Install the Hyper-V Manager feature in Windows Server 2008 R2

Hyper-V as a standalone install doesn't provide much of an interface to manage virtual machines. Virtualization expert Rick Vanover shows how to remotely manage a Hyper-V server.

The Hyper-V Manager feature can be installed on any Windows Server 2008 system. If the Hyper-V Server is Hyper-V 2008 R2, I recommend only attempting to manage that class of hypervisor on Windows Server 2008 R2 systems.

When it comes to deploying Hyper-V servers, there are two main options: install the standalone Hyper-V hypervisor or add the Hyper-V feature to a supported Windows Server 2008 R2 server. I'm going to take the separation approach as I venture into Hyper-V and use the standalone Hyper-V hypervisor instead of the full installation of Windows Server 2008 R2 and adding the Hyper-V role.

The Hyper-V standalone install is a single-purpose, standalone distribution. It loosely resembles Windows Server Core, and can be plugged into all of the management frameworks, including Group Policy, PowerShell, Hyper-V Manager, System Center Virtual Machine Manager (SCVMM), and Remote Management.

The Hyper-V Manager tool is the simplest way to manage a Hyper-V host, and it can be added to any server system. To add Hyper-V Manager, open Server Manager and navigate to the Features section (Figure A). Figure A

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Once the feature is installed, Hyper-V Manager will be available in the Administrative Tools area of the Start Menu. From there, the first step is to connect to a remote server. Figure B shows Hyper-V Manager connected to two Hyper-V servers. Figure B

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Before you can create virtual machines on the Hyper-V hosts enumerated in Hyper-V Manager, the host networking will need to be configured. Hyper-V supports three types of networks: External, Internal, and Private. These networks loosely equate to bridged, NAT, and host-only network modes from other hypervisors, respectively. The network for the host is created as shown in Figure C. This environment does not have a VLAN tag in use, but the Configuration tab is available. Figure C

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Be sure to use a dedicated network interface for the Hyper-V networking configuration. You will find that the connection of the Hyper-V Server is removed in favor of this configuration entered for the guest virtual machine networks. Because of this the Allow Management Operating System To Share This Adapter should be unchecked. Now Hyper-V Manager is ready to deploy virtual machines.

Have you automated the install of Hyper-V Manager or otherwise deployed this feature? Let us know in the discussion.