Linux Integration Services 4.0.11 released for Hyper-V

Microsoft just released and update for Linux integration tools.
The new integration tools are available for download here

The integration tools allow running of the supported Linux distributions on the following platforms:

  • Windows Server 2008 R2 (applicable editions)
  • Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2008 R2
  • Windows 8 Pro, 8.1 Pro, 10 and 10 Pro
  • Windows Server 2012 and 2012 R2
  • Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2012 and 2012 R2
  • Windows Server Technical Preview
  • Microsoft Hyper-V Server Technical Preview
  • Microsoft Azure

The new integration tools add support for the following Linux releases:

  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.5-5.11 32-bit, 32-bit PAE, and 64-bit
  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.0-6.7 32-bit and 64-bit
  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.0-7.1 64-bit
  • CentOS 5.5-5.11 32-bit, 32-bit PAE, and 64-bit
  • CentOS 6.0-6.7 32-bit and 64-bit
  • CentOS 7.0-7.1 64-bit
  • Oracle Linux 6.4-6.7 with Red Hat Compatible Kernel 32-bit and 64-bit
  • Oracle Linux 7.0-7.1 with Red Hat Compatible Kernel 64-bit

Also remember that many Linux distributions already have Integration tools included with them and there is no need for a separate install.
You can find the list of supported Linux versions over here.

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Hyper-V Integration Services – Guest Services

In Hyper-V 2012r2 a new integration service has been added called Guest services.

guest_services

By default the new service is unchecked. but what can we do with it?

Guest Services provides the ability to copy files into running VM’s without accessing any virtual network connections those VM’s may have.  This means that we can copy and update files inside VM’s even in situations where those VM’s are disconnected from virtual networks, are connected to Private virtual network switches, or are located on networks that are isolated from the underlying host.
Instead of using virtual network switch connections and shared folders to transfer files into each VM, Guest Services instead copies the files across the Hyper-V Virtual Machine Bus (VMBus) to which each VM is connected for high-speed host device driver access.  By leveraging the VMBus for file copies, Guest Services makes it really easy to keep files inside VM’s up-to-date regardless of the state of VM network connectivity.
After being enabled you can use the copy-vm powershell command to copy file directly in to running VM’s.

Hyper-V 2012R2 Extended Linux Support

In every release of Hyper-V Microsoft has improved support for Linux.
The support of Linux is being improved in Hyper-V 2012R2 with the following features:

  1. Linux Synthetic Frame Buffer driver – Provides enhanced graphics performance and superior resolution for Linux desktop users.
  2. Linux Dynamic memory support – Provides higher virtual machine density/host for Linux hosters.
  3. Live Virtual Machine Backup support – Provisions uninterrupted backup support for live Linux virtual machines.
  4. Dynamic expansion of fixed size Linux VHDs – Allows expansion of live mounted fixed sized Linux VHDs.
  5. Kdump/kexec support for Linux virtual machines – Allow creating kernel dumps of Linux virtual machines.
  6. NMI (Non-Maskable Interrupt) support for Linux virtual machines – Allows delivery of manually triggered interrupts to Linux virtual machines running on Hyper-V.
  7. Specification of Memory Mapped I/O (MMIO) gap – Provides fine grained control over available RAM for virtual appliance manufacturers.

In a nutshell what this means is that you can have dynamic memory working on Virtual Linux Machines, perform live backups of the Linux VM’s without pausing or interrupting the activity of the servers, dynamically enlarge VM disks without interrupting the VM and more.

This basically means that you can run Linux VM’s in a hyper-V environment with the same features as Windows provisioned VM’s.
I can’t wait to see all those virtual appliances out there being customised for Hyper-V.