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Standalone Hyper-V is too painful to use

    Question

  • This is really a complaint not a question.  I've been using the free version of VMware ESXi for development testing for years.  I keep reading about how Hyper-V is catching up to VMware in features.  I was excited about the free stand-alone version and decided to try it out.  I downloaded the Hyper-V 2012 RC standalone version and installed it.  This thing is a trainwreck!  There is not a chance in hell that anyone will ever use this thing in scenarios like mine.  It obviously intented to be used by IT Geniuses in a domain only.  I would really like a version that I can up and running in less than half an hour like esxi.  How the heck is anyone going to evaluate it this in a reasonable manner?  I feel like it was just thrown out there so Microsoft could claim they have a free virtualization server like MS?

    Steps for free ESXi.

    1. Download from website burn to CD/DVD.

    2. Boot from disc, follow steps to overwrite hard drive and install.

    3. After reboot, config management IP address.

    4. Go back to my desk and open my web browser to Management IP and download client.

    5. Install ESX client and start running VMs!

    Steps for Hyper-V

    1. Download from website burn to CD/DVD.

    2. Boot from disc, follow steps to overwrite hard drive and install.

    3. After reboot, config management IP address.

    4. Scour the internet for server tools that install the Hyper-V management snap-in for Win 7.

    5. Install server management tools pack.

    6. Go to add/remove and enable the Hyper-V snap-in.

    7. Open Hypver-V snap-in and connect TRY to connect to box.

    8. Receive generic authentication error message.

    9. Spend several hours scouring the internet looking for registry hacks, firewall hacks that actually allow you to connect to a damn hyper-v box!

    10. Eventually you come across the website/project. http://archive.msdn.microsoft.com/HVRemote

    This site walks you through all the script changes/reboots you have to make to connect to bloody hyper-v! 

    Here is what I would prefer

    I don't want to download any tools at all.  I just want a HTML5 web server on this box that allows me to do everything I can from the  Hyper-V console and doesn't make me configure anything other than a password.  It would be great if it was themed similar to the new Windows Azure Virtual Machines console.  I doesn't have to provide like a built-in viewer to actually interact with the VMs, I would be happy with a remote desktop style connection.

    Friday, June 15, 2012 2:21 PM

Answers

  • Fairly valid complaints.  Of course, if Microsoft tried to provide what every customer prefers, they would never get anything out the door. <grin>

    Yes, Hyper-V Server and ESXi were designed for diffferent markets.  After all, Hyper-V provides support for clustering and Live Migration and some other features that aren't available in ESXi.  Therefore, it takes a more complete toolset.  Yes, it would be nice to have a web interface (even though personally I tend not to like them for management purposes, I can see some advantages), but Microsoft already had a full suite of management tools for handling not only Hyper-V but also Failover Cluster Manager and the ability to manage other roles and features you may have installed in the VMs.

    But, take heart.  Microsoft recognized that Hyper-V Server was not as easy to setup/manage as customers would have liked.  The 2012 version, just announced at TechEd this week, is much easier to manage.  Much of that is a result of the significant changes brought about by Windows Server 2012.  And the features and capabilities that come with Hyper-V Server are far and away more than anything you get from the desktop product from VMware. 

    Better yet, Hyper-V is now available as part of Windows 8.  So you can manage your whole environment right from your desktop.


    tim

    Friday, June 15, 2012 5:39 PM
  • Jonathan,

    The initial learning curve for any product can be quite steep. A lot of our progress is documented here:

    http://blog.mpecsinc.ca/search/label/Server%20Core

    The following commands are taken care of by the Hyper-V Server DOS menu "shell" but are good to know:

    • netdom
    • netsh
    • shutdown
    • logoff

    That being said, Core is actually quite easy to work with when one knows which key tools can be used to facilitate its management.

    With RSAT and a custom MMC (Computer Management --> Remote System --> Hyper-V Host (we set DNS A/AAA for host in our DNS) and Windows Firewall with Advanced Security) we are set.

    We manage all of our standalone and clustered Server Core (2K8 RTM/R2 and now 2012) with these tools.

    Next up for us will be to learn the new PowerShell commands that will be available to us in Server 2012.


    Philip Elder SBS MVP Blog: http://blog.mpecsinc.ca

    Friday, June 15, 2012 6:22 PM

All replies

  • Fairly valid complaints.  Of course, if Microsoft tried to provide what every customer prefers, they would never get anything out the door. <grin>

    Yes, Hyper-V Server and ESXi were designed for diffferent markets.  After all, Hyper-V provides support for clustering and Live Migration and some other features that aren't available in ESXi.  Therefore, it takes a more complete toolset.  Yes, it would be nice to have a web interface (even though personally I tend not to like them for management purposes, I can see some advantages), but Microsoft already had a full suite of management tools for handling not only Hyper-V but also Failover Cluster Manager and the ability to manage other roles and features you may have installed in the VMs.

    But, take heart.  Microsoft recognized that Hyper-V Server was not as easy to setup/manage as customers would have liked.  The 2012 version, just announced at TechEd this week, is much easier to manage.  Much of that is a result of the significant changes brought about by Windows Server 2012.  And the features and capabilities that come with Hyper-V Server are far and away more than anything you get from the desktop product from VMware. 

    Better yet, Hyper-V is now available as part of Windows 8.  So you can manage your whole environment right from your desktop.


    tim

    Friday, June 15, 2012 5:39 PM
  • Jonathan,

    The initial learning curve for any product can be quite steep. A lot of our progress is documented here:

    http://blog.mpecsinc.ca/search/label/Server%20Core

    The following commands are taken care of by the Hyper-V Server DOS menu "shell" but are good to know:

    • netdom
    • netsh
    • shutdown
    • logoff

    That being said, Core is actually quite easy to work with when one knows which key tools can be used to facilitate its management.

    With RSAT and a custom MMC (Computer Management --> Remote System --> Hyper-V Host (we set DNS A/AAA for host in our DNS) and Windows Firewall with Advanced Security) we are set.

    We manage all of our standalone and clustered Server Core (2K8 RTM/R2 and now 2012) with these tools.

    Next up for us will be to learn the new PowerShell commands that will be available to us in Server 2012.


    Philip Elder SBS MVP Blog: http://blog.mpecsinc.ca

    Friday, June 15, 2012 6:22 PM
  • There is a great tool that you can use to manage the Hyper-V standalone Server or Hyper-V on Server Core ‘out of the box’:  http://vtutilities.com
    Friday, June 15, 2012 8:57 PM
  • I appreciate the well thought out replies here.  I fully understand that Microsoft can't make everyone happy.  I also understand that there is always a learning curve to a new product.   My gripe is that when you put Hyper-V (2008 R2 or 2012 RC) side-by-side against the free ESXi, there is no comparison.   The average developer or even power user can stand up ESXi and start running VMs in a really short amount of time.  However, to get a similar Hyper-V box running you have to get all of these 3rd party tools and learn all these command-line utilities just to get your first VM up and going.  Basically, there is no easy way to get into Hyper-V this way.  It doesn't matter how much better it gets in 2012 if you throw your hands up and walk away before getting it going.  Maybe we need like a special express edition or something for developers, testers, or anyone who just wants to stand up one box for testing.
    Monday, July 02, 2012 2:02 PM
  • Jonathan,

    That "special edition" will be Windows 8 client. :)

    Hyper-V will be available out of the box with H-V Manager right there. Right click and go with no extra steps required beyond tweaking the setup for your particular use.


    Philip Elder SBS MVP Blog: http://blog.mpecsinc.ca

    Monday, July 02, 2012 5:52 PM
  • Philip,

    The cool thing about FREE VMware ESXi, is that you can install it and have it running in a few minutes, did I mention it is free?!  Windows 8 won't be free, and the free hyper-v takes hours to figure out how to get going and is still a pain.  I use it or development testing.  Specifically, to do long running tests, test installers (its great to be able to roll back and try again), and mess with new products and operating systems without screwing up my laptop.  I understand I could do this on my laptop with the windows 8 client, by vm products bog down my laptop.  It is much better to take a cheaper dell optiplex and load it with free ESXi and plug it into my network.  I can run tools and tests on that remotely without slowing down or messing up my laptop.  I just wish I could to the same with a free hyper-v.  I think most people get introduced to vmware through the free product and then migrate to the pay products.  I don't see a similar path for free Hyper-V, it is too hard to get up and going.  Seriously, anyone watching this thread, go to vmware.com and download the free ESXi server.  Install it on a real box, access the built-in web page from your laptop and then download/install the tools.  I think you will really be impressed and how fast and easy it is to do.  I'm not trying to convert you to VMware, I just want you to understand how much better it is than the free hyper-v!  Either fix Hyper-V standalone or just stop offering it.  It is a disaster.  

    Jon


    Jonathan Miller

    Wednesday, July 04, 2012 6:49 PM
  •   It may not fit your needs, but have you considered that you are not the target audience for the product? You assume that the product is aimed at the free ESXi user, but I doubt that the product group would agree with you.

     

    Bill

    Thursday, July 05, 2012 12:47 AM
  •   It may not fit your needs, but have you considered that you are not the target audience for the product? You assume that the product is aimed at the free ESXi user, but I doubt that the product group would agree with you.

     

    Bill

    Excellent point.

    Hyper-V Server 2008 R2 SP1 is the foundation on which we build out small 2 node failover clusters for clients that are a little more conscious about downtime.

    We cannot do that with VMware free anything.

    A typical cluster will be SBS (licensed 2x for both nodes), Win2K8 R2 STD RDS, Win2K8 R2 SQL, plus some VDI Win7 client desktops.

    Philip


    Philip Elder SBS MVP Blog: http://blog.mpecsinc.ca

    Thursday, July 05, 2012 4:00 PM
  • Bill,

    I think you have a very valid point.  I may not be the target audience.  However, does making Hyper-V as easy to use as ESXi take anything away from the current target audience? 

    Jon

    Thursday, July 05, 2012 5:16 PM
  • Might have to take away a lot of the features of Hyper-V Server if it were to be made as easy to use as ESXi. <grin>

    Yes, you raise some common complaints of people coming from a VMware environment.  The first time I used Hyper-V Server, I was already an experienced Hyper-V user, so I didn't have many issues getting it up and running and creating VMs on it.  Pretty straightforward, in fact.  Since I was already a Windows Server user, I had another Server that I could use for remote management, so I didn't need RSAT.  (This was because I ran Windows Server on my laptop.  If I had been using Windows 7 on my laptop, I would have already had RSAT installed, so I would not have had to spend time searching for the tool to manage.)  If I downloaded ESXi and installed it, I would have to search the web for instructions on how to get into it and start using it.  Each will have a learning curve.  I will grant you that Hyper-V Server most likely has a higher learning curve because it has so much that ESXi does not have.  For example, security is the familiar Windows environment - add it to the domain and authentication pretty much disappear.  Can't say that it would be easy for me to join the ESXi box to my domain (without a lot of web searching) to provide the same level of security and access capabilities.

    But, as with any complaints of a product's capabilities, you do have some valid points.  I think some of them are addressed in 2012, but you will still have the same issue that Hyper-V Server is going to continue to more complex simply because it can do so much more - not just the hypervisor, but the capabilities of the underlying OS, which you have access to with Hyper-V Server, but not really for ESXi.


    tim

    Thursday, July 05, 2012 6:01 PM
  • Tim,

    With ESXi you use the same VMware vSphere Client for both the free version and the high end version.  I think it just hides some of the features that are not available.  Why couldn't the Hyper-V tools do the same thing?

    Jon


    Jonathan Miller

    Thursday, July 05, 2012 6:29 PM
  • I think maybe that is why some are suggesting that maybe it is addressing different markets.  It's the same RSAT for both Hyper-V Server and Windows Server 2008 because it is the exact same hypervisor.  (And, I don't believe that VMware is simply hiding features.  They simply don't have them in the free version.) 

    Why would Microsoft want to hide features?  The Hyper-V Server product is a great product for production VDI deployments.  Hide features in Hyper-V Server, and it no longer is a real production tool.  It definitely has some limitations, as you have pointed out, but it is a viable product for large server deployments, too.  Some of the shortcomings in managing Hyper-V Server were not shortcomings of Hyper-V Server itself, but in the management tools, such as RSAT.  These are being addressed in 2012.  But, as with the current release, Hyper-V Server 2012 uses the exact same hypervisor as does Windows Server 2012, so all the features and capabilities are available.  It becomes a business decision as to which one the customer wants to deploy, not a feature decision.


    tim

    Thursday, July 05, 2012 6:51 PM
  • Tim,

    I use the exact same vSphere client to login and use my free ESXi boxes that I use to cofigure the licensed ESXi boxes.  The licensed one does have more features.  Also, ESXi, does have a firewall and can integrate into active directory authentication.  I like that the free Hyper-V has all the same features of the licensed Windows Server version.  The problem I have is that I can't get to the point where I can start playing with advanced features when it installs in a mode where you are completely locked out from connecting to it with the tools and the built-in console gives you no help or guidance on getting there.  I would be really happy if the built-in console would give me a little more help to getting a simple setup up and going.  I love that you can script all this stuff with powershell.  I hate that you have to be an expert in it just to get a single VM running ;(

    Thanks,

    Jon


    Jonathan Miller

    Thursday, July 05, 2012 8:12 PM
  • Tim,

    I use the exact same vSphere client to login and use my free ESXi boxes that I use to cofigure the licensed ESXi boxes.  The licensed one does have more features.  Also, ESXi, does have a firewall and can integrate into active directory authentication.  I like that the free Hyper-V has all the same features of the licensed Windows Server version.  The problem I have is that I can't get to the point where I can start playing with advanced features when it installs in a mode where you are completely locked out from connecting to it with the tools and the built-in console gives you no help or guidance on getting there.  I would be really happy if the built-in console would give me a little more help to getting a simple setup up and going.  I love that you can script all this stuff with powershell.  I hate that you have to be an expert in it just to get a single VM running ;(

    Thanks,

    Jon


    Jonathan Miller

    I agree with you ! It is as if Microsoft does not want non experts to use HyperV. I have been struggling for days now to get Windows 7 to connect to Hyperv 2012 and i am still unable to get it to work. Im no expert, but im also not that stupid. After reading here I downloaded vmware esxi and installed my first vm within a hour and a half what a pleasure!

    I do not understand that it can be so difficult for 2 Microsoft products to talk to each other properly. To me it looks like workgroup vs domain problem.


    Friday, July 06, 2012 6:22 PM
  • Yes, there is definitely a security concern.  By default, most organizations don't want a workgroup machine to have full access to their domain environment.  And, they generally don't want the other direction either.  This security is something that Microsoft has continually tightened up over the years in response to customers asking for a more secure environment.  As I said earlier, if the Hyper-V Server machine is joined to the domain as one of the first steps, in other words, establishing a secure environment, I have not run into the issues you are mentioning in accessing or managing.  That's the first step.  If you try to manage a non-managed environment (non-domain joined) from a secure environment (domain-joined), there will be issues.

    I would not state it that "Microsoft does not want non experts to use HyperV".  But there is a simple requirement to recognize that security models vary from one product to another.  Try managing a different non-domain joined Windows system from your domain joined workstation and I would guess that you would run into the pretty much the same issues as you are running into when trying to manage the Hyper-V Server.  After all, it's the same security system underlying both of them.


    tim

    Saturday, July 07, 2012 3:52 PM
  • I really tend to agree with Jonathan M. and I believe I can get where he is coming from. Here's the deal. I hear everyone saying that Hyper-V is not aimed at ESXi users and Hyper-V is meant to be secure this and that.

    But that is not the point of virtualization is it? The whole point of virtualizing is to be efficient. The reason everyone wants to start virtualizing now is because it is easy to do and frankly it just works! To be honest Microsoft has managed to make something that is supposed to be easy and efficient ala VMWare and managed to add in extra steps. That in my opinion could have been included in a much more tasteful fashion. Therefore eroding any confidence of efficiency that is the staple of virtualizing.

    So now I am going to stop babbling and give Microsoft a few tips on how to fix Hyper-V and instill some advice on how to make it seem more efficient.

    • Eliminate senseless setup checks and balances. That add to set up time.
    • Do away with the need to configure domain this and that, workgroup blah blah blah.
    • Give the user at set up, or upon initial download the tools and documentation needed to get up and running in a reasonable amount of time. Such as not having to dig around the inter-google-nets for a management tool pack!
    • Allow the user to get the initial framework installed first and then allow for tweaking later such as domain, IP, and all that blah blah

    Microsoft has always gotten in late in the game, why they didn't just buy VMWare and incorporate their product as it stands is beyond me? It is unlike Microsoft to make their own stuff, my how times have changed!

    Monday, July 09, 2012 9:06 AM
  • Hi Jonathan,

    you are right, there is no free web interface for managing Hyper-V from Microsoft.

    You know, you could use App Controller of System Center 2012 for that.

    What you get for free is

     1. Remote Desktop and the feature set of Windows Server Core especially the new Windows Powershell cmdlets of Windows Server 2012 for managing Hyper-V 

    and

     2. the Remote Server Administrative Tools (RSAT).

    I think, for most Windows administrators out there is a Hyper-V web interface nice to have,
    but Remote Desktop and RSAT a must have.

    Another point of view is the fact, that if Hyper-V of Windows Server 2012 keeps its
    promises, VMware is not needed anymore for many (any?) Windows shops, that use VMware
    today, to virtualize their Windows workloads.

    So I believe, it's worth to learn the Hyper-V management features of Windows Server Core and Windows Powershell.

    Here the corrected Steps for Hyper-V (2012) from your post:

    1. Download from website burn to CD/DVD.

    2. Boot from disc, follow steps to overwrite hard drive and install.

    3. After reboot, set password for built-in Administrator account and config management IP address.

    4. Configure Windows Firewall, i.e. netsh.exe advfirewall firewall add rule name="Trusted Traffic" dir=in protocol=Any action=allow remoteip="IP address of your management system"

    5. Use Windows Server 2012 or Windows 8 with the built-in Administrator account and same password as your Hyper-V box as system to manage your Hyper-V box , install built-in Hyper-V RSAT-Tools and start running VMs.

    No need for HVRemote or other configurations anymore!

    If you don't have Windows Server 2012 or Windows 8 you need to enable Remote Desktop on the Hyper-V box and

    to use the feature set of Windows Server Core.

    Greetings
    Joerg








    Friday, July 20, 2012 11:36 PM
  • While it was not my intention to see this thread used that way maybe some good will come out of it.  Maybe someone with influence will take notice and get this fixed in a future version. 

    I just wanted to point out that in general I'm a Microsoft fan.  I'm a profesional developer in a shop that uses the microsoft technology stack for everything, I carry a Windows Phone (and I'm the only one I know that has one), I love my Xbox, I use Windows Media Center to watch TV, I'm already using Windows 8 RP for its awesome windows-to-go feature, and I can't wait to buy a surface tablet!


    Jonathan Miller

    Monday, July 30, 2012 3:17 PM
  • Where is the Hyper-V 2012 management snap-in for Windows 7?
    Thursday, September 06, 2012 4:29 PM
  • Where is the Hyper-V 2012 management snap-in for Windows 7?

    I was not able to find a specific snap-in for hyper-v 2012, I had the Remote admin tools installed and Hyper-V manager was already installed with that toolset, I downloaded the standalone ISO this morning, and it has been simple as pie using the existing snap-in.

    I now have 3 Win 8 CP test boxes up and running for our developers, and the funny thing is it is running smooth as glass on a craptastic x2 Athlon box w/8Gb of ram, each VM set for 1.5gb of ram.

    I am now going to lab this on an actual server w/64Gb of RAM and see how much it can really handle, thus far I am impressed, and we use a combination of free ESXi 4.1, paid for ESXi 5 with vCenter 5 and 2008 R2 Hyper-V. So far this has been one of the most simplistic to set up and get going.

    I would say to make certain that you set the Network up for static ip's and make certain that you get your subnet and DNS settings configured prior to anything, and I think it goes without saying... Before installing anything, make sure Virtualization is enabled in your BIOS.

    Thursday, September 06, 2012 9:12 PM
  • I just figured i'd chime in that i still had to use hvremote to get management of a Hyper-V Server 2012 RTM in a workgroup and a windows 8 RTM client, i wasn't able to just set the administrator credentials to be the same.

    I agree that this could use to be alot simpler out of the box, an installable management client/console that does not use integrated windows authentication similar to VMware would be ideal.

    Another issue i ran in to is that if your domain controller is running on the hyper-v host and it goes down, you can't manage hyper-v due to authentication issues. It seems it won't use cached credentials if the DC is unavailable, which is what lead me to needing to configure it in a workgroup instead of a domain to begin with.

    After experiencing that i think i'll use a workgroup setup moving forward.



    • Edited by mnri Friday, September 07, 2012 5:41 PM
    Friday, September 07, 2012 5:39 PM
  • I would like to chime in and point a few things out:

    1. I wholeheartedly agree that Hyper-V Server is painful to stand up in a workgroup/test/lab environment. Although valid points have been made regarding security and the need for it, it must be pointed out that security enabled at a complex level by default is likely to be totally disabled to get around the usability issues. What good does such complex security do for the administrators and users when the first thing the admin does is search for ways to disable it? I'm not saying security should be shut off by default, just that it is incumbent upon the developers of the product to consider how the product will be used and develop/document ways that security options can easily be enabled/disabled. This should be included in the basic interface, not require checking blog xyz and mining bits of the puzzle from forum searches.

    2. Why isn't there a link to a page where all information needed to manage Hyper-V from supported O/S' included in the command interface for Hyper-V? I mean there is a CEIP option to help improve the product! How hard would it be to create a page that tells you what management tools you need for Windows 7, or Vista, or what ever else is supported, then put the link to that page in server configuration CLI? Is it intentional to force admins to search the forums to find the information?

    3. A good way to get around the Workgroup/Domain issue is to have a DC in a VM on the workstation you are managing the stand alone Hyper-V Server. The easiest way to avoid the workgroup related security problems is to not use a workgroup.  

    Saturday, September 08, 2012 8:58 PM
  • For the life of me I can't find Hyper-V 2012 management tools for Windows 7.  I found the "preview" for the tools for Windows 8...  Is Microsoft expecting all Windows 7 users to upgrade to Windows 8?  (Something that's highly unrealistic in an enterprise environment, especially since you have to install a third party program to disable Metro)...

    I tried using the older Hyper-V tools found in the RSAT tools for windows 7, but can't even get a virtual machine running (probably user error, but I certain that not all of Hyper-V 2012's new features are accessible from these tools)...


    • Edited by BillMoller Wednesday, September 12, 2012 1:43 PM mispelling
    Wednesday, September 12, 2012 1:42 PM
  • Not wanting to give up on Hyper-V 2012... I reinstalled the old Hyper-V management tools for Windows 7.  When I did, it added a "Hyper-V Remote File Browsing" icon to my desktop, which, when double clicked, does nothing.  Right click options include "Cut, Create Shortcut, and Delete...  it seems quite useless.

    Anyway, I am able to connect to my Hyper-V 2012 Server box with these tools.  I attempted to create a new virtual machine, with some fairly standard options, and "install operating system from an iso file" (unfortunately I had to map a drive from the Hyper-V console to pull the iso locally since the remote file browsing tool doesn't do anything).  When I click "Finish" I receive the following rather nonsensical error:

    "The server encountered an error while configuring hard disk on Windows 8.  Wizard failed in rolling back the created virtual machine.  Please delete it manually afterwards.  Access denied.  Unable to establish communication between 'hyper-v IP' and 'my workstation'"  ("Windows 8" was the name of my new virtual machine).

    Bummer :(  So I clicked close.  The hard drive file appears to have been created, so tried to proceed again with "Use an existing virtual disk" (choosing the file it created previously).

    This time, when I click "Finish" everything appears to work without incident... except that there are still no virtual machines, even after refreshing the MMC...

    Question 1: Why am I getting "unable to establish communication..." when I'm clearly able to establish communication?!?!

    Question 2: Why is creating the hard disk failing?!

    Question 3: Why isn't my virtual machine visible in the RSAT Hyper-V MMC for Windows 7?!?!

    I feel like the answer to all of these questions is "use the proper Hyper-V 2012 management tools."  Unfortunately, they don't appear to exist, except for as included with Windows Server 2012, and as a "preview" for Windows 8... I, and many other enterprise users, am/will be using Windows 7 for quite a long time.

    I suppose I could install Windows Server 2012 somewhere, but it seems silly to do that just to use Hyper-V management tools; especially since Windows Server 2012 now REQUIRES a license key during installation, and AUTOMATICALLY activates when connected to the internet...

    Am I missing something here?  Or has Microsoft made it almost impossible to use Hyper-V 2012?!  Please educate me!  I've read all about Hyper-V 2012's great new features (live migration without shared storage, memory overcommittment, etc...) but unfortunately can't use any of it because the available resources are severely lacking :(

    Wednesday, September 12, 2012 4:12 PM
  • I agree, too painful...

    The cost of integration and security is too high, many steps to make usable and working with many networks and domains is a challenge....

    I work with Microsoft, but ESXI and XEN are more simple to manage, you install the client and use, just it.


    Milani - MCSA

    Wednesday, September 12, 2012 5:32 PM
  • I flat out disagree with you.

    We have been a Hyper-V house from the beginning and before that Microsoft Virtual Server.

    It took about 6 months of life to get our first Hyper-V 2008 RTM cluster built on Server Core and H-V Server 2008 RTM.

    We just downloaded the full VMware product set to figure out how to build a failover cluster.

    I don't get what you mean about simple?!?

    Nothing I have seen so far is intuitive nor is the documentation easy to get through.

    Terminology is always a limitation and learning the various vendor's meanings for words and acronyms are obviously a part of the process.

    However, nothing in VMware, speaking as someone completely green to the product, is simple. Period.


    Philip Elder SBS MVP Blog: http://blog.mpecsinc.ca

    Wednesday, September 12, 2012 5:46 PM
  • I suppose I could install Windows Server 2012 somewhere, but it seems silly to do that just to use Hyper-V management tools; especially since Windows Server 2012 now REQUIRES a license key during installation, and AUTOMATICALLY activates when connected to the internet...

    Am I missing something here?  Or has Microsoft made it almost impossible to use Hyper-V 2012?!  Please educate me!  I've read all about Hyper-V 2012's great new features (live migration without shared storage, memory overcommittment, etc...) but unfortunately can't use any of it because the available resources are severely lacking :(

    The evaluation copy comes with a pre-installed key, so if you are evaluating, that is the version to use.

    If you want to use the non-evaluation copy, you can use the generic keys that are available, so it basically like an evaluation copy.  Of course, if you already have a KMS server installed in your environment and configured for working with 2012 and 8, use the volume media and it all happens in the background.

    If you want to use Hyper-V, no matter what, you will be installing on a physical host.  Install the full GUI on that version and RDP into it.  Works great.

    BTW, Microsoft has never had 'memory overcommit'.  They introduced dynamic memory in R2 SP1.  They do not overcommit their resources, which everyone agrees is a bad thing to do.  They manage the memory dynamically to ensure that all machines are using the available memory efficiently.

    As for the RSAT tools for Windows 7 ... as has been posted numerous times, these are coming.  RSAT tools have always been version specific, so the tools released with the operating system are available for those operating systems.  Now that the engineers have released the tools for the operating system they come with, they can go back to work backporting those tools to Windows 7.  This is not uncommon in software development - get the current product out the door so resources can then be applied to backporting.  After all, to me, at least, it does not make a lot of sense to spend a lot of time backporting tools before they have been proven to work in the environment for which they were designed.  In a perfect world, maybe that is possible, but the last time I checked, software development was not a perfect world. <grin>  In the meantime, it is pretty simple to set up a work-around.


    tim

    Wednesday, September 12, 2012 6:53 PM
  • I found vtUtilities to be quite good, and infact, runs well inside the Hyper-V StandAlone, no more CMD line needed.

    Another thing to install is the 2Xplorer, an alternative file browser, or any will do, since explorer is missing.

    While you here, it can't hurt to install a browser, FF or Chrome will do.

    Once you have these, just install all the tools you are used to, vnc, bash, IM apps, WinSCP, Putty, etc... everything should run.

    You could also replace the built in startup shell to cmd line with a customer alternative shell to get a basic desktop up and running.

    Friday, September 14, 2012 7:20 AM
  • 1. use vtUtilities to connect to it (200x smaller download than MS stuff), and also copy it to the stand alone server too to use as is on the box, or via RDP.

    2. using the 1985 text menus, add another admin user, that is the same username as your win7 box and same passwd.

    Enable sharing, using 'net share SHARED_C=C:\Users\Public\ /UNLIMTITED'  so you can copy ISOs/VMDKs for conversion.

    Friday, September 14, 2012 7:30 AM
  • I also found a file system viewer in vtUtilities (View|Select...)
    Monday, September 17, 2012 1:29 AM
  • As I see this there are two questions here. 

    Is Rsat nicer than a webgui? In my eys, yes it is. 

    But that doesn't in any way mean that MS couldn't have implemented in a much better way. It wouldnt be hard to tunnel it over SSL for example or if you want an even simpler way. Make a RSAT light that runs on core edition and then just use RDP. 

    I guess that in theory a couple of HTA screens and the WMI classes actually would do if anyone got some time to write code on ....

    Monday, September 17, 2012 8:47 PM
  • After trying the free 2012 Hyper-visor I have to wholeheartedly agree with Jonathan on this one.  All the steps are known to get to the point where you can acutally config a VM so there is no reason not to automate those steps - regardless of the target audience.  All the tools needed to connect to/work with should have been a simple setup.exe and all the basic settings should take place in the background same as any other install.  Were not building a space shuttle here, just a automated snap-in control so we can start building VM's.  This long drawn out manual process gave me flashbacks to the first time I had to compile a custom Linux kernel years ago - Yikes!! 
    Thursday, September 20, 2012 6:57 PM
  • I completely agree with the OP, there is no reason they could not make a stand-alone hyper-v server easier to connect to.

    I recently attended the Server 2012 Cloud OS event here in Houston, were there was a lot of emphasis on the fact that Microsoft wants you to spend as little time remoted into the servers as possible.  Being so, they have done this and that to ease remote management of your servers.

    With this takeaway, I decide to go home, download the 2012 Hyper-v core server and try it out.  Note, I've used Hyper-v on server 2008, but with a GUI and was able to get everything up and running in a short period of time.

    To make a long story short, the install was super easy, bravo Microsoft.  But connecting to the stand-alone core server via the RSAT Hyper-V manager has been a nightmare, in fact, I still haven't figured it out.

    Maybe stand-alone is not the "target audience", but if Microsoft's desire is for everybody to use Core servers and leverage remote management tools to manage them, they need to make it easy to manage right out of the box.


    Zak Lyles



    • Edited by zak.lyles Sunday, September 23, 2012 5:10 PM
    Sunday, September 23, 2012 5:08 PM
  • Hello

    We installed Hyper-V Server 2012 and it is not at all "easier to manage".

    After some hours with try & error we were finally able to user Hyper-V Manager.

    But since about 1 day we would likt to use the "Server Manager" to remotely manage the Hyper-V Server - and it is still denying access.

    Therefore we try to get WinRM working ... and it is a nightmare.

    Kind regards, Tom

    Sunday, September 23, 2012 6:48 PM
  • I have to join my voice to the other posts.

    Trying to get RSAT/hyper-v manager working remotely with non-domain hyper-v server 2012 is just a nightmare. After hours trying I just gave up. The few information you can find out there is not even always accurate.

    The initial "learning curve" argument doesn't really stand... Why a free edition (especially appealing to small businesses, developers, testers, trainers, individuals) should be more difficult to set up than the regular edition? The learning curve has nothing to do with Virtual Stuff concepts here. The major struggle is to get the necessary firewall/registry/dcom/accounts to have an hyper-v manager remotely manage the box ... when it's not in a domain of course. But let's face it there are many chances that for small configuration the host is not in a domain.

    I understand that this is a free version but the strategy sounds somewhat strange here... I mean, usually a free edition should be quite easy to handle though limited in features to some extent... then if you like what you get, you want to purchase the more powerful version. In this case, Microsoft decided to offer a "free" full fledged product that is so painful to use/set up that you need to be a hardcore powershell/security guy to use it in a reasonable way. We give it to you but i you are not ready to suffer you'd better purchase a standard version... :) 

    I really like what Microsoft is coming up with all their new products but on that particular matter, I believe it's a mistake ... 

    Monday, September 24, 2012 6:20 PM
  • I used to have a job while working my way through college.  Part of the job was installing heating and air-conditioning systems.  We jokingly called the screwdriver our APT - 'all purpose tool'.  We could use it as a screwdriver, its intended purpose, and it worked very well.  We could use it as a hammer to pound small nails or another screwdriver.  It worked, but not as well as a hammer.  We would use it as a tin snips.  Use another screwdriver (as a hammer) to drive the tip into the sheet metal and then pound on the side to force the edge of the screwdriver through the tin to cut it.  It worked, but not as well as a pair of tin snips.  I could go on and on how we used the screwdriver for all sorts of different tools, but the point is that it worked best when it was used for the purpose intended - driving screws.

    I think too many people are trying to force fit Hyper-V Server into roles for which it was not designed.  Can it work in those roles?  Sure/maybe.  But was that role the real reason behind Microsoft introducing the product?  I doubt it.

    For example, the last post assumes the strategy of a free version is to provide a no-cost, low-feature evaluation version.  Microsoft already allows no-cost for all their products for evaluation purposes.  So, it would not make any sense at all to release a different product for that.

    If you want to learn Hyper-V, download the evaluation copy of Windows Server.  Even working with large organizations who can benefit from the features provided by Hyper-V Server, I have always recommended that they do not start using Hyper-V Server until they have first mastered the ability to remotely manage Windows Server instances.

    That's another point.  Most complaints I read are about the difficulty of managing the box remotely.  But from the comments made by the posters, it is soon obvious that most of them (not all) have not spent any time trying to learn how to manage Windows Remotely.  I have worked with many large Windows and Windows/Linux shops.  In one of the best managed shops I worked with, they spent about 6 months learning the ins and outs of managing the entire environment remotely before they deployed their first server.  They wanted to be ready.  This may sound like a point against remote management, but it really isn't.  Too many of us have become so reliant on the GUI (and I will admit that I am one of them), that it is hard to go back to the command line.  Most complaints (again, most, not all as there is always room for improvement in any product) could be eliminated if people properly prepared themselves for what they were getting into.

    Another fallacy in the previous post is that a free edition is 'especially appealing to small businesses, developers, testers, trainers, individuals'.  The only problem is that, again, the full feature version is available for evaluation purposes.  And, unless the listed people groups are not planning on running any licensed operating system on Hyper-V Server, there will still be license costs for those guest operating systems.  If one of those guest operating systems happens to by Windows Server, guess what?  Hyper-V comes as part of the license you paid for.

    I could reference some other points, but I'll get to where I want to go.  I believe Microsoft introduced the product for a couple reasons.  One was that VMware's ESXi was, at the time, a no-cost, limited feature, bare-metal hypervisor.  Microsoft needed something to position against that.  Their response was a no-cost, full feature, bare-metal hypervisor.  Secondly, I believe that Microsoft introduced this for the sophisticated user that is very interested in securing their environments.  Workgroups are notoriously less secure than domains as you need to manage security on every single member of the workgroup instead of the central management of an Active Directory domain.  Thirdly, I believe Microsoft saw a customer benefit to having a Windows-based hypervisor that came with no licensing, particularly for the VDI space.  Now, anyone trying to deploy VDI would be a fool to try to deploy that in a workgroup.  I have yet to run into an organization that is trying to deploy VDI outside of their domain environment.  Fourthly, (and I'll stop here) I would guess that Microsoft had a number of customers who were looking at running Linux VMs.  Similar to running Windows client operating systems, there is no licensing cost to the hypervisor if these customers were to use Hyper-V Server instead of Windows Server.

    So, yes, managing Hyper-V Server in a workgroup environment is not optimal, just like using a screwdriver for a hammer was not optimal.  Choose the right tools for the environment and you will find things go a lot easier.


    tim

    Monday, September 24, 2012 8:42 PM
  • Tim,

    I'm not sure that I get what you are trying to say/express/explain.

    1. I'm not sure how you got that I was referring to a free "hyper-v" version for evaluation purpose. Developers and testers may be interested for provisioning multiple environments, not for testing hyper-v. Trainers may want to provision some temporary labs ... And yes they may create VMs from evaluation version of MS Products but they certainly do not want to use a hyper-v evaluation version that expires.
    Starting one's argumentation on a false assumption does not really help.


    2. The fact that "you" consider that managing remotely is the panacea doesn't really prove anything. You are not providing any meaningful examples to support your claims. 
    And your arguments are confusing to say the least:
    After telling us about this "Great" Company spending 6 month to learn the ins and outs of remote management, you are opposing our reliance on GUI. What's your point exactly? Doesn't RSAT provide GUI tools for remote management?

    While mastering PowerShell commands may not do any bad and even be way more efficient for many scenarios, I'm not sure it adds anything, except useless complexity, while setting up a logical network, creating a template with 40 parameters and so on... 


    4. You say: "And, unless the listed people groups are not planning on running any licensed operating system on Hyper-V Server, there will still be license costs for those guest operating systems.  If one of those guest operating systems happens to by Windows Server, guess what?  Hyper-V comes as part of the license you paid for."

    Say you want to test SharePoint 2013 or whatever product configuration, load testing and you will be using previews/evaluation version of the products, etc,…  on a remote dedicated machine ... isn't hyper-v server good to go for this kind of scenario?


    5. You seem to confuse managing a non-domain hyper-v server (hosting a domain env) vs managing hyper- server in a non-domain (workgroup) env...
    If you had experienced the inability to log on a hyper-v member server when the PDC is not available, you would know that there can be a good reason for having hyper-v out of the domain.
    So yes, your workstation may be part of a domain and you still need to manage a remote hyper-v that is not part of the domain. For instance a small business having a few vm in a datacenter (say 2 linux, a windows server 2003 that acts as a smtp front-end) - they are connected through site to site vpn.
    Other posts are rather clear on this.

    6. So you think that standalone hyper-v server was introduced for the sophisticated user that is interested in securing their environments. Are you saying that the server core edition is not secure? Are you advising to purchase some regular license but installing the standalone version for security reasons?
    Who talked about deploying VDI in a workgroup but you?

    7. I could also go on and on regarding the numerous contradictions in your post like saying that indeed ESXi was one of the reason for hyper-v and at the same time saying that it is not supposed to fit the low-cost, low-feature entry level version ... and so on ...


    Your conclusion does not make more sense.

    The facts are plain simple:
    Standalone Hyper-v server when it's not part of the domain (for the reasons already explained) is painful to use due to its complete lack of GUI. Either you learn the whole powershell command set for managing the hypervisor or you try go get a remote hyper-v manager to go through remotely - be ready for tweaking and some frustration.

    On the other hand, even the core edition is easy to manage in this scenario because it includes hyper-v manager GUI which you can access through remote desktop without going into the woes of managing remotely a machine outside the domain.

    I'm completely ok with the fact that you are not bothered by the total lack of GUI (even hyper-v manager) or that you are not concerned by non-domain hyper-v. Your own feeling doesn't make it a rational argument.
    Until now, I haven't read anything convincing that could explain the logic behind this approach.

    Tuesday, September 25, 2012 7:59 PM
  • How is it even conceivable that in a thread this long full of people wanting an easier configuration experience with Server Core/Hyper-V Standalone, no one has mentioned CoreConfigurator?

    http://coreconfig.codeplex.com/

    I'm almost positive it works with the standalone free Hyper-V server. Surprisingly, it also works with Server 2012 Core, though I did not test it extensively. And it's usefulness in all but the smallest environment is questionable given the introduction of Server Groups, etc.

    Tuesday, September 25, 2012 8:18 PM
  • My google search for "does hyper v server need to be in domain for remote admin" came up with this thread as the first hit.

    Why did I do this search? Because a while back when everyone was evaluating the various products on offer for virtualisation, I tried out all the main players and was appalled that Hyper-V was as bad as Jonathan Miller states at the the head of the thread. So I was hoping that maybe Microsoft might realise that the approach they have used successfully getting people on board with excellent products such as SBS where the big meaty products are carefully stripped back and packaged up so that they get people in to the MS way on first contact might have rubbed off on Hyper V.

    But no, still the ludicrous model of no management unless joined to the domain.

    I am taking a lot of small clients away from SBS for 2 reasons:

    1/ The quality of Exchange server facilities offered by Office365.

    2/ The difficulty of disaster recovery for SBS.

    If only MS realised the small business market they have just created for themselves but left a hole filled by VMware and Citrix.

    BTW VTUtilities makes HyperV bearable. Thanks to the correspondent who mentioned that.

    Tuesday, October 02, 2012 8:45 AM
  • http://coreconfig.codeplex.com/discussions/397446

    I'm running into the same issue listed there when I try it on Hyper-V 2012 standalone.  A window pops up and immediately closes.  I'm not having much luck with vtUtilities, either.

    Wednesday, October 03, 2012 10:07 PM
  • Basta! For now I gave up in my attemts to test standalone Hyper-V with my small business client. Now I am waiting for a new HVRemote version (1.0) and then it will be my final battle. I can not understand why solution for SMB widely recommended by MSFT evangelists is still so difficult and complicated in real life. No wizards, no offifcial whitepapers... A step away from domain leads to uncharted jungles of dozens of different open ports and firewall rules.
    By the way, ESXi attracts people to their commercial solutions through initial simplicity of free products. Isn't it a best practice? 


    • Edited by osten Sunday, October 07, 2012 5:13 AM
    Sunday, October 07, 2012 5:11 AM
  • As Tim Cerling said, there (probably? Source?) will be a HV2012-compatible RSAT for W7. Until then, it will be HV 2008R2 for me.

    Ragnar G.D.

    Sunday, October 07, 2012 9:54 AM
  • Basta! For now I gave up in my attemts to test standalone Hyper-V with my small business client. Now I am waiting for a new HVRemote version (1.0) and then it will be my final battle. I can not understand why solution for SMB widely recommended by MSFT evangelists is still so difficult and complicated in real life. No wizards, no offifcial whitepapers... A step away from domain leads to uncharted jungles of dozens of different open ports and firewall rules.
    By the way, ESXi attracts people to their commercial solutions through initial simplicity of free products. Isn't it a best practice? 


    I agree.  I finally got it to work, but even though I take pretty detailed notes I'm still not sure exactly what I did to get it to work and now I'm not sure if I can duplicate it.  Pretty amazing given the difference between HyperV and VMWare that the OP pointed out - and it's a very valid point!  

    @Tim Cerling - none of our points make any sense.  It's pretty obvious why Server Core is a monstrosity to admin - MS doesn't want it to be easy!  They make money from paid OS licenses, not free OS licenses.  However, as osten points out that's a pretty short sized and wrong-headed attitude!  Their free offering should be as polished and friend as possible in order to welcome people into the MS universe - not push them away!  And if its not some ham-handed attempt to push people to a full license, then it's a pretty serious oversight in the marketing of HyperV 2012 - which has many things to like about it!  Unfortunately, many will never find out because they will get frustrated and give up since there are *competitors* that offer similar products with a MUCH lower barrier to entry.  And once someone starts going down the ecosystem path, think about how much harder it is to change that inertia later?  The situation of configuring remote management of Server 2012 core just boggles my mind!  I could understand when Server 2008 core first came out - but hello!  We are over four years later now and it's still no better?!?

    There needs to be an MS FixIt tool similar to other FixIt tools that MS has for other issues that I can load on my Windows 8 workstation that will diagnose the security configuration errors and give me detailed configuration changes that need to be made on my Server Core install.  Scripts I can copy/paste would be ideal.  Even more ideal is a configuration powershell on ServerCore that's half way intelligent with a counterpart on Windows 8 that takes care of all of this.  The current situation is just haphazard and crazy, and if they think they are going to welcome geeks, tinkers and evaluators into the HyperV fold with this current mess....  I just don't know what else can be said - I'm actually flabbergasted!

    And no, I'm not going to touch the Windows 8 requirement - from an architectural POV I understand why they did it.  I don't have to like it, but I get it.  It would sting less if the Windows 8 group wasn't trying to force feed the interface formerly known as Metro to everyone in some vain attempt to get people to pay attention to their tablets :p

    • Edited by E Eskam Monday, October 08, 2012 7:00 PM
    Monday, October 08, 2012 6:59 PM
  • And no, I'm not going to touch the Windows 8 requirement - from an architectural POV I understand why they did it.  I don't have to like it, but I get it.  It would sting less if the Windows 8 group wasn't trying to force feed the interface formerly known as Metro to everyone in some vain attempt to get people to pay attention to their tablets :p


    You can skip the Metro experience completely for $5. Take a look at Start8 from Stardock (http://www.stardock.com/products/start8/).  You can customize the start menu a number of ways.  I switched mine to the "classic" Windows 7 view
    Monday, October 08, 2012 8:37 PM
  • You can skip the Metro experience completely for $5. Take a look at Start8 from Stardock (http://www.stardock.com/products/start8/).  You can customize the start menu a number of ways.  I switched mine to the "classic" Windows 7 view

    There's a free solution on sourceforge too - it's still asinine that MS is forcing it.  But that's another topic......  to keep with the topic of this thread, Server Core still needs to have a better out of the box experience - that the current user experience passes muster as acceptable just floors me.
    Tuesday, October 09, 2012 1:04 AM
  • 5. You seem to confuse managing a non-domain hyper-v server (hosting a domain env) vs managing hyper- server in a non-domain (workgroup) env...
    If you had experienced the inability to log on a hyper-v member server when the PDC is not available, you would know that there can be a good reason for having hyper-v out of the domain.
    So yes, your workstation may be part of a domain and you still need to manage a remote hyper-v that is not part of the domain. For instance a small business having a few vm in a datacenter (say 2 linux, a windows server 2003 that acts as a smtp front-end) - they are connected through site to site vpn.
    Other posts are rather clear on this.

    @ Frederic

    This is why you setup a local admin account on your hypervisor; it's a required step during the setup process anyway. And even if your DC is down, your domain credentials should be cached so long as you logged on at least once.

    I just setup (rather quickly) two Hyper-V 2012 servers; one is acting as a replica target. Currently I have 4 VMs running on them. Both the hypervisors and VMs are domain joined. I have a GPO that also sets up a local admin account on my systems and synchronizes the password. My Domain Controllers can be down and I can still login to the hypervisors using local admin.

    I did a ton of research before deciding on domain-joined hypervisors. The advantages are too great and the disadvantages non-existent.

    I came to this thread because I was searching for updated RSAT tools for Windows 7; I do have Windows 8 and 2012 boxes to manage from though.

    I am entirely stunned by the resistance to using domain-based security and remote management tools. Hell, I even run a domain on my home network =P Workgroups are hell to support; unless your shop can't afford a DC I can't understand not using Active Directory.

    Wednesday, October 10, 2012 4:05 PM
  • I never really understood the complaints people had about this thing's "command like focus".  It's not like this is a Unix.  If you want it to look better, install a third party shell like explorer_new from ReactOS, Busybox Win32, etc.  You'll get a full Start Menu with low CPU usage and a familiar GUI if that's what you really need.  Shoot, I even installed Opera and Chrome on mine for light web browsing.

    This thing really is a free copy of Windows 2012/8 if you don't depend on anything it is missing and know your way around Windows without the graphical shell running.  Really, it's no worse than WinPE, Safe Mode with Command Prompt or when explorer crashes on a home PC.  You still have a mostly complete Win32 and can run GUI applications so it's not like anything is stopping you from launching the Task Manager and using it to run whatever third party product you need if you prefer a GUI.  Heck, this has better RDP features than the Home editions of Windows, full SMB sharing and tons of other advanced Windows Server features like Clustering all for free.

    But really, in all editions you can still use the Windows client tools if you don't feel like configuring it manually and the scripts available for it today help immensely.  Just look at the sort of software people run on customized WinPE distributions and you'll find  a wealth of management tools that do the job without the need to copy missing OS components from a more full install of Windows.


    • Edited by TFGBD Thursday, October 25, 2012 10:27 AM
    Thursday, October 25, 2012 10:18 AM
  • +1 to Jonathan.  

    I was somewhat excited to hear that Hyper-V 2012 had a free version, would run on just about anything, and even supported Ubuntu and CentOS along with Windows.  

    I tried, I googled and I'm frustrated.  Back to my power hungry, but simple to use ESXi host.  I'll take the VMware limitations over Hyper-V's complexity.

    Monday, November 05, 2012 3:11 AM
  • Agree. I've spent several days battling this whole setup process too and for users not to be able to connect to newer products from older OS'es makes no sense. I seriously can't think MS expects everyone to upgrade from Windows 7 (which works great) to Windows 8 to manage the new Hyper-V product. F that. ESXi is so easy and never has any issues with setup, scripts to run, permissions to add, domains to join, etc. While I like the performance of Hyper-V over ESXi... I can't stand the remote limitations. I know vtutilities is good. There is also 5nine as well... as quoted from this article. 

    Also, if you do not want to use Hyper-V manager console on Hyper-V host you can connect remotely, (this is recommended if you have more than one Hyper-V host) with Hyper-V manager console, VMM console or with some other third-party software like 5nine or VT Utilities for Hyper-V.

    The other option for people that have no issues with non free products or have licensing available, you can do the Server 2012 Core install and then add the Hyper-V feature, but then you're expected to know some pretty good commands in Powershell to mount the image and install the files. 

    Oh well, also back to ESXi.


    Tuesday, November 06, 2012 6:16 PM
  • I have found this thread to be useful however I did find out some really cool stuff you can do with some GUI apps to make the core server not so painful to use and manage.  stephanco.blogspot.com is my blog about it with some links and pics of what apps you can use to get a GUI interface on the free core server 2012.

    I am currently working on how to easily convert wmare vm's to hyper-v vm's and have found the new microsoft app lacking and the 5nine converter to mostly work. I am looking into the simple vmdx to vhd file converters as well. I will blog about them one ice have some real findings.

    Monday, November 19, 2012 5:41 PM
  • Reading all of the complaints here I agree. There should be an easier way to get remote management working quickly. Once you have that working and want to do more complex configurations you should study the product. Has anyone written a step by step yet to assist newbies in getting up and running quickly?

    Best Regards, Morris Fury AFRIDATA.net

    Wednesday, November 21, 2012 8:11 AM
  • I would still think a workgroup environment for hyper-v is the way to go.

    The whole point of virtualization is to do away with physical servers, if all your DCs are VMs then it's easy to get in a situation where you can't remotely manage hyper-v because your DC isn't running.

    Overall it is not that bad to get working, i've set up several hyper-v 2008 R2 and hyper-v 2012 servers in production with little issues.

    However the lack of ability to access a console session without having a windows 8 client on the network is a big problem, if your VM isn't bootable there needs to be a way to access the console session to fix the problem. even if a full blown management console isn't made available for windows 7 there should be a way to access a console session of a VM without needing a windows 8 system on the network.

    It is beneficial to learn some basic powershell commands to manage hyper-V via remote desktop instead of reliance on a gui to do everything.

    Overall GUIs have made people in the IT field lazy, have a lower skill set, and less value in the marketplace.

    Knowing your way around a command shell takes actual skill, i'm glad to see microsoft leaning in the direction of using a command shell for management.

    For the most part even non-technical people can figure out how to set something up with a gui.


    • Edited by mnri Wednesday, November 21, 2012 12:51 PM
    Wednesday, November 21, 2012 12:40 PM
  • I would still think a workgroup environment for hyper-v is the way to go.

    The whole point of virtualization is to do away with physical servers, if all your DCs are VMs then it's easy to get in a situation where you can't remotely manage hyper-v because your DC isn't running.

    Overall it is not that bad to get working, i've set up several hyper-v 2008 R2 and hyper-v 2012 servers in production with little issues.

    However the lack of ability to access a console session without having a windows 8 client on the network is a big problem, if your VM isn't bootable there needs to be a way to access the console session to fix the problem. even if a full blown management console isn't made available for windows 7 there should be a way to access a console session of a VM without needing a windows 8 system on the network.

    It is beneficial to learn some basic powershell commands to manage hyper-V via remote desktop instead of reliance on a gui to do everything.

    Overall GUIs have made people in the IT field lazy, have a lower skill set, and less value in the marketplace.

    Knowing your way around a command shell takes actual skill, i'm glad to see microsoft leaning in the direction of using a command shell for management.

    For the most part even non-technical people can figure out how to set something up with a gui.


    Nothing is stopping you from accessing the console with the local administrator account. I repeat (since so many people are getting this wrong) you do not need to authenticate against a live DC to manage Hyper-V.

    If you want to deal with the pains of workgroup networking, go right ahead, but there is no wisdom in this. Hyper-V works very well domain-joined. You can take advantage of group policies and common authentication by doing so. There is always local admin access available if something blows up on your DC.

    And to clear up some other misinformation, Hyper-V 2012 can be managed by the Windows 7 RSAT tools. Both RDP and MMC work. The only difference between the Windows 8 and 7 snap-ins is some minor features are missing. Anything above-and-beyond can be done through PowerShell (use Enter-PSSession if you want to access it remotely instead of at the console or RDP).

    As always, you can login to the physical machine if things really go wrong.

    Thursday, November 22, 2012 5:04 PM
  • Not wanting to give up on Hyper-V 2012... I reinstalled the old Hyper-V management tools for Windows 7.  When I did, it added a "Hyper-V Remote File Browsing" icon to my desktop, which, when double clicked, does nothing.  Right click options include "Cut, Create Shortcut, and Delete...  it seems quite useless.

    Anyway, I am able to connect to my Hyper-V 2012 Server box with these tools.  I attempted to create a new virtual machine, with some fairly standard options, and "install operating system from an iso file" (unfortunately I had to map a drive from the Hyper-V console to pull the iso locally since the remote file browsing tool doesn't do anything).  When I click "Finish" I receive the following rather nonsensical error:

    "The server encountered an error while configuring hard disk on Windows 8.  Wizard failed in rolling back the created virtual machine.  Please delete it manually afterwards.  Access denied.  Unable to establish communication between 'hyper-v IP' and 'my workstation'"  ("Windows 8" was the name of my new virtual machine).

    Bummer :(  So I clicked close.  The hard drive file appears to have been created, so tried to proceed again with "Use an existing virtual disk" (choosing the file it created previously).

    This time, when I click "Finish" everything appears to work without incident... except that there are still no virtual machines, even after refreshing the MMC...

    Question 1: Why am I getting "unable to establish communication..." when I'm clearly able to establish communication?!?!

    Question 2: Why is creating the hard disk failing?!

    Question 3: Why isn't my virtual machine visible in the RSAT Hyper-V MMC for Windows 7?!?!

    I feel like the answer to all of these questions is "use the proper Hyper-V 2012 management tools."  Unfortunately, they don't appear to exist, except for as included with Windows Server 2012, and as a "preview" for Windows 8... I, and many other enterprise users, am/will be using Windows 7 for quite a long time.

    I suppose I could install Windows Server 2012 somewhere, but it seems silly to do that just to use Hyper-V management tools; especially since Windows Server 2012 now REQUIRES a license key during installation, and AUTOMATICALLY activates when connected to the internet...

    Am I missing something here?  Or has Microsoft made it almost impossible to use Hyper-V 2012?!  Please educate me!  I've read all about Hyper-V 2012's great new features (live migration without shared storage, memory overcommittment, etc...) but unfortunately can't use any of it because the available resources are severely lacking :(

    Hi BillMoller,

    I have the same issue on win8 + RSAT Hyper-v with Hyper-v 2012.

    ref http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/x1719157%28v=vs.80%29.aspx

    It's helpful.

    I can add VM now via RSAT Hyper-V manager.

    Sunday, November 25, 2012 8:01 AM
  • if you do not want to hack around to get windows 7 RSAT working or you do not have windows 8 or a full blown 2012 server. try these two options. 5nine.com free hyper-v manager but to unlock the console feature costs $159 or try vtuilities. com free for 90 days (approx $120) when it comes out of beta. I personally like VT utilities product as it has all the features you could ever want. To install the app you simply map a drive to the core 2012 server, if you cannot do this you need to turnoff the firewall first (at the console dos prompt type netsh advfirewall set allprofiles state off) copy the setup file to a C:\temp. From the console DOS prompt change directory to C:\temp and then type the name of the setup file and follow the prompts. To run the app I simply create a batch file in the root of C:\ that points to the executable file of the app i just installed. Notepad is installed as part of core server 2012. If you want to get fancy visit my blog on how to get a start menu on the desktop of the core server 2012 console. stephanco.blogspot.com 
    Monday, November 26, 2012 5:02 PM
  • Hi, you don't even need a batch file to run vtUtilities: just type vtUtilities in the console next time you logon to Windows to start a new instance (make sure to check '...add to the system path' upon install). They also have a demo that illustrates this tool functionality: http://youtu.be/2iswunJy3OE?hd=1
    Tuesday, November 27, 2012 1:25 AM
  • I don't know about clustering with ESXi but if you can't setup and use a basic ESXi box you haven't tried.  I've setup several for customers and you don't have to look up anything to figure out how to connect to it unless you can't read the big text on the screen while it's running that tells you what IP to connect to with your browser.  The only difficult thing with ESXi is figuring out what hardware works with it.  I'll agree that the documentation is poor but so is Hyper-V's.  Hyper-V may have what seems like much more clear cut documentation but I've found that it generally doesn't answer my questions and when it does the answers rarely work.

    Just use Hyper-V joined to a domain to cure all the connection issues?  What if you want to run your domain controller on it?  I haven't found any way to connect without using Win8 and then running a zillion poorly documented commands to get things working and I still can't get to the device manager to update drivers.

    I installed XPProSP3 on Hyper-V 2012 and dns is randomly not working.  (Clean install with nothing else yet since I can't get anywhere)  My DNS server is 2011 SBS running on the Hyper-V box and DNS works fine with the rest of my PCs.  (Yes I've done the DNS registry fix on SBS)

    Security isn't the reason for all the complexity.  It's just a very poorly implemented product at the moment.  When I use the Hyper-V console and tell it to enable remote administration it should do just that.  I shouldn't have to research untold numbers of commands to get it working.

    Wednesday, January 16, 2013 1:32 AM
  • I am an experienced ESX 4,5 admin in the day job.

    Background:

    ESX does not support the common Intel Rapid Storage hardware that is ubiquitous on affordable system boards.
    Extensive testing with the Adaptec 2405 hardware RAID controller revealed simply terrible disk performance.
    The 2405 on ESX 5 slows native performance down to about 10% of the same drive on the Intel SATA ports.
    Driver support for the 2405 is little more than a fast hack and a kludge.

    I've seen favorable articles about HyperV 2012 being 4k advance format aware, and offering a huge performance boost.
    I installed the freebie 2012 HyperV Core install which comes without the GUI tools.
    HyperV 2012 Core accepts the Intel IATA F6 storage drivers and installs on a RAID1 volume without complaint.

    I am appalled at how "fiddly" is the core installation, right out of the box.
    The IPsec policies and/or firewall prevent response to ping.
    The firewall policies prevent Server Manager 2012 from authenticating to the new machine.

    netsh advfirewall set allprofiles state off

    The 2012 server I'm using for management fails to Refresh with a WinRM authentication error

    winrm set winrm/config/client @{TrustedHosts="*"}


    IMO, it is stupid to have massive security enabled at installation time.
    It makes for a difficult installation, and a lot of Google time figuring out what is failing.

    As of this writing, ESX is *far* easier to set up and administer.

    The vSphere installation is painless, and connecting to ESX is equally painless.
    This client is mature, offers a wide range of administrative functions and performance data.
    But... disk performance in a non-SAN environment is staggeringly slow, and onboard RAID is not supported.

    If Microsoft wants to crack the VM world, they must step up their game and not offer hacker-level kludges.



    Monday, February 11, 2013 5:30 PM
  • The security built into this product has come about as a result of requests from customers to ensure that a system cannot be compromised (or is difficult to compromise) during system installation and start-up.  This is a time during which systems are quite vulnerable to some very significant and nasty hacks.  I agree, some people are happier when they don't have to deal with security.  In regards to Hyper-V server, this is often implemented in Windows shops, and the issues you raise are often well-known, as these are things that Microsoft has been doing for years - again, at customer request.  So, coming from a different environment, it is understandable that it might be a bit more frustrating.

    BTW, Microsoft 'cracked' the VM world quite some time ago. <grin>


    .:|:.:|:. tim

    Monday, February 11, 2013 6:49 PM
  • Nothing is stopping you from accessing the console with the local administrator account. I repeat (since so many people are getting this wrong) you do not need to authenticate against a live DC to manage Hyper-V.

    Sure, but getting a non-AD integrated core install to a point where you can actually connect to it is far from easy.  That's one of the main points in this thread.  When you look at competing solutions, they are far easier to get going in stand alone mode and that's a shame since core is a great product once you finally do get it configured!
    Tuesday, February 26, 2013 5:42 PM
  • As someone with a VCP on ESXi 4 and 5 and brand new to Hyper-V.. I have to say the title of this thread is a bit misleading. Sure, I do still feel much of the basic setup and HA config is still MUCH easier with VMware. But I have recently deployed a Hyper-V 3.0 sandbox and am enjoying it. When utilizing SCVMM I have yet to find a task I would normally do in vCenter that wasn't avail in VMM. Plus the VMware integration with VMM really helps migrating VMs over. My only real "complaint" right now is all the additional HA aka clustering config you really need to know and perform with Hyper-V. Again, this is where I still think VMware has an edge. But it all comes down to a learning curve and $$$.. as a MS partner\Service Provider with SPLA licensing switching to Hyper-V and saving tens of thousands of dollars on VMware licensing was a no brainer.
    Tuesday, February 26, 2013 6:16 PM
  • Hi everyone!

    I wrote simple web interface for Hyper-V.

    It implemented as console application. Can be installed on "bare metal" Hyper-V as service. Also you can simply run it.

    You can find more details in blog www.blinkov.com/blog/

    --

    Roman Blinkov


    Saturday, April 13, 2013 9:08 AM
  • ...After all, Hyper-V provides support for clustering and Live Migration and some other features that aren't available in ESXi.  Therefore, it takes a more complete toolset.

    Did you look at the current ESXi compared to the current Hyper-V? It has many more features, including migration, SSD and proper server-side USB support. All the stuff people are screaming at MS to add for years now. So why ignore the demand?

    I prefer MS products, but it's very disappointing to see other companies (with less developers) get it right, simple, easy to use and setup. How come they make it "do what it says on the tin" and "work straight out of the box". That's all, how it should be. Why do MS keep missing these critical design points?!?

    The security settings are so complicated and bring so many limitations. Why not just run standard WCF web services on the hosts accepting any supported authentication (no need for constrained delegation, just identification and security token session). The web service functions could then be used by remote (and local) admin tools to setup, configure, browse the local file system (for the purpose of mounting ISOs or working with VHDs). Ditch the MMC/DCOM/WMI rubbish, that's outdated and causes too much trouble.

    I agree the future is HTML5 web based admin, as Jonathan suggested. And any new web services should be JSON/RESTful.


    Key Artefacts


    • Edited by Code Chief Friday, May 17, 2013 12:15 PM
    Friday, May 17, 2013 12:13 PM
  • Well I'm with Jonathan on this one.

    I thought that I'd give Hyper-V core (free) a good go today for a couple of SME reasons.

    Smaller organisations are often based in suburban areas & suffer power issues beyond their UPS capacity.  Windows recovers better from sudden outages than linux based systems.  (I believe that's a benefit of Command versus Script based).  Secondly, I was hoping to use it for 2 processor servers that are beyond the free version of V-Sphere. (Still not sure if that's supported on Hyper-V free).

    The end result is that I'll just tell my clients to buy the essentials version from VMWare.

    Even though I have downloaded a copy of Server2012 standard, I insisted on trying to set up the free core today.  There is a lot of misinformation out there & I might just have read most of it :-).  I should be setting up Server 2012 for a few clients soon, so that will be the benefit of todays research with a new server on a new Hyper-V 2012 standard (I hope). 

    There are several points that I differ from some of you on coming from the SME marketplace...

    1./ Connecting the hyper-v to a domain seems silly, when an amount of the population will want to run their domain controller on the virtual platform itself.

    2./ It was nice to go back to DOS for a little while, but too many hardware management features are more time consuming & mistake prone without the GUI's. (Diskpart & I dis-agreed on which disk was which).  We all cost too much per hour to not have clean & accurate tools at our disposal.

    3./ Powershell reminds me a lot of the Cisco routers with the CLI.  It is definitely less resource intensive, but far too little confirmation of the effects.  And another thing to learn that may well become superceded by a GUI.  After all, Windows itself superceded DOS.  Honestly, if I wanted to go through the needed education to learn how to drive powershell & half effective tools, then I'd be better going back to CentOS & virtualising from there.  (That's quirky too :-) )

    4./ I'm also not sure about matching Windows Domain/Workgroup credentials to connect from a management computer.  If indeed you want to be able to manage the domain controller host from a workstation, then you need a separate user account & workgroup, or a separate computer if the domain controller VM has failed.

     

    For what it's worth, I quite liked the 5nine Manager for Hyper-V 3.4. It is useful to have a file manager during the learning curve (even if I couldn't see anything but drive c:). Corefig 1.1 is also a great example of the GUI confirmations that I find comforting for confirming states & effects of actions.  2Tware convert VHD was quite handy to go from VMDK to VHD to get a machine working.

    I reckon if Microsoft gave us back the Control panel & explorer, there'd be a lot more of us using Hyper-V 2012 free. That of course, then generates moves up the ladder to the paid products.  VMWare isn't under any real threat yet.

    cheers guys & girls.

    Saturday, May 18, 2013 11:34 AM
  • @Doddsy1000 - That's not true about Linux being less reliable. It has had a journaling file system like Windows NTFS for ages. When my Windows host crashes with a Linux VM I never had trouble with that, more with the host or other virtual Windows boxes.

    I'm a windows guy but fairs fair; Linux is not rubbish, just hard to use because of it's strange command lines and complicated text configuration files. The technology inside is state of the art and sometimes ahead of Windows. That's the point, MS slipped big time here.

    Also VMware is not Linux. There's a Linux expert I know at work who gets mad if you suggest that. So I guess it's a proper kernel optimized for virtualization. No need to get into that, if you install ESXi side by side with a Hyper-V core and compare the ease of setup and administration there is a clear winner, not Microsoft.

    However joining a domain when you have many computers is essential just to eliminate pointless management of local accounts and permissions on each computer. Windows has the benefit of domain policies. This is where it's stronger, but VMware plays fair, it will too join a domain seamlessly and respect Windows/AD permissions.

    But Microsoft do need to address some issues in Hyper-V with their own Windows authentication (all that constrained delegation rubbish is over the top, it should just work by default if they wrote it another way around as I suggested / identity only web services / "trusted subsystems" security model).

    Don't forget that when even all domain controllers are down, with Windows authentication you can always either logon with cached credentials or the default local administrator account. So I'm not sure why you see a problem there. No different to Linux/VMware having a root account when all else fails.

    I think MS have it right with most of the stuff "technically" but it's the end effect which has slipped.

    By the way for conversion try Star Wind V2V free converter and the VMware vCenter Converter which is great for not only converting disks but also uploading/downloading from a running server (it's their P2V tool but can be used just to convert offline files).


    Key Artefacts





    • Edited by Code Chief Saturday, May 18, 2013 8:19 PM
    Saturday, May 18, 2013 8:16 PM
  • This is really a complaint not a question.  I've been using the free version of VMware ESXi for development testing for years.  I keep reading about how Hyper-V is catching up to VMware in features.  I was excited about the free stand-alone version and decided to try it out.  I downloaded the Hyper-V 2012 RC standalone version and installed it.  This thing is a trainwreck!  There is not a chance in hell that anyone will ever use this thing in scenarios like mine.  It obviously intented to be used by IT Geniuses in a domain only.  I would really like a version that I can up and running in less than half an hour like esxi.  How the heck is anyone going to evaluate it this in a reasonable manner?  I feel like it was just thrown out there so Microsoft could claim they have a free virtualization server like MS?

    Steps for free ESXi.

    1. Download from website burn to CD/DVD.

    2. Boot from disc, follow steps to overwrite hard drive and install.

    3. After reboot, config management IP address.

    4. Go back to my desk and open my web browser to Management IP and download client.

    5. Install ESX client and start running VMs!

    Steps for Hyper-V

    1. Download from website burn to CD/DVD.

    2. Boot from disc, follow steps to overwrite hard drive and install.

    3. After reboot, config management IP address.

    4. Scour the internet for server tools that install the Hyper-V management snap-in for Win 7.

    5. Install server management tools pack.

    6. Go to add/remove and enable the Hyper-V snap-in.

    7. Open Hypver-V snap-in and connect TRY to connect to box.

    8. Receive generic authentication error message.

    9. Spend several hours scouring the internet looking for registry hacks, firewall hacks that actually allow you to connect to a damn hyper-v box!

    10. Eventually you come across the website/project. http://archive.msdn.microsoft.com/HVRemote

    This site walks you through all the script changes/reboots you have to make to connect to bloody hyper-v! 

    Here is what I would prefer

    I don't want to download any tools at all.  I just want a HTML5 web server on this box that allows me to do everything I can from the  Hyper-V console and doesn't make me configure anything other than a password.  It would be great if it was themed similar to the new Windows Azure Virtual Machines console.  I doesn't have to provide like a built-in viewer to actually interact with the VMs, I would be happy with a remote desktop style connection.

    I'm in the same exact boat. I just installed it and I'm at the stage of scouring the Internet, trying to find out how to manage it remotely. At least with ESXI that had a built in webserver and all I needed to do was enter in the IP of that machine and download the VMWARE client. So easy. Had a VM up and running in an hour. With this Hyper-V there are so many variables if it would work or not with your OS. You had to have a certain version of the OS or a certain service pack, all these crazy requirements. Seriously Microsoft all you need to do here is create some Hyper-V management client utilities for Windows XP, 7, and 8. That's it. 

    ***Update***

    After just a little while I'm already ditching this Hyper-V nonsense. No one in their right mind would opt to use this unless they had to or were complete MS die hard fans or actually worked for Microsoft and had some internal knowledge on everything about it and all the resources in the world. Some things in the computer industry just kind of work and people that computer literate can figure it out pretty easily. Not with Hyper-V's stand alone core server. Just trying to manage and attach to the server is impossible. Microsoft just couldn't make you use a simple username and password with a remote management tool, they had to compound every type of security measure and have multiple, many little tools and scripts and files just to get the management tools setup. Then you still need to actually manage it after that! At least with ESXI you could easily download the Vsphere Client, plug in the IP address of your server and that's it! And I could do that on multiple versions of Windows with no restraints. Sorry for venting and letting it all out, but this is really geared only towards very specific stuff. I guess for now I'm sticking with VSphere, apparently that just works pretty easily and all the management tools are very accessible from one place.  Sorry.


    • Edited by Opentoe Thursday, May 23, 2013 1:06 PM
    Thursday, May 23, 2013 12:35 PM
  • There is a free Powershell Hyper-v Manager available at pshvm.codeplex.com, if you follow the documentation it will walk you through how to install/configure your free core server 2012 VHOST and build/manage your vm's all for free. It contains a freeRDP to replace the non-existent (in free core server) vmconnect and mstsc. Which allow you to manage/connect to your VM's with or without and IP. It is designed to be run from the console of he vhost.

    Written by me and it is also on my blog stephanco.blogspot.com

    • Edited by James_Stephan Thursday, July 11, 2013 3:38 PM new list
    Friday, June 14, 2013 7:37 PM
  • I think the two points that need to be acknowledged here in this thread which I have resurrected is that:

    1.  Microsoft does not generally write good documentation and many techs are often left to spend (waste) a lot of time searching the Net for good nuts-and-bolts information about tech and processes for implementation;

    2.  Regardless of the target user, this product should be well documented and all required management software be made available in one place. There is no arguable reason that can justify why techs' should go hunting for bits and pieces when their time is short. Unfortunately, this is all too common with Microsoft products.

    The problem, voiced so well by the OP, is a classic issue faced by those dealing with early release and even established products from Microsoft. Microsoft has always struggled with usability engineering, and providing good documentation and management software is part of this aspect of computing.

    I've just installed Hyper-V Server 2012 and Hyper-V Server 2012 R2 Preview into VMware Workstation 9 and find myself relying on 3rd Party blogs to access better written documentation about how to manage Hyper-V Core. Luckily, I knew I needed remote management tools and so have also installed a complete Server 2012 for AD, DNS, DHCP and will also look at using VMM 2012 SP1 and R2 Preview.


    Friday, July 12, 2013 2:39 PM
  • I have just released PSHVM 30 the all GUI powershell hyper-v Manger designed to be run from the server console. Visit pshvm.codeplex.com to download your free copy. 

    James_Stephan@yahoo.com visit my blog stephanco.blogspot.com

    Tuesday, August 20, 2013 3:32 PM
  • The newest hyper-v manager to hit the market place is HVM

    Probus-IT Hyper-V Manager (HVM) will help you to manage Hyper-V Servers and virtual machines. It is especially useful on core installations where you cannot run Microsoft Hyper-V manager locally. No RSAT or DOT-Net install needed. No fiddling with cmdkey and HVRemote-scripts. Installs on 32 and 64-Bit windows. Use it on Servers, desktops and Core installations both 32 and 64-Bit.

    http://www.probus-it.se/hypervtools/hypervmanager

    Free for non commerical use the commerical use price point has yet TBD but it will be very competetive if not down right cheap.



    James_Stephan@yahoo.com visit my blog stephanco.blogspot.com

    Wednesday, October 23, 2013 2:00 PM
  • I came across this thread today on my third day of searching the interweb for information on deploying Hyper-V Server 2012 to two of my IT clients.

    I have to agree 110% with the OP.

    For the past few days I have been trying to convince myself that I am not beating my head against a wall with H-V, I want to stick with Microsoft products on this since I have maintained my clients for years on Microsoft server and desktop OS's for everything else. Especially after recently having to move to VMware for desktop virtual machine management with Player and Workstation due to Microsoft ending Virtual PC and XPMode.

    My ~35 year background is in computer hardware and software so I am not unfamiliar with using old-style methods of system management, and I am comfortable with a command-line.  The one major shortcoming of command-line only support is, if it isn't well documented how will people know what commands are available and what specifically they do?  Not to mention that command-line was basically deprecated 30 years ago, which just makes H-V look cheap and unfinished so much that Microsoft didn't want to invest the time to add a basic GUI.

    After years of getting used to the better local logon GUI tools provided by Microsoft SBS Console and even WHS's Dashboard (which I get when I RDP into it!!), I really find it disheartening to have to rely on the command-line to manage H-V locally.  Sure, the Remote Management is nice, if/when you can get connected... and requiring Server 2012 or Windows 8 Pro/Ent in order to run the remote server administration tools is just silly -- forcing you to purchase a licensed OS to manage a free OS - wtf?.

    In my opinion Microsoft has missed the boat on this one still, especially for small businesses who want to move to virtualization.  For example, if I want to simply drop down a small internet-facing box that hosts VMs for web and email, I don't want/need it connected to a domain, I shouldn't have to spend $900 for Server 2012 R2 to manage the free H-V, what I need is a local basic GUI Console/Dashboard like what SBS and WHS have.

    It would not have been that difficult to include a basic GUI driven Server Manager tool like SBS and WHS.  The fact that there exists third-party tools like CoreConfig, Corefig, 5nine, Probus, etc., shows that there is a strong demand for this functionality from the people using and deploying H-V.  And the fact that many of these third-party tool are completely out-to-lunch on their pricing doesn't help matters.


    • Edited by MrDRGreen Thursday, October 31, 2013 9:07 PM
    Thursday, October 31, 2013 7:02 PM
  • yeah it takes about a year to get completely over that feeling, but it does get better. Once you really decide you have to learn powershell you will be glad you did, it is a powerful tool and if you have ever used powerCLI for vmware it will transfer over easily. As for the pricing, there are free options, they may not be as polished as MS product but they work and you will find that once you use hyper-v for a while it becomes second nature. If you are doing stand alone check out my project PSHVM.codeplex.com or the newest probusIT HVM as list two links above. I can tell you I was once in your shoes and feel your pain. Hope you keep plugging away at it and remember to not over think hyper-v it is really quite simple once you figure out that it is not rocket surgery.

    James_Stephan@yahoo.com visit my blog stephanco.blogspot.com

    Thursday, October 31, 2013 7:28 PM
  • Thanks James.

    I have been using various virtualization software for a few years and Microsoft Servers since Windows Server 2000.  The issue that I have with using Hyper-V Server 2012 is that it feels like MS expects me to use it nearly blind.  I already use Powershell for a number of things including in my software development so I am also familiar with it, but imho it really is not a substitute for a proper interface for creating, managing, and monitoring a virtualization server.  Imagine if we had to use every Windows server or desktop from command-line only.

    Both of the clients that I am trying to move towards using virtual servers (for a variety of reasons) have neither Server 2012 or Windows 8 Pro/Ent systems at their locations (they have a variety of SBS2011Std, SBS2003Std, Svr2008Std, Svr2003Std, Win7Pro, VistaBiz, etc.), so I have no means of using the tools to manage HVS2012 that Microsoft expects IT's to use (Svr2012, Win8Pro/Ent).  And purchasing a workstation with Windows 8Pro/Ent to put in their server room just to manage the HV server is just silly.

    It is also a pain trying to discern the information googled about Hyper-V Server 2012 because it usually returns Server 2012 results instead, which are usually not relevant, making it even more of a hassle to figure out.

    I have had no real technical issues with installing HVS2012, creating VMs, etc., but attempting to manage and monitor the server beyond that is essentially missing (or at least minimalistic to the point of crippled).

    Some of the third-party tools are as much as $150 per host per year, which for that price, a person may as well just go and purchase Server 2012.

    I am also familiar with and use some of the VMware products, but with these clients there are some hardware issues using VMware, so at this point I'm just going to forget about HVS2012 and go back to the bare metal server installs and bare metal recovery methods I have been using for the past two decades+.  At this time I will just use HVS2012 for my own personal tinkering until (if ever) Microsoft actually includes some sort of local server manager.

    If it was a matter of money since HVS2012 is currently free, I or my clients would gladly pay $99 for Hyper-V Server 2012 if it had a proper GUI based local server manager that allowed full setup, management, and monitoring.  I have looked at some of the free third-party tools, and imho they just don't cut it.

    *edit*

    I started using a standalone local Hyper-V Server 2012 GUI that is currently under development and totally free: coreDoor.



    • Edited by MrDRGreen Sunday, November 03, 2013 5:14 AM
    Thursday, October 31, 2013 10:44 PM
  • Upgraded my HyperV 2008 R2... wasn't working, so I backed it up and as I had heard there was an interface GUI for Windows 8.1 and for Windows 2012 R2, naturally assumed it would be part of the install package. Gee, how hard would it be to put that on the same disk and add a number 15 - install GUI?

    R, J

    Sunday, January 19, 2014 3:26 PM
  • I found preview version of vtutilities mentioned in this thread that works on Hyper-V Servers 2008 R2, 2012 and 2012 R2.

    Hope it helps somebody too: _http://vttechnology.com/Customer/GetVtUtilitiesPreview 

    Sunday, January 19, 2014 5:26 PM
  • Can you give a bit of information on what soft of GUI this is? The CoreFig is reasonable, but problematic is you haven't used powershell much because it is so full of errors. I'm trying to do something simple - access the licensing on the 2012 server and activate it... all I get are powershell errors:

    licensing.ps1:1260 char 49  (something about a ".visible = $true}"  No clue how to solve at this point in the game.


    R, J

    Sunday, January 19, 2014 6:12 PM
  • vtUtilties is a full-fledged Hyper-V management GUI, so you don't need to use PowerShell at all. Whatch demo here: _http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2iswunJy3OE
    Sunday, January 19, 2014 8:58 PM
  • Dear Sirs,

    I have been using PSHVM3.0 for several months without any problem (thanks to James Stephan).

    It greatly helps me manage all Hyper-V Server 2012 feature.

    Using the command line interface was really a nightmare, while ESXi comes with Web interface.

    I would suggest PSHVM3.0!

    Regards

    Tuesday, January 28, 2014 1:03 AM
  • The free Hyper-V server was never intended as a product to learn Hyper-V or to tinker with... its target market are people who already know and understand Hyper-V and need to implement a baremetal system with hardened security, no licensing fee (for the host) and want the features of Hyper-V such as clustering without paying massive licensing like VMWare.

    If you want to get started with Hyper-V, learn it on a non-free version of the server OS... once you're comfortable administering it there, running the free version is not an issue.

    If your intention is to install the free version of Hyper-V to learn Hyper-V, then you're doing it wrong. That was never Microsoft's intended market, and complaining that it doesn't fit that mold is not MS's fault, it's yours.


    • Edited by sstiebinger Monday, February 10, 2014 8:40 PM
    Monday, February 10, 2014 8:39 PM
  • Not an issue with Windows 8 ...


    space536

    Wednesday, March 26, 2014 8:57 AM
  • Did you ever actually get to access and connect to the Hyper-V server from a client PC.

    How is this done?

    So far, this seems to be an impossibility to me.

    Monday, May 26, 2014 7:55 AM
  • If you want to get started with Hyper-V, learn it on a non-free version of the server OS... once you're comfortable administering it there, running the free version is not an issue.


    Microsoft offers 180-day (6 month!) trials of the full versions of Windows Server via Technet now which are free for anyone to download. 6 months is plenty of time to decide if Hyper-V is right for you, to learn it, and play with a Core installation as well.

    That said, Windows Core is a train wreck period so I agree with the original post.

    Monday, May 26, 2014 4:06 PM
  • I think the two points that need to be acknowledged here in this thread which I have resurrected is that:

    1.  Microsoft does not generally write good documentation and many techs are often left to spend (waste) a lot of time searching the Net for good nuts-and-bolts information about tech and processes for implementation;

    2.  Regardless of the target user, this product should be well documented and all required management software be made available in one place. There is no arguable reason that can justify why techs' should go hunting for bits and pieces when their time is short. Unfortunately, this is all too common with Microsoft products.

    The problem, voiced so well by the OP, is a classic issue faced by those dealing with early release and even established products from Microsoft. Microsoft has always struggled with usability engineering, and providing good documentation and management software is part of this aspect of computing.

    I've just installed Hyper-V Server 2012 and Hyper-V Server 2012 R2 Preview into VMware Workstation 9 and find myself relying on 3rd Party blogs to access better written documentation about how to manage Hyper-V Core. Luckily, I knew I needed remote management tools and so have also installed a complete Server 2012 for AD, DNS, DHCP and will also look at using VMM 2012 SP1 and R2 Preview.


    First off, my apologies for resurrecting an old post but this was a nice thread and a few things here will help in my quest to get better at HyperV.  I definitely agree that this was much harder than it should have been and MS could have written a single page with easy "getting your first server running" document.  I spent hours searching everywhere and that search was made worse by the fact that there are Hyper V servers, free versions (Server 2012 with Hyper V role and Hyper V Server 2012) so the searches frequently pulled up stuff that wasn't directly relevant in the command line free product.  After hours and hours of searching I wrote my own simple to follow instructions.  Recently I learned many of the netsh commands for the firewall can be loaded into a powershell script.  More time spent getting server manager and hyper-v manager working, even more learning about certificates and getting replication working.  Actually managed to do it all and I'm not an IT person by any means.  When it was all done with, I was able to wipe the systems out and start from bare metal to fully functional in well under an hour for 2 servers with replication (a good bit of that time was copying the VM files).  

    MS could do a lot for their business model to provide a simple step by step guide for the free product.  Maybe some of the firewall holes or permissions aren't things a seasoned IT person would want to have but likely they wouldn't need any help anyway.  This would get more people to the point they could actually evaluate the product and consider a paid version as their needs grow.  

    I'm a small business owner that has done a lot of my own IT.  I have 2 servers using the free HyperV products with replication and using Altaro's free product to back up my 2 mission critical VM's to a 5 drive NAS.  Combined with paid off-site backup, it's a nice setup.  When the time comes for professional IT help, I won't feel completely embarrassed or clueless.  VMWare would have cost a lot more do do the same thing (with replication).  At this point I see my next steps expanding into paid MS solutions as my needs grow. I may not be MS's target audience, but a simple guide would open up the doors for a lot of other small business looking to visualize.  

    Saturday, June 21, 2014 9:23 PM