don't need to - just use one of the copies of Windows Server you buy to install directly to hardware, add the Hyper-V role, then DO NOT add any other roles and you should be fine - that install is, from some points of view, FREE as well.

4. I think I need to use P2V: Converting Physical Computers to Virtual Machines in VMM.  As I want to import 2 old 2003 servers from physical to virtual.  Does it really work in real time without problems?  Is it free or do I have to buy, and again which version.
I don't know what you're talking about.  There are tools available... but the only Microsoft supported method I'm aware of is to use SCVMM.  Otherwise, third party tools provide the capability as well and they should be supported.  BUT, that said, you may be able to use the UNSUPPORTED Microsoft/Sysinternals tool DISK2VHD to convert an install (note there's a checkbox to "Prepare for Virtual PC".  The beauty of this is that you can do it and setup the VM and see if it works or not (when testing, do so on a NON-PRODUCTION network, preferably on a Hyper-V server NOT connected physically to your LAN.  If you try turning on a copy of an already running machine and it works (or mostly works) then you could EASILY end up CORRUPTING your network.  The idea is to TEST first, then do a second time once you know how well it will work.  And the Second Time, before you "turn on" the VM, you turn OFF AND DISCONNECT the physical server.

5. I have to buy new licences as we are all 2003 at the moment.  
Somewhere I read that if I buy 2012 server and cals, that I can install 2008 and use these.  if so does that mean that the no. I get with the 2012 licence will work if I install 2008?  This will then mean I don’t have to buy new cals when we eventually go over to 2012.
If you are all 2003, then you will need new CALs whether you go to 2008 or 2012.  CALs are good for the version of Windows they are purchased for AND all prior versions.  So if you buy 2012 CALs but setup 2008 R2 servers, then you are covered for both 2012 AND 2008.


6. I believe if I buy 1 copy of 2008 or 2012 Enterprise version I can load 4 virtual servers on the same host?
This is CRITICALLY IMPORTANT: BUY VOLUME LICENSES.

A 2008 Enterprise license costs about $1800-2500 if memory serves and grants you FOUR Windows Licenses for running in VMs on the same hardware.  2012 DOES NOT HAVE an Enterprise Edition - it only has Standard and Data Center.  Standard costs ABOUT $900, Data Center costs ABOUT $4500 (if memory serves).  They are FUNCTIONALLY IDENTICAL - both have the EXACT SAME TECHNICAL FEATURE SETS!  The difference in 2012 is that Microsoft now grants you TWO Virtual installs of Server 2012 on the hardware for every copy of Standard assigned to the server (and the right to use 2 CPUs - not cores, but actual, socketed CPUs).  Data center allows UNLIMITED Virtual Windows Licenses on the hardware it's assigned to with 2 CPUs per copy).  The effective number of VMs you can have will depend on the hardware and what you have the VMs doing.

Back to Volume Licensing - if you buy retail 2012, YOU have to provide the installation media AND KEYS for a 2008 install.  If you buy OEM (pre-installed server with 2012) then YOU have to provide the installation media AND KEYS for a 2008 install *AND* you can NEVER move the OS install to another server - if that server dies, the copy of Windows dies with it and you have to buy it again.  Yes, it's likely 10% cheaper than a Volume license, but you'll have to spend 100% more when you replace the server - unless you get a volume license.  Finally, Volume Licenses provide you access to the Volume License Service Center where you can download ISO media AND get appropriate keys for whatever version of Windows you want to use.



As a final point, you are not licensing the number of VMs Hyper-V can run.  Hyper-V can run as many VMs as you want - Linux, Windows, whatever is supported or more to the point, whatever works.  HOWEVER, Each windows installation requires a license.  Physical or Virtual.  1+2 licensing (as it's known for 2012 Standard) provides 1 (physical install) plus a license for 2 virtual installs of Windows.  If you want two servers, a single 2012 license can cover you.  If you want 3 Windows servers, you need 2 licenses; 4 Windows servers, two licenses; 5 Windows servers 3 licenses... etc. Once you need more than 9 VMs on the hardware, you should consider a Data Center license as that's where the costs start to equalize... Then as you add more VMs it's more economical with a Data Center license than to keep buying 2012 standard licenses.
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Expert Comment

by:Carol Chisholm
ID: 39214239
Microsoft does not really support "importing" machines except from other Hyper-V systems. System Center can help you.
http://blogs.technet.com/b/uspartner_ts2team/archive/2013/02/01/windows-server-2012-p2v-and-licensing.aspx
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/hh427293.aspx


The official list of supported OS versions:
http://blogs.technet.com/b/schadinio/archive/2012/06/26/windows-server-2012-hyper-v-list-of-supported-client-os.aspx

You have to fiddle with network adapters to get 2003 to work:
http://windowsitpro.com/t-sql/running-windows-server-2003-under-hyper-v

But if you are new to this you should really make the effort to use a modern OS on your guest systems, they will work much better.
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by:Carol Chisholm
ID: 39214240
And remember 2003 is out of mainstream support so if you have any problems, you won't get much help form Microsoft.

http://support.microsoft.com/lifecycle/search/default.aspx?alpha=Windows+Server+2003+R2
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by:Carol Chisholm
ID: 39214245
And you don't want to P2V a domain controller. You don't say what these machines are.
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by:terrybuck9
ID: 39214248
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by:Carol Chisholm
ID: 39214314
Yes that is System Center. Do you have System Center licenses? Do you know how to install System Center? It is not the simplest of products to install and manage, and not cheap at all.

You also should be looking at System Center 2012 SP1 which can handle Windows 2012 Hyper-V
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Author Comment

by:terrybuck9
ID: 39215028
I can get System manager as its in my Action Pack, I assume that is installed on server first, or does it run on 2012?  Would this allow me to import 2003 servers?
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by:terrybuck9
ID: 39215495
If I setup server 2012 with gui as host, does this server require anti-virus and should I add it to my domain?
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by:Carol Chisholm
ID: 39215534
No you don't run anything on your host. I would put a AV.
Whether the host is in the domain depends on if you have a separate domain controller.
It the host is in the domain you must have a DC that is already running when the host boots.
If the only DC will be virtualised on the host, you must keep the host in a workgroup.
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by:Carol Chisholm
ID: 39215536
System center goes on a guest VM
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by:Carol Chisholm
ID: 39215537
System Center is not the same as System Manager.
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Author Comment

by:terrybuck9
ID: 39215549
sorry but not quite sure what you mean by "System centre goes on a guest VM". Do you mean it goes on a 2012 server virtual machine in Hyper V?
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by:Carol Chisholm
ID: 39215586
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by:terrybuck9
ID: 39219925
Thank you both so much for all your info.

I have decided to use 2012 GUI mode as per your recommendations and my newness to Hyper V.
Is there a standard list of features and things I can uninstall from host to trim it down as I will only be running Hyper V?
I am going to attempt to use system centre to import my 2 2003, but probably move them over to 2012 as well.

thanks Terry
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by:Carol Chisholm
ID: 39219975
2012 installs with minimal features.
Add Hyper-V and nothing else
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by:terrybuck9
ID: 39226157
Hi Carolchi

I am setting up 2 hosts.
I need to be able to move Virtual servers from one host to another.  
You said above to leave the host in a workgroup, but then it will not let me switch on live migrations?  Which is what I think I need to do this, or is there another export and import?

if I set up a Virtual DC on each of the hosts, will it be ok then to add the hosts to the domain?
Then I can switch on live migrations?
Or do I need a physical DC?

thanks terry
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by:Carol Chisholm
ID: 39226185
There is always export and import, but you have to shut down the machine first. This is really good for offsite disaster recovery.

Read this:
http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/winserverDS/thread/643206e9-4a4a-421c-bd9a-1ff679a23616
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Author Comment

by:terrybuck9
ID: 39226225
Great thanks, the Export / Import will do me fine.  I did not see the export option until I stopped the server.

It seems that at least 1 physical DC with FSMO roles is recommended, is that your opinion too?

thanks again Terry
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by:Carol Chisholm
ID: 39226247
At least one physical DC.
Though if you read carefully you can do without in 2012.

But you will be happier with a physical one, then you can put your hosts in the domain and everything is simpler.
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