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Hyper-V Questions

Discussion in 'Servers and Enterprise Solutions' started by PiKe, Aug 5, 2017.

  1. PiKe

    Capodecina

    Joined: Oct 18, 2002

    Posts: 21,933

    Location: Lake District

    Just trying to get my head around how I could incorporate this to make my life easier.

    If you install the Hyper-V role on Windows Server 2016, does the OS then become visualised or does Hyper-V run on top of the OS? I've looked on the internet but there seems to be conflicting information in regards to this.

    How could I then use Hyper-V to improve what I do? Typically servers are set up on baremetal, using either SBS2011 (yes still) or Server 2016 for those customers that want to (or are forced to) migrate away from SBS. Typically, because the firms aren't huge, we tend to run AD and Exchange on the same server, would I assume that the recommendation would be that AD and Exchange are split on to two different VMs?

    What other benefits does Hyper-V bring over baremetal? I don't have access to SANs or anything like that.
     
  2. Caged

    Capodecina

    Joined: Oct 18, 2002

    Posts: 21,252

    I assume this is a follow-up to your other thread?

    If you install the Hyper-V role in Windows Server, the existing OS ends up running as a VM inside Hyper-V, you just don't see it that way as it's abstracted away.

    Hyper-V makes your life easier because you don't have to care about the underlying hardware any more. You can use snapshots before performing large upgrades that might cause problems, your servers can be portable and moved onto a laptop in a pinch if the original hardware falls over, you can use a single backup product such as Veeam to backup servers regardless of the guest OS, and it enables access to replication technologies that aren't possible or as straightforward when you're running on bare metal.

    Even if I was in a position to assume that a single physical box was only ever going to run one instance of an OS (even though each Windows Server license gives you two installs), I would still run it all virtualized for maximum flexibility.
     
  3. PiKe

    Capodecina

    Joined: Oct 18, 2002

    Posts: 21,933

    Location: Lake District

    So once you install the Hyper-V role, are you then free to set that instance up as an AD or exchange server?
     
  4. Caged

    Capodecina

    Joined: Oct 18, 2002

    Posts: 21,252

    If you want to, though there's no point as then you're back to backing up something that isn't presented as a VM. A Windows Server license grants you two installs, you can either use this to have the Hyper-V host doing something and then have one virtualised instance of the OS, or have two virtualised instances of the OS, and the Hyper-V host doing nothing other than being a Hyper-V host, which is the better option.

    You can't install two instances of Windows Server on top of Hyper-V and then use the host as a domain controller, print server etc.
     
  5. nutcase

    Sgarrista

    Joined: Oct 18, 2002

    Posts: 7,554

    Location: SX, unfortunately

    I always user Hyper-V server now. Much better way of doing it IMO. And then with the server licence you get your two VMs you can do whatever you want with.
     
  6. PiKe

    Capodecina

    Joined: Oct 18, 2002

    Posts: 21,933

    Location: Lake District

    Seeing as it's recommended that a hyper-v host is domain joined, what if the guest is actually running the AD, how does that work?

    Do you just have to initially use it in workgroup mode then change it to domain mode once the guest OS is installed?
     
  7. Caged

    Capodecina

    Joined: Oct 18, 2002

    Posts: 21,252

    Don't join it to the domain if you only have one of them, or you will be upset when you have to reboot it.

    I think the domain recommendation is if you're wanting to set up a cluster.
     
  8. Liquidfox

    Mobster

    Joined: Sep 26, 2007

    Posts: 3,558

    Location: Newcastle

    Even better, if you're planning on installing Hyper-V on a fresh host just install ESXi instead. It's lighter and isn't running Windows. It would take some reading on how to configure it all however, although there's nothing particularly complex in running a single host setup. It does have the added benefit that you can install ESXi onto a USB stick meaning easy swap outs should it ever go wrong, you can simply move drives between physical hosts without having to worry about Windows crapping itself over a hardware mismatch as ESXi is definitely more forgiving. We can have an ESXi box rolled out from scratch in around 20-30 minutes, not a chance you'll get close to that with Windows (Install OS, update OS, install roles, configure roles etc).

    If you are adamant on running Hyper-V then it's best that your host does nothing but run Hyper-V. You're just adding extra workload and potentially more problems.

    Virtualisation is the way forward when it comes to new servers, it's a waste of resources and money putting a single server onto a physical box. Your server will likely be sitting idle most of the time, why not bundle two, three or maybe even four other servers onto the same bit of hardware? The major benefit is, as already mentioned, if the hardware does crap itself you can very quickly move your VMs to a new host and have them up and running in a minimal amount of time.

    Virtualisation also opens up a multitude of backup options, Veeam being one of them. You can take regular snapshots of your servers and massively reduce your RPO meaning far less data is lost in the event of a disaster. If you have a secondary host you can then also set up regular replication between the two meaning that if one host does go down, you simply start up the replica server and everyone is back online within 15 minutes instead of 8-12 hours it would take to restore from tape.
     
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2017
  9. El Pew

    Hitman

    Joined: Sep 1, 2009

    Posts: 987

    There's a standalone Hyper-V server which doesn't run "full" Windows. Plus with Server 2016 you can create a Nano server instance with the Hyper-V role on it which is way lighter than ESXi.
     
  10. Caged

    Capodecina

    Joined: Oct 18, 2002

    Posts: 21,252

    Also if you don't want to spend any money, Hyper-V is better because you don't get locked out of the good APIs and can still do things like backing the VMs up, replication, etc.

    Hyper-V is "good enough" now that the pretty phenomenal savings vs. VMware make it something that should be seriously considered. You can pretty much do everything you need with a few powerful boxes with decent storage in and Windows Server Datacenter licensing rather than having to look at external shared storage arrays or vSAN. Frankly if somebody claims to be proficient with VMware and can't pick up Hyper-V then they were likely not that proficient in the first place.
     
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2017
  11. nutcase

    Sgarrista

    Joined: Oct 18, 2002

    Posts: 7,554

    Location: SX, unfortunately

    That's the hyper-v server I refer to above. Works great. I trued vmware and really didn't get on with it - but that's just me as I've never really got on with linux based stuff.
     
  12. Pigeon_Killer

    Caporegime

    Joined: Nov 21, 2005

    Posts: 28,851

    MS are depreciating most of the infrastructure roles within Nano server, including the Hyper-V role, and are recommending people only use it for containers going forward.
     
  13. rotor

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Sep 18, 2012

    Posts: 1,661

    Hyper-V is fine, but the one thing I dislike about it is that you can't install it on a USB key like you can ESXi. Cue the people that argue that you can install it onto a USB key with 17 different hacks, but in reality, it's not something I would ever do.
     
  14. nutcase

    Sgarrista

    Joined: Oct 18, 2002

    Posts: 7,554

    Location: SX, unfortunately

    It's a strange one - for some reason it's intended for OEMs only. But the instructions are out there and it's not too bad. Done it a couple of times for testing. Problem I had was with HPE who said they would only support it if we used their USB sticks or microSD cards - which they made but didn't support in a DL380 gen9 - something to do with it being on the wrong data bus. So in the end decided against it for production use. First time I'd found a contradiction in their documentation as it read as though it was supported.
     


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