Virtualization brings with it many upsides, from consolidating the number of physical servers in use to dynamically allocating resources, including provisioning new servers and clustering VMs for high-availability environments.

The simplicity behind it, however, lies in how effectively the VMs are managed–and the software used to administer them is key. Third-party management suites exist, including Microsoft’s own SCCM. But the free Hyper-V Manager app that’s included with Windows Server and Windows client OSes offers a great deal of manageability, such as the ability to implement Hyper-V settings that will affect all hosted VMs, along with Virtual Switching and Virtual SAN capabilities (Figure A and Figure B).

Figure A

Figure B

To stay within the scope of this article, I’ll be covering the steps for adding a VM to Hyper-V Manager to allow for remote administration. Here are the requirements before doing so:

  • Windows-based virtual machine (preexisting or create a new VM)
  • Windows Server 2012 (or later) or Windows 8 (or later)
  • Network connectivity
  • Internet connectivity (optional but required for WAN connections or updates)

Let’s move on to how to add VMs to Hyper-V Manager:

1. Right-click the host server you wish to add a VM from and select New | Virtual Machine… from the context menu (Figure C).

Figure C

2. The New Virtual Machine Wizard will launch. Enter a name to identify the VM and specify where you want to save the VM’s configuration data, including checkpoints. Click Next to proceed (Figure D).

Figure D

3. On the following screen, you will be prompted to select the generation type of the VM. Choose the type that best suits your needs and click Next (Figure E).

Figure E

4. Assign the amount of RAM to allocate to the VM. Indicate whether Dynamic Memory will be used for the VM by placing a check mark in the box, and then click Next (Figure F).

Figure F

5. The default configuration for VMs is to be disconnected from the network. To modify this, you can create a virtual switch and proper VLAN tags to assign the network cards to the VM. You can also configure this later by accessing the virtual switch settings in the manager app (Figure G).

Figure G

6. On the following screen, you can create a new virtual disk and size it per the needs of the VM, use an existing VHD/VHDX, or forgo the virtual hard disk and attach one later (Figure H).

Figure H

7. The Installation Options page will allow you to install an OS as part of the creation of the VM. Installation media, such as a DVD or .ISO, can be used to install the OS. Also, if a network adapter is linked to the VM, PXE booting from a network-based installation server, such as Windows Deployment Services (WDS), can be used instead. Once all the settings have been properly selected, click on the Finish button to create your VM instance (Figure I and Figure J).

Figure I

Figure J

8. With the VM created under the physical server linked to Hyper-V Manager, selecting the server from the Virtual Machines section will allow actions to be executed on the VM itself and let you modify the settings of the Hyper-V environment, as well (Figure K).

Figure K

9. The VMs section also allows for remote management of the VM, such as powering on/off, setting checkpoint states, and moving or exporting VMs. To establish a remote connection to a VM, right-click the VM and select Connect… from the context menu (Figure L).

Figure L

10. This will open the VM in a separate window to be managed independently from all other VMs hosted on the physical server (Figure M).

Figure M

Other tips?

Do you have experience using Hyper-V Manager? Share your advice and opinions with fellow TechRepublic members.

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