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How to configure two Windows 2016 VMs?

ClintonK asked
Last Modified: 2018-03-03
I have a new empty server and a licenced copy of Windows 2016 Std Server.
I want to build two virtual servers. I have downloaded and installed Hyper-V 2016 standalone and now I have a non-GUI interface with basic options for domain, network etc. but of course, no GUI to install VMs. Is the standalone version the way to go or is it unnecessary for what I'm trying to do. It seems a bit industrial just for two VMs.
I've seen Internet videos talking about using Hyper-V in Windows 2016 rather than using Hyper-V standalone but doesn't that just give me a Windows 2016 server with a Windows 2016 server inside it? Maybe I'm missing the point.
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Travis MartinezStorage Engineer

You've installed the "headless" and specific "role" of the server; however, if you'd like the GUI interface you can install the server with the desktop interface and simply enable the Hyper-V features on the server.

If you want to keep the server the way it is you can install the Hyper-V manager on Windows 10 Professional:


Here is also a reference for managing the system remotely using the Hyper-V manager from the Win 10 system:



So I don't bother with the Hyper-V standalone option? I guess that needs Hyper-V manager to connect to it (MS Hyper-V manager on Windows 10 or 5nine software etc.).
Do I just need to install a 2016 Server instance and enable the Hyper-V role to create my VM?
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Yes, I saw reference to Powershell on some of the videos I looked at so I think I'll give that a miss.
I'm looking to configure two servers; AD and SQL. Am I correct in thinking that the first install of 2016 server will give me the AD functionality and then the new VM will give me the SQL functionality?
Travis MartinezStorage Engineer

Yes, the standard server can be configured to work as an AD system along with being a Hyper-V system; however, I would keep them separate and create the physical server as a standard install with Hyper-V roles enabled.

Then create the VM's necessary for AD and SQL.  Keep the physical system as Just Hyper-V will enable you to make mistakes on VM configuration without having the possibility of causing issues with the Hyper-V setup.


OK, that makes good sense. I will end up with three 2016 servers; Hyper-V manager, AD and SQL. The Hyper-V Manager (as I'm calling it) will just be a basic 2016 server with minimum resources allocated to it.
I bought the system from Dell as a two server system so can I assume the licencing is OK for this config or should I check back with Dell?
Travis MartinezStorage Engineer

This is purely an assumption on my part but the way I've interpreted you're comments along with the original question being:

1.  The server was bought with a Server 2016 license
2.  Dell provided you with you with a Volume license key as well as an OEM key for the first license.  In some cases the OEM key can be the volume key.

Licensing can be a difficult question and I'm going off of working on it, not having to be responsible for licensing it.  To be safe I would check with Dell but my feeling is they understood you because the physical has to have the Hypervisor on it.  But that's where another assumption comes in.

Check with Dell


I think this is the best technical solution for me.
The only question is one of licencing but that's not for here but a question for Dell from who I bought the kit.
Philip ElderTechnical Architect - HA/Compute/Storage

I have two very thorough EE articles on all things Hyper-V:

Some Hyper-V Hardware and Software Best Practices
Practical Hyper-V Performance Expectations

Did the licensed copy come with a DVD? Use CDBurnerXP or the like to rip that to .ISO for your VMs.

Use Rufus to prep an uEFI flash drive using uEFI/CSM option using that .ISO.

Use that flash drive to install the host.

We install the GUI version of the OS on standalone servers and Core for our cluster nodes.
Distinguished Expert 2019

The OEM licenses keys are not the VLK keys

you will get problems while auto activating windows on VMs

Better provide internet access to guest VMs and run slmgr commands in series to use same OEM key to activate windows

Because no matter you use any license, as long as it covers entire server (minimum 8 core licenses in pack of two for single physical CPU OR 16 core licenses in pack of two for double physical CPUs), you are entitled to use TWO VMs free of charge on server acting as *Hyper-V* server
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