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I've installed and am getting familiar with the free Hyper-V Server 2008 R2, but I'm having trouble figuring out how to perform local management of VHDs from the command line. The built in command line tools seem to only configure the host OS, but not allow mounting / managing of VHDs.

Does this product require another machine to manage it remotely? Are there built-in command line tools which allow this sort of management? Are there freely available tools which do?

NOTE: this is not Windows Server 2008 R2, this is the standalone Hyper-V Server 2008 R2.

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I was hoping to avoid having Hyper-V enabled on other non-Host boxes esp. since it really messes with the graphics performance. – McKAMEY Mar 7 '10 at 16:34
up vote 2 down vote accepted

Stand alone Hyper-V Server is meant to be remotely managed, just as VMware's ESXi is. The local console has quite a lot of (potential) functionality but it is based on Windows Server 2008 Core (to some degree at least - Microsoft are quite adamant that this is not a "Windows" OS) and much of the local functionality is either disabled or not installed by default because of the focus on remote\centralised management (via SCVMM,RSAT etc). That focus makes sense - systems like Hyper-V Server are intended for use in environments where everything is remotely managed, it's highly unlikely that you will be seriously running these headless Hypervisors in an environment where you don't have a suitable system where you can install the remote management tools.

That said it is possible to enable PowerShell locally on Hyper-V Server 2008 R2 and with that you get the ability to do most of what I think you want to do. You will probably need to install additional components in order to extend the standard functionality and allow you to create and manage VM's, manage storage and virtual networking. There are probably other ways to do this too as all of the functionality you are looking for is available programatically via WMI.

So to answer your question, no a remote machine is not required but you will have to jump through some hoops.

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Thanks for the link! That looks like it might be exactly what I need. It makes sense that they wouldn't make it an easily compelling alternative to Win2K8. I'm okay with jumping through hoops, to try this out without needing to invest a ton in licensing before I'm really sold. – McKAMEY Mar 7 '10 at 16:38
The other potentially low cost option is the client based RSAT tools for Windows 7 (… ). I don't know if this version of RSAT will work with Vista or if you have to use the earlier Vista version but it will not work on XP or earlier. – Helvick Mar 7 '10 at 17:27
Once PowerShell is enabled, the PowerShell Management Library for Hyper-V appears to be the next step. – McKAMEY Mar 7 '10 at 19:27

Hyper-V Server (unlike Windows 2008 with Hyper-V) requires a remote machine - you run Hyper-V Manager on the remote machine and point it at the Hyper-V Server and do your management that way. The remote machine doesn't have to be a server - you can use Vista or Windows 7.

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This makes sense, esp. since it is a free offering. – McKAMEY Mar 7 '10 at 16:34
+1 for recommending the use of Hyper V manager from a Windows 7 machine. I do this all the time and it works great. – Chris Magnuson Oct 16 '10 at 18:04

If you enable PowerShell and remote management from the Hyper-V Server command-line utility, you can then use PowerGUI with the Hyper-V PowerPack to manage VMs/VHDs:

  1. Download PowerGUI
  2. Import the Hyper-V PowerPack
  3. Watch the Hyper-V PowerPack demonstration video
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