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I recently installed the Hyper-V role on a Windows Server 2008 R2 system. As I installed and configured the role, it asked me which Network Adapters I would allow it to use, and I had to check the one-and-only box, because only one adapter is installed.

The setup process recommended I reserve a network adapter for remote access. I was under the impression that this was because it would use the adapters exclusively for the VMs and I would not be able to Remote Desktop in at all!

Well it turns out my virtual machines run great and I can remote into the Hyper-V host no problem. So were they just being conservative, and suggesting I don't waste bandwidth (that the VMs could be using) by having Hyper-V support a Remote Desktop session? At least the adapter I have installed is gigabit.

I do have a dual port Intel Gigabit Lan adapter I could steal from an unused server and swap in. But my "enterprise" is only hobby-sized (40 anonymous web visits per day, VMs generally used only for email, customer testing of web apps, and development). So I don't think it would matter. And is replacing a network card in a Hyper-V host a pain?

What do you think? Is it a big deal not to reserve a network adapter as Hyper-V recommends?

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up vote 4 down vote accepted

For that load, probably not a problem. On a system with many guests maxed out on capacity where contention is an issue, this is almost certainly not a "best practice".

I reckon MS does not consider the requirement for a dedicated adapter significant because most system boards come with dual adapters. And network adapter cards are inexpensive. (Available slots are more expensive than network adapters).

The real issue is you are off the reservation with this setup. If there were some weird problem with no documented solution, MS support would probably recommend that you install a dedicated adapter. If you have a spare slot, I would not have too much anxiety. Reconfiguring the network is not that involved.

It could be worse. Try getting it to work with a wireless adapter. Not supported (not sure about R2 but in 2008 it is not). I made it work anyway. The interesting thing is the final solution was trivial, but there are a lot of planet crackpot articles on how to make it work.

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Sounds reasonable. Thank you. –  Chris Oct 3 '09 at 17:02
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+1 planet crackpot articles - so true about most stuff that in the end turns out trivial ^^ –  Oskar Duveborn Oct 3 '09 at 17:03

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