Windows Server Technical Preview – Whats New for Hyper-V?

Along with yesterdays announcement of Windows 10, Yes that is correct 10 and not 9, Windows Server Technical Preview was also announced.

For now it just being refered to as Windows Server Technical Preview.

So, whats new for Hyper-V with this new release? Well quite a lot.

1. Rolling Hyper-V ClusterUpgrade

  • You can add a Windows Server technical preview node to a windows 2012R2 cluster and live migrate virtual machines. Allowing for a totally non disruptive migration of all VM’s to the new platform.
  • New features won’t be available untill you complete the migratin and run the following command from powershell – Update-ClusterFunctionalLevel

2. storage QoS

  • You can now create storage QoS policies on a Scale-Out File Server and assign them to one or more virtual disks on Hyper-V virtual machines. Storage performance is automatically readjusted to meet policies as the storage load fluctuates.

3. Virtual Machine Configuration Version

  • Configuration Version 6 is now available for virtual Machines.
  • Existing virtual machhine can be upgraded using the following command (The vm need to be powered off first): Update-VmConfigurationVersion vmname

4. New Virtual Machine File Configuration Format

  • Virtual machines now have a new configuration file format which is designed to increase the efficiency of reading and writing virtual machine configuration data. It is also designed to reduce the potential for data corruption in the event of a storage failure. The new configuration files use the .VMCX extension for virtual machine configuration data and the .VMRS extension for runtime state data.

5. Production Checkpoints

  • Production checkpoints allow you to easily create “point in time” images of a virtual machine, which can be restored later on in a way that is completely supported for all production workloads. This is achieved by using backup technology inside the guest to create the checkpoint, instead of using saved state technology. For production checkpoints, the Volume Snapshot Service (VSS) is used inside Windows virtual machines. Linux virtual machines flush their file system buffers to create a file system consistent checkpoint. If you want to create checkpoints using saved state technology you can still choose to use standard checkpoints for your virtual machine.

6. Hyper-V Manager Improvments

  • Alternate credentials support – you can now use a different set of credentials in Hyper-V manager when connecting to a remote host. You can also choose to save these credentials to make it easier to log on again later.
  • Down-level management – you can now use Hyper-V manager to manage more versions of Hyper-V. With Hyper-V manager in the Windows Server Technical Preview and Windows 10 Technical Preview, you can manage computers running Hyper-V on Windows Server 2012, Windows 8, Windows Server 2012 R2 and Windows 8.1.
  • Updated management protocol – Hyper-V manager has been updated to communicate with remote Hyper-V hosts using the WS-MAN protocol, which permits CredSSP, Kerberos or NTLM authentication. Using CredSSP to connect to a remote Hyper-V host allows you to perform a live migration without first enabling constrained delegation in Active Directory. Moving to the WS-MAN-based infrastructure also simplifies the configuration necessary to enable a host for remote management because WS-MAN connects over port 80, which is open by default.

7. Integration Services will be updated using Windows Update

  • Starting shortly after the release of the Windows Server Technical Preview, updates to integration services for Windows guests will begin being distributed through Windows Update. For service providers and private cloud hosters, this will put control of updates into the hands of the tenants who own the virtual machines. Tenants can now update their Windows virtual machines with all updates, including the integration services, using a single method.

8. Hot add for Memory and Networks Adapters (Been waiting a while for this one)

  • You can now add or remove a Network Adapter while the virtual machine is running, without incurring downtime. This works for generation 2 virtual machines running both Windows and Linux operating systems.
  • You can also adjust the amount of memory assigned to a virtual machine while it is running, even if you haven’t enabled Dynamic Memory.

9.Linux Secure Boot

  • Linux operating systems running on generation 2 virtual machines can now boot with the secure boot option enabled.  Ubuntu 14.04 and later, and SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 12, are enabled for secure boot on hosts running the Technical Preview. Before you boot the virtual machine for the first time, you must specify that the virtual machine should use the Microsoft UEFI Certificate Authority.  At an elevated Windows Powershell prompt, type: Set-VMFirmwarevmname-SecureBootTemplateMicrosoftUEFICertificateAuthority

As you can see quite a lot has been updated and this is just on the Hyper-V side.

I’m looking forward to testing these new features and keeping you all updated on how they work.

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2 thoughts on “Windows Server Technical Preview – Whats New for Hyper-V?

  1. Hot add memory and NICs will be handy as well as the WSUS integration services.

    Do you know if there has bern any improvements with the Hyper-V replica? Native auto failover would be handy.

    Also hoping for improvements on SoFS with support for multisite replication, we use a fairly new Hyperconverged platform so hoping we can improve and our site replica feature.

    • Not heard of any improvment regarding Hyper-V Replica. Though you can achieve Auto failover using either System Center Orchetrator or Azure Site Recovery Manager.
      Reagrding SOFS there is going to be a new feature called storgae replication. This will allow for block-level, synchronous replication between servers for disaster recovery.

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