Posts Tagged ‘Hyper-v’

Hyper-v dynamic memory & Windows Virtual PC without hardware assisted virtualization



Great news these days from Microsoft Virtualization:

  1. Dynamic Memory allocation will be feature of new Service Pack for Hyper-V R2.
  2. Windows Virtual PC and XP Mode will run now on computers that don’t have hardware virtualization capabilities.

Surely those news are great, so let’s take a closer look what they actually mean

Dynamic Memory in Hyper-V

How memory works now in Hyper-V? Well high level description would be something like this: when you are creating virtual machines you assign some amount of memory to them and that’s it. Later on you can decide to assign more/less memory and then you should turn off virtual machine and do what you planned. Also with static memory assignment if you have Hyper-V host with 4Gb of RAM, and you plan to have 4 virtual machines with 1GB each, you could not start fourth virtual machines because lack of memory. That’s the main thing about static memory assignment – when you assign memory to virtual machine it will consume all that assigned memory from host, although current state of virtual machine only need half of that. So if you assigned 512 MB of RAM to virtual machine and while powered on that virtual machine only needs 256 MB of RAM, it will still consume whole 512 MB of RAM from the host. Ok, that is clear now, so let’s take a look how will dynamic memory assignment look like.

Although it is not yet completely disclosed, with dynamic memory you could assign more RAM to virtual machines and by that achieve better Hyper-V host utilization. So you could probably assign memory by using min and max values. Let’s describe that in particular scenario. Again, let’s take 4 virtual machines and host with 4 GB of RAM. With dynamic memory allocation you could assign to virtual machine memory with 512 RAM as minimum value and 1024 as maximum value. When you attempt to start virtual machines they would take as much memory as they need (512 or more), and other memory will be free in memory pool. In that scenario Hyper-V will manage further memory allocations based on virtual machine needs. So in some moment of time , one virtual machine would need 1024 MB, and Hyper-V will automatically assign that amount of memory. So, as you can see in this basic scenario, with dynamic memory, Hyper-V will be much more efficient.

 XP mode without Hardware virtualization

A lot of users wanted to try XP mode, but they couldn’t because they didn’t have computers with hardware virtualization support (a.k.a  Intel VT or AMD-V CPU). Now, those users also can try XP mode and for example use Internet Explorer 6 on Windows 7 as I described on one previous post.  If you would like to try Windows Virtual PC and XP mode and you don’t have hardware assisted virtualization, download update from Microsoft here (x86) or here (x64).


Administer Hyper-V from Windows XP

December 28, 2009 3 comments

Windows XP is still by far most used operating system worldwide as you can see  here and here.  Also, virtualization is one of the most popular technologies and a lot of companies use Hyper-V as their virtualization solution. So then they have many XP clients (and licenses of course) which they would most likely want to use for remote administration of Hyper-V servers. Of course, Remote desktop can be used for that purposes in many different ways because Hyper-V allows administrators to define role-based access control for Hyper-V by using Authorization Manager. But let’s put that one aside, an let’s imagine that someone would like to use something similar to Hyper-V Remote Management Update for Windows Vista or Remote Server Administration Tools (RSAT) for Windows 7.

Ok, so in that case everyone can try Hyper-V management console; a small tool that can be installed on Windows XP, Windows 2003, 2008, Vista or Windows 7. Tool is rather easy to set up, you just need to enter names of your Hyper-V servers and that’s it. After that, from Windows XP you have :

  • Ability to monitor multiple Hyper-V servers
  • Ability to monitor all virtual machines
  • Ability to change state of virtual machines
  • Ability to delete, rename virtual machines
  • Ability to create, delete & apply snapshots
  • Ability to RDP to virtual machines
  • Ability to Import/Export virtual machines
  • Audit user activity
  • Display of virtual machines in List or Tree Views
  • Control of user rights to high degree of granularity

Where can I download the tool and how to install it?

  • Download the tool from here. Run HyperVConsoleSetup.msi. 
  • Choose administrative install. After that click only Next couple of times and then Finish. 
  • Run Hyper-V Management Console shortcut in your Start Menu. 

***Note: This is evaluation version so you’ll have ability to manage only two servers/VM’s   

  • After opening tool just right-click on Hyper-V Managers then  click on Connect to server and enter name of your Hyper-V server.
  • Click on following pictures to see how does the tool look like and what can you do with it.





Forefront Identity Manager (FIM) 2010 RC1 VHD download

November 10, 2009 3 comments


Forefront Identity Manager 2010

New VHD available from Microsoft – Forefront Identity Manager 2010 Rc1. This VHD is really useful to get you going with FIM, because clean FIM installation and configuration can take pretty much time. You need to install all FIM components (and believe me, there are a lot of components), configure provisioning etc, etc.   Anyway, now with FIM 2010 VHD available for download, you can try all features:

  • Provisioning of users and groups to AD
  • Creating new dynamical groups
  • Self service password reset
  • Integration with office
  • And much more…

If you are interested in identity management, grab your VHD here , create Hyper-V Virtual Machine and manage your identities.


Windows Server 2008 R2 Free E-Book

October 21, 2009 3 comments

Windows Server 2008 R2 E-Book

Hello again. I am happy to announce that Microsoft published free Windows Server 2008 R2 E-Book (with two virtualization chapters), and you can download it from here (PDF file, 11.1 MB). Book has 200 pages and following chapters :

Introduction    xvii
Chapter 1    What’s New in Windows Server R2    1
Chapter 2    Installation and Configuration: Adding R2 to Your World    9
Chapter 3    Hyper-V: Scaling and Migrating Virtual Machines    25
Chapter 4    Remote Desktop Services and VDI: Centralizing Desktop and Application Management    47
Chapter 5    Active Directory: Improving and Automating Identity and Access    65
Chapter 6    The File Services Role    91
Chapter 7    IIS 7.5: Improving the Web Application Platform    109
Chapter 8    DirectAccess and Network Policy Server    129
Chapter 9    Other Features and Enhancements    147
Index    163

Download and enjoy reading.

Free Physical to virtual (Disk2VHD,P2V) tool for Microsoft Virtual PC or Hyper-V

October 19, 2009 13 comments

Free P2V physical to virtual (Disk to vhd) toolWhen I first read news about this free physical to virtual tool, I was happy for couple of reasons:

  • On projects, customers are often asking about some kind of free tool from Microsoft  to create VHD’s from physical computers. Of course till now we had Virtual Machine Manager (SCVMM), but to implement SCVMM customers need to buy appropriate licenses. Now they can try P2V with this great free tool.
  • Some times customers would like to try Hyper-V, and their main scenario is  P2V. Now if they don’t need all enterprise features of SCVMM, they can first use P2V.
  • P2V tool runs on running system, there is no need to shut down the computer.
  • Lastly but not less important, with this little bit very useful tool you have portable Physical To Virtual utility in your packet (I mean on your USB flash drive).

How to use the tool?

  1. Download tool from here. 
  2. Unzip it and run it on physical computer you would like to transform into virtual.
  3. User interface pops out in which you can check or uncheck disk which you would like to convert to VHD format.
  4. After VHD creation if finished, create virtual machine (Virtual PC or Hyper-V) as you normally would and attach VHD to it.
  5. Done.

Enjoy using this tool and big thank you to Mark Russinovich and Bryce Cogswell for creating it.

Duke Nukem goes virtual or How to virtualize Duke Nukem using Microsoft Application Virtualization (App-V)

Virtual Duke NukemDuke Nukem 3D goes virtual or ‘How to virtualize Duke Nukem with Microsoft Application Virtualization’


Have you ever wondered is it possible to virtualize 3D games with Microsoft Application Virtualization? Well, the answer is simple yes. And what about the process of virtualizing? Well whole process is rather simple, as I will show post on this post. Of course, I know that virtualization of Duke Nukem 3D is not great bussiness example but it shows possibilities of application virtualization. Also, it is good example to show in your Microsoft Application Virtualization demos, because process of virtualizing is fast and easy. Ok, so let’s see how to virtualize legendary Duke Nukem. As Duke would say “Let’s rock” :


  • First thing you need to do is download Duke Nukem setup. Download is available here (size=1.4MB).
  • After that, place setup file on dekstop or anywhere else.
  • Run Microsoft Application Sequencer and enter package information as shown on following picture.

Sequencer wizard properties

  • Click Begin Monitoring button, and then create folder or browse to previously created folder. Make sure you create that folder on Q drive and also make sure that folder is empty, and name of the folder is in 8.3 naming convenction. So that means that name of folder can me 8 letters long and after that dot and then three letters. For example Duke.001. After that you are ready, and Sequencing Wizard minimizes automaticly.
  • Now install Duke Nukem as you normaly would, but when asked for installation folder, browse to previously created folder on Q drive. So installation wizard appears, you click next and then browse to folder as shown in following pictures.

Duke Nukem install

 Installation path

  • After installation is done, launch Duke Nukem by clicking on shortcut placed on dekstop. Everything should work fine. After that quit game, and bring Sequencer wizard forward, and click Stop Monitoring.
  •  On “Add aditional files to Virtual File System” click Next.
  • On “Configure applications shortcuts”  remove Duke Nukem internet explorer shortcut because you do not need that.
  • On ” Launch Applications”, Launch Duke Nukem 3D. If everything is fine, you will see start screen of Duke Nukem 3D like in the following picture. After you tried that everything work, close the game.

 Duke lauched

  • Now in Deployment tab of Application Virtualization Sequencer enter name of your management server, choose protocol and enter name of folder in which you will place saved package. Note that the name of that folder is not folder on Q drive but some folder you create on desktop or anywhere else. That will be the folder you copy on management server in Content folder.

Deployment tab

  • Copy folder in which you saved your package to Content folder on management server. On management server go to Application Virtualization Management console  and import application as following picture shows.

Import in Management console

  • To import application package browse to content folder and find Duke Nukem package. Choose .sprj file. New General dialog appear on which just click Next. In Published Shortcut phase check “ Publish to User’s dekstop” and click Next. On File Associations click Next. On Select Groups, select one group in which are users that you want give rights to use and launch Duke Nukem virtual application.
  • After that virtual Duke Nukem should appear in management console along with other virtualized applications.
  • The final step is done on Application Virtualization client computer, on which you just need to log on or refresh App-V tray icon. Of course you must me logged with appropriate user(user belonging to previously choosed AD group).

Refresh with ApV trayp-

  • After refresh or log on, application shortcut appears on dekstop and you  can lounch Duke Nukem 3D as you normaly would. Just play and enjoy. J

Duke Nukem launched on Microsoft Application Virtualization client computer

Finaly just to note what kind of OS i used and some other technical informations. Well in this scenario i used one notebook on which is installed Windows Server 2008 with Hyper-V enabled. I created four virtual machines. Two Windows Xp (Sequencer and App-V client), two Windows Server 2008 (App-V Management server on one and on the other one Domain Controller). Also i joined later one physical Windows Vista computer on which I installed App-V client.  I joined user to AD domain and then just refreshed with App-V tray icon. On Vista computer also everything worked just fine.

So that’s the process of virtualizing Duke Nukem 3D. It is rather simple, and it is good for some demoing of Microsoft Application Virtualization solution.

Why virtual machine suddenly goes into paused critical state?

Hyper-V paused (button is not really showing up...)

One day I was doing demo of all six MDOP products, and 5 minutes after demo my Hyper-V virtual machine suddenly paused and my screen froze. What’s the deal with that, I was asking myself? So if something similar happened to you, and you were asking yourself the same question, the answer lies within low disk space. Anyway free space on hard disk for your virtual machine must not be lower than 200 mb, and if it does your virtual machine goes into PAUSED CRITICAL state. So if you have important presentation and demo, check your free space, and check it after you start virtual machine.

Especially if you plan to demo application virtualization, and one of demo scenarios is installing and virtualizing big applications. Then your vhd file could become bigger and you could run out of free space. And you don’t want that happen to you during demo.