Optimizing Hyper-V with Generation 2 Virtual Machines

Since the first Microsoft virtualization software called Virtual PC, followed by Virtual Server and then Hyper-V, the virtual machine used by them has been almost the same, with some improvements and features here and there, but keeping the old virtualized hardware, an Intel 440BX chipset.

Windows Server 2012 R2 introduces Generation 2 Virtual Machines with new features and possibilities that were not available in the previous generation.

This new type of virtual machine changes the way we create, configure and manage our virtual servers in Hyper-V. Some of these features include the replacement of BIOS with UEFI, boot from SCSIs, removal of legacy drivers, secure boot and so on.

With new architecture and removal of some legacy features, Generation 2 VMs also have some limitations that can restrict its usage in production so before starting using these new VMs, it is important to understand the differences and limitations of each generation.

In this article you will see how to create, configure and verify Generation 2 Virtual Machines.

Getting ready

Generation 2 Virtual Machines are available right after the Hyper-V installation so you just need your Hyper-V Server installed and ready to create new VMs.

How to do it…

The next steps will guide you through how to create, check and configure Generation 2 Virtual Machines.

1. To create a new Generation 2 Virtual Machine, open Hyper-V Manager, under the Action pane click on New and select Virtual Machine.

2. In the New Virtual Machine Wizard, click Next.

3. In Specify Name and Location, type the virtual machine name, location and click Next.

4. In Specify Generation, select Generation 2, as shown in the next screenshot, and click Next.

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5. In Assign Memory, specify the Startup memory and if you want to enable Dynamic Memory, click on Use Dynamic Memory for this virtual machine and click Next

6. In Configure Networking, select the network connection in the dropdown list and click Next.

7. In Connect Virtual hard Disk, specify the Name, Location and Size of your new hard disk. You can also use an existing virtual hard disk or skip this option to attach a virtual hard disk later.

8. In Installation Options, select the preferable installation option, click Next and then Finish.

Note: You can also create a new Generation two virtual machine using the command New-VM -VMName VM02 -Generation 2. If the generation option is not specified, Hyper-V will create a Generation 1 VM by default.

9. To verify all virtual machines and their generation version, type the following PowerShell command:

Get-VM | fl Name,Generation

10. To check the virtual machine Generation using the graphical interface, select the virtual machine in Hyper-V Manager and click on the Summary tab in the bottom of the console, as shown in the next screenshot.

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11. To set the new Firmware feature options in a Generation 2 Virtual Machine, right click on the VM and select Settings.

12. In the Settings window, click on Firmware, as shown in the following screenshot.

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13. By default, Secure Boot is already enabled. To disable it, unmark the check box Enable Secure Boot.

Note: Microsoft recommends Secure Boot to be enabled whenever possible. It should be disabled only when a secure book scenario is not supported.

14. To change the book order, select the device under Boot order and click Move Up or Move Down to get the desired order.

15. To add a device on top of the boot order list using PowerShell, type the following command.

$vm = get-vm “VMName”
$dvd = Get-VMDvdDrive $vm
Set-VMFirmware $vm -FirstBootDevice $dvd

16. By default, Generation 2 VMs do not have DVD drivers. To add a new driver, click on SCSI Controller, select DVD Drive and click Add. The next screenshot shows a new DVD Drive added. To change the Controller and Locations, use the menus under DVD Drive. To select a DVD image, click on Image file and specify the image location.

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17. When finished, click OK and your Generation 2 VM will be ready for use.

How it works…

Generation 2 Virtual Machines were introduced in Windows Server 2012 with massive changes in their structure since the Hyper-V first release. There were VM improvements and features added in previous versions before but this is the first time that the whole virtual machine was changed.

As the previous generation had some limitations, the idea of this new model is to provide new features and prepare new improvements for future releases. To make it possible, some features were removed and as result, there are some limitations.

One of the most interesting feature that opened great functionalities was the replacement of the old BIOS system to a new boot system using UEFI firmware, which uses a high-level language that is easy to be extended. Some features that were possible with UEFI are Secure Boot, larger boot volumes, GPT boot disks and better performance during the boot. Because these systems are very different and have different capabilities, is impossible to convert virtual machines between generations.

Another change was the removal of old legacy drivers like legacy network adapter, IDE controller, floppy controller, COM Ports and DMA controller. This bring a cleaner virtual machine configuration with less devices and a much better boot performance. DVD Devices are still available, but are not added by default. They can only be added through SCSI Controllers, which supports nows up to 256 DVD drivers per VM. It’s also important to mention that passthrough DVD hardware devices cannot be added in Generation 2 VMs, that means only DVD image files such as ISO can be used.

As example of these benefits, the next image shows the device manager console of a Generation 1 virtual machine on the left and the new generation on the right.

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Another good example of how easy a Generation 2 VM is to be managed and maintained is the VM settings window. The following screenshot shows a Generation 1 VM on the left side and the new generation on the left.

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On the other hand, Generation 2 VMs can be a problem for certain scenarios, given it only support specific Operating System versions and has no legacy devices.

To help you decide which version can be used in your environment, the following lists explain the benefits and limitations of Generation 2 VMs:

Benefits and Features:

  • · Replacement of BIOS with the new UEFI firmware
  • · Secure Boot
  • · More performance during boot process
  • · Boot Volume can have up to 64GB
  • · Boot disk can be configured as MBR or GPT disks
  • · DVD Drives attached to SCSI controllers supporting up to 256 DVD drivers per VM
  • · No more legacy devices such as Legacy Network Adapters, IDE Controller, Floppy Controller and COM ports
  • · Improvements in the keyboard controller, PS/2 Mouse, S3 Video, Programmable Interrupt Controller – PIC and Programmable Interrupt Timer – PIT

Limitations:

  • · Only support VHDX disks
  • · Does not support physical DVD Drive passthrough, only emulated devices using ISO or any other DVD image files
  • · Can use 64-bit editions of Windows 8, Windows Server 2012 or newer versions
  • · Does not support legacy devices such as Legacy Network Adapters, IDE Controller, Floppy Controller and COM ports

Whenever possible, the new generation will always be the best option because the new improvements and features that we don’t have in Generation 1, but for compatibility reasons, the default option when creating a new Virtual Machine is Generation 1.

Leandro Carvalho
My Blog | Technet Wiki Articles | MVP Profile
Twitter: LeandroEduardo | LinkedIn: Leandroesc

My Session at Teched Australia 2014

Speaking both

Hi guys.

I was invited this year again to be a speaker at Teched Australia 2014. I’ve been helping with small sessions like exam crams and Instructor-Led Labs since 2010 but this is the first time I’ve got a breakout session, looking forward to that.

The session topic is Hyper-V being administered and automated by PowerShell. Since the beginning of my journey in IT I’ve learned that IT-Pros and command lines, codes and programming are not a good combination, but I’ve also learned that that’s the only option we have out of the box to save time with automation and doing things quicker. The good news is that scripts and command lines became much easier since the first release of PowerShell. The guys that created it where thinking on how IT Pros could actually use commands in their day-to-day jobs so that’s what I’ll be covering. I’ll show and teach you how easy and simple is to use Powershell so that you can build your own scripts and commands to do most of the daily tasks.

Besides talking about the new PowerShell and Hyper-V features I’ll do some demos showing normal tasks that Hyper-V admins do in their job.

Here are the session information:

Hyper-V Session

Another exciting news is that for the first time Teched Australia has been split in two events. In Melbourne between October 7 & 8 and Sydney between October 27 & 28. My session is the only one covering Hyper-V in Sydney and I’ll also try to show you some news about the new Hyper-V and PowerShell in Windows 10 so don’t miss out.

Cheers.

Leandro Carvalho
My Blog | Technet Wiki Articles | MVP Profile
Twitter: LeandroEduardo | LinkedIn: Leandroesc

Cloud OS MVP Roadshow 2014

Hi there.

The Australia Cloud OS MVP Roadshow has been announced and it will be held in 2 cities this year: Sydney and Perth.

I’ll be presenting at the Sydney event on 18 Sept and we will be talking about the Cloud OS, Windows Server Migration and Windows Azure Pack:

MVP Roadshow

The event is totally free and you can use the links below to register:

Small black square PERTH Event Details & Registration: http://bit.ly/1kVcgzm

Small black square SYDNEY Event Details & Registration: http://bit.ly/1odJ2GX

Hope to see you all there.

Cheers.

Leandro Carvalho
My Blog | Technet Wiki Articles | MVP Profile
Twitter: LeandroEduardo | LinkedIn: Leandroesc

My Teched Australia 2013 Sessions

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Hi there.

Teched Australia is around the corner and it’s great to be presenting once again in such a great event.

This year we have lot’s of sessions covering products such as System Center 2012 R2, Windows Server 2012 R2, Windows 8.1 and much more. I can’t wait to see all great speakers showing all wonders of these releases and, most important, enjoy a sunny week in Gold Coast. =)

These are my 3 sessions this year, 1 exam cram and 2 Instructor-Led Labs.

Build Your Microsoft SharePoint Server 2013 Lab in the Cloud with Windows Azure
  • Speakers: Leandro Carvalho

Session Info

  • Day: Thursday
  • Time: 11:30 AM
  • Room: TLC – Theatre 1
  • Track: Technical Learning Centre
  • Session Type: Instructor-Led Lab (ILL)
  • Technical Level: 300

Leverage Windows Azure Virtual Machines and Virtual Networks to build your SharePoint 2013 server lab in the cloud! During this hands on lab, get a technical overview of Windows Azure virtual machines and virtual networks and then proceed to build a SharePoint 2013 cloud lab that you can leverage post-TechEd to extend your learning experience.

MCSE: Private Cloud – 70-246 and 70-247
  • Speakers: Leandro Carvalho

Session Info

  • Day: Thursday
  • Time: 1:45 PM
  • Room: Exam Cram
  • Track: Technical Learning Centre
  • Session Type: Exam Cram
  • Technical Level: 100

This Exam prep session focuses on what you need to know to get certified and pass the Private Cloud Microsoft Certified Professional exam 70-246 and exam 70-247. The presenter walks you through the objectives that are covered in the exam, and gives you some general exam taking tips and technology “gotchas” about Microsoft System Center 2012. This session will be your last step in getting ready for this exam.

Using the Microsoft Exchange Server 2013 Admin Centre
  • Speakers: Leandro Carvalho

Session Info

  • Day: Wednesday
  • Time: 5:00 PM
  • Room: TLC – Theatre 3
  • Track: Technical Learning Centre
  • Session Type: Instructor-Led Lab (ILL)
  • Technical Level: 300

During this lab, navigate through the Exchange Server 2013 Admin Centre (EAC). The new UX in the EAC is designed to help you complete tasks related to on-premises and online Exchange organisation management.

 

If you are attending Teched this year, don’t forget to come along to talk, share some experience and have some fun.

Leandro Carvalho 
My Blog | MSVirtualization (pt-BR) | Technet Wiki Articles | MVP Profile
Twitter: LeandroEduardo | LinkedIn: Leandroesc

New Book Available – System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2012 Cookbook by Alessandro Cardoso

Hey there!

As you might know, the new version of System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2012 comes with tons of new features and nice configurations that will change the way we manage not only our virtual environment, but the most important components of our datacenter.

To be prepared and learn almost everything about it from scratch, my friend Alessandro Cardoso has written a great book walking through the product. Check it out:

System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2012 Cookbook

SCVMM Cookbook 

What you will learn from this book

  • How to use VMM Architecture and plan for a real word deployment
  • Utilize Network Virtualization, Gateway integration, Storage integration, Resource Throttling, and Availability options
  • Deploy Operations Manager and integrate with VMM
  • Integrate SC APP Controller with VMM to manage Private and Public Clouds (Azure)
  • Cluster deployment with VMM Bare Metal
  • Create and deploy Virtual Machines from Templates
  • Deploy a highly available VMM Management Server
  • Manage Hyper-V, Vmware, and Citrix from VMM
  • How to upgrade from SCVMM 2008R2 to SCVMM 2012 SP1

In Detail

Microsoft System Center 2012 is a comprehensive IT infrastructure, virtualization, and cloud management platform. With System Center 2012, you can more easily and efficiently manage your applications and services across multiple hypervisors as well as across public and private cloud infrastructures to deliver flexible and cost-effective IT services for your business.

This cookbook covers architecture design and planning and is full of deployment tips, techniques, and solutions designed to show users how to improve VMM 2012 in a real world scenario. It will guide you to create, deploy, and manage your own Private Cloud with a mix of Hypervisors: Hyper-V, Vmware ESXi, and Citrix XenServer. It also includes the VMM 2012 SP1 features.

This book is a cookbook that covers architecture design, planning and is full of deployment tips, techniques and solutions designed to show users how to improve VMM 2012 in a real world scenario. It will guide you to create, deploy and manage your own Private Cloud with a mix of Hypervisors : Hyper-V, Vmware ESXi and Citrix XenServer.

To get you an idea of how good the book is, Alessandro made the chapter 6, Upgrading from SCVMM 2008 R2 SP1 to SCVMM 2012 for free.

The book is available at Amazon. Click here for more details.

Enjoy it.

Leandro Carvalho
Certified Ethical Hacker | MCSA+S+M| MCSE+S | MCTS | MCITP | MCBMSS | MCT | MVP Virtual Machine
My Blog | MSVirtualization (pt-BR) | Technet Wiki Articles | MVP Profile
Twitter: LeandroEduardo | LinkedIn: Leandroesc

Webcast – MVP Pro Speaker Series – Automating the Hyper-V Administration with PowerShell

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Hi there!

The System Center team is running a series of webcasts talking about Windows Server, Hyper-V and the System Center products.

I will start the series on 24/04 Wednesday, 8:00AM PST (1:00AM in Australia and 12:00PM in Brazil). My presentation, Automating the Hyper-V Administration with PowerShell, will walk through some details about the new version of PowerShell and how easy it is to manage your virtual environment using simple PowerShell commandlets. The webcast will focus IT Pros and how they can save time and resources to improve their Hyper-V servers with simple tasks and commands.

To join the Webcast, use the following links:

 
To check the schedule, other webcasts and the meeting reminders, use this link:

https://skydrive.live.com/?cid=918C54A82D3B2A31&id=918C54A82D3B2A31%21107

I hope to see you all there!

Leandro Carvalho 
Certified Ethical Hacker | MCSA+S+M| MCSE+S | MCTS | MCITP | MCBMSS | MCT | MVP Virtual Machine 
My Blog | MSVirtualization (pt-BR) | Technet Wiki Articles | MVP Profile
Twitter: LeandroEduardo | LinkedIn: Leandroesc

New Hyper-V Books Available on Amazon

Hi Guys.

It’s been a very busy year for a couple of MVPs that are writing about Hyper-V.

The first one, written by Aidan Finn, Patrick Lownds, Michel Luescher and Damian Flynn, was published on Amazon:

Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V Installation and Configuration Guide

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Go-to guide for using Microsoft’s updated Hyper-V as a virtualization solution

Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V offers greater scalability, new components, and more options than ever before for large enterprise systems and small/medium businesses. Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V Installation and Configuration Guide is the place to start learning about this new cloud operating system. You’ll get up to speed on the architecture, basic deployment and upgrading, creating virtual workloads, designing and implementing advanced network architectures, creating multitenant clouds, backup, disaster recovery, and more.

The international team of expert authors offers deep technical detail, as well as hands-on exercises and plenty of real-world scenarios, so you thoroughly understand all features and how best to use them.

  • Explains how to deploy, use, manage, and maintain the Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V virtualization solutions in large enterprises and small- to medium-businesses
  • Provides deep technical detail and plenty of exercises showing you how to work with Hyper-V in real-world settings
  • Shows you how to quickly configure Hyper-V from the GUI and use PowerShell to script and automate common tasks
  • Covers deploying Hyper-V hosts, managing virtual machines, network fabrics, cloud computing, and using file servers
  • Also explores virtual SAN storage, creating guest clusters, backup and disaster recovery, using Hyper-V for Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI), and other topics

Help make your Hyper-V virtualization solution a success with Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V Installation and Configuration Guide.

The second book covers the Hyper-V deployment, written by Zahir Hussain Shah and reviewed by another Hyper-V MVP: Lai Yoong Seng:

Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V: Deploying Hyper-V Enterprise Server Virtualization Platform

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Building Hyper-V infrastructure with secured multitenancy, flexible infrastructure, scalability, and high availability

Overview

  • A complete step-by-step Hyper-V deployment guide, covering all Hyper-V features for configuration and management best practices.
  • Understand multi-tenancy, flexible architecture, scalability, and high availability features of new Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V.
  • Learn Hyper-V Replica, Hyper-V Extensible Virtual Switch, Virtual Machine Migration, Hyper-V Storage, Hyper-V Failover Clustering, and also System Center VMM and DPM for management, backup, and recovery.

In Detail

Over a short span of time, server virtualization has been one of the most rapidly adopted technologies in IT business. Microsoft Hyper-V is a hardware-assisted hypervisor product, available as a server role in the Windows Server operating system. Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V provides cutting-edge server virtualization features for a scalable, flexible, and highly available virtual machine infrastructure.

“Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V: Deploying Hyper-V Enterprise Server Virtualization Platform” is a comprehensive guide, which starts itself from basic virtualization and server consolidation concepts, and then goes deeper for discussing advanced topics, such as a Hyper-V scalability, failover, and virtual machine migration. This book is an ideal choice for those who are stepping into Hyper-V world, and also for those who are experts in Hyper-V and want to advance their skills with the new Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V.

This book contains topics starting from introducing Hyper-V as a hypervisor, and then moves ahead with covering advanced topics, related to Hyper-V configuration and virtual machine management.

The book starts with getting to know Hyper-V, and then we discuss planning, designing, and the implementation of Hyper-V. It then goes with advanced topics such as Hyper-V Replica, Hyper-V Networking and Storage, Hyper-V High Availability, and so on.

“Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V: Deploying Hyper-V Enterprise Server Virtualization Platform” is an expert guide for discussing Hyper-V configuration and management topics.

Well done guys!

Leandro Carvalho 
Certified Ethical Hacker | MCSA+S+M| MCSE+S | MCTS | MCITP | MCBMSS | MCT | MVP Virtual Machine 
My Blog | MSVirtualization (pt-BR) | Technet Wiki Articles | MVP Profile
Twitter: LeandroEduardo | LinkedIn: Leandroesc

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