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Hyper-V on Windows Server Essentials 2012 R2 Question


Jason
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If you're using Essentials and want to use HyperV... then make sure you have TWO network adapters on the computer. And one dedicated to HyperV. Otherwise, having RRAS (VPN/directAccess) installed on the same system as HyperV, and using the "Allow host to manage adapter" option causes the VMs to hang on shutdown. As in 20-30 minutes to shut down. So, two NICs. (But that's recommended for HyperV anyways)

Drashna, am finally going to blow away my WSE12 OS and install WSE12R2 this weekend. One of primary motivations is to use Hyper-V. Do I understand correctly that I should setup in this specific order?

 

1.) install R2

2.) Add Hyper-V role

3.) dedicate a separate NIC to Hyper-V

4.) UNCHECK "Allow host to manage adapter" (or will interfere with RWA setup)

5.) configure Remote Access

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Drashna, am finally going to blow away my WSE12 OS and install WSE12R2 this weekend. One of primary motivations is to use Hyper-V. Do I understand correctly that I should setup in this specific order?

 

1.) install R2

2.) Add Hyper-V role

3.) dedicate a separate NIC to Hyper-V

4.) UNCHECK "Allow host to manage adapter" (or will interfere with RWA setup)

5.) configure Remote Access

Yes, Pretty much.

 

It doesn't have to be in that exact order, but that "uncheck" part needs to be before you start any VMs (or you'll have that issue shutting them down)

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Thanks. I used Disk2Vhd to create a VHD disk of my VMWare Workstation VM then added it to a new Hyper-V VM. Booted right up then uninstalled VMWare Tools and installed Integration Services. It's a Win 7 x64 VM that hosts my Plex Media Server. So far, this same VM under Hyper-V seems to perform much better. Lower CPU utilization and RAM usage. Also seems to handle multiple concurrent client sessions without hiccups even when virtual 4 core CPU is pegged at 100% for brief moments during transcoding.

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VMWare Workstation is a software hypervisor (type 2 I think), while HyperV is a bare metal hypervisor (type 1, I think). That means you absolutely should see better performance on HyperV. Less in between the guest OS and actual hardware.

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Good to know. As you stated, I the performance improvement is apparent even when the guest OS is idling. Truly sits at 0%. But certainly seems to take advantage of my 32 GB RAM and i5-3570K much more which is great. Even like how Hyper-V starts, saves or shuts down guest OS on boot/shutdown. Do you recommend a fixed RAM allowance or dynamic? Currently running Plex media center w 4 GB RAM and 4 virtual cores.

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Yeah, definitely. But that's the advantage of accessing hardware much more directly. :)

 

And yeah, the automatic shutdown and startup options are awesome. And did you notice you can stagger the start? There is a "wait X seconds" option. Great for preventing the system from getting swamped during startup! :)

 

 

As for memory allocation, it depends on the system. For testing, I "static allocate" 2GBs to the machine. For production... it depends. On a HTPC VM, I'd recommend dynamic allocation. Startup of 2GBs, and limit to ~6GBs. media stuff, especially plex, can be memory hungry.  I do this for my "Work VM" but with an upper limit of 4GBs. It works very well, and is very responsive. And this way, you can run more VMs at once. 

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Drashna, sorry for so many questions.  Am loving Hyper-V so far.  Do you include your Hyper-V VM folder in your Server Backup routine?  Anything special that needs to be done in order to do this or just check the box for the virtual machine folder and it makes the necessary shadow copies, etc?

 

So far, I'm running only 2 VMs:

1.) Plex Media Server, Win 7 x64 SP1, 4 GB RAM, 4 virtual cores, no antivirus

2.) Utorrent Server, Win 7 x64 SP1, 2 GB RAM, 2 virtual cores, need antivirus

 

I've not figured out which antivirus (if any) to install within these VMs?  Also, I've not migrated Sickbeard or Sabnzbd over to either VM (yet).  Currently they're running on my host OS.  I know sabnzbd performs better with direct disk access.  Would you move those into a VM also?

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No, I don't backup the drive that HyperV is on.

 

When you configure Server Backup, the "Add Items" section allows you to backup the HyperV role in a special way. It lists the "Host Component" and all the VMs. This allows Server Backup to backup the VMs:

http://virtualizationreview.com/blogs/virtual-insider/2013/02/back-up-hyper-v-vms.aspx

 

As for uTorrent, it does support commands after completion, so you could set up a command line scan. Which isn't a bad idea.

 

As for sabnzdb, I have a dedicated "temp" partition for both it and torrents. And I run both on the server, because it's easier for managing. But it's a bad practice and both should be run in a VM. As for disk access, if you have the "space" for it, you can pass disks through to the VMs, which would be better for performance. That or use a fixed size VHD(x) file.

 

 

 

As for antivirus, I've always been partial to ESET. From what I've seen, they're consistently in the top 5, they offer pretty good prices, they have always offered a "WHS" version that doesn't complain about being on a server OS, and their scanner runs pretty light weight and doesn't interfere/conflict with StableBit DrivePool.  Though for Server 2012, you'd want to get the File Server version. It's slightly more expensive than NOD32, but works pretty much  the same. (NOD32 won't install because it's a Server OS)

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When you configure Server Backup, the "Add Items" section allows you to backup the HyperV role in a special way. It lists the "Host Component" and all the VMs. This allows Server Backup to backup the VMs:

http://virtualizationreview.com/blogs/virtual-insider/2013/02/back-up-hyper-v-vms.aspx

 

As for antivirus, I've always been partial to ESET. From what I've seen, they're consistently in the top 5, they offer pretty good prices, they have always offered a "WHS" version that doesn't complain about being on a server OS, and their scanner runs pretty light weight and doesn't interfere/conflict with StableBit DrivePool.  Though for Server 2012, you'd want to get the File Server version. It's slightly more expensive than NOD32, but works pretty much  the same. (NOD32 won't install because it's a Server OS)

 

Wasn't aware of that Hyper-V VM backup option.  Very cool.  So you suggest bypassing the WSE12R2 Dashboard for configuring the Server Backup and using that method instead (and including Hyper-V), correct?

 

Also, in past, I've run EVERYTHING directly on my WSE12 server without issue.  Though I've wanted to move to Hyper-V all along and vowed not to setup my server the same once I moved to R2.  Now that I'm there, I've isolated uTorrent within its own VM that reads/writes to a file share on the Host OS.  The Host OS of course is running AVG File Server 2013.  I am in need of an AV client for within my Plex Media Server and uTorrent VMs (they're separate from one another) and may look at NOD32.

 

BTW - has anyone else noticed Homeservershow forums aren't currently accessible from Tapatalk iOS app?  Other forums are.  This started early this morning.

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Yeah, I believe it's there in earlier versions of Server... but disabled.  In 2012, it's there, enabled by default, works well in my experience.

 

And yes, always configured from the console over the dashboard when you can. A lot more options. And the dashboard just links into the service for a basic setup.

 

 

And yes, I can repro that tapatalk issue on android.  That, and a LOT of cloudflare anti-DDOS screans lately. :(

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