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Can someone suggest some good online resources for getting up to speed on Hyper-V technology? I've worked with Virtual Server, and my understanding is that they're fairly different in some respects. What I'm looking for is information that will help me understand and administer Hyper-V systems.

A great answer would either include or point to documents that include the following:

  • A bit of info on the main tools used for administering Hyper-V setups
  • Discussion of some of the basic concepts (e.g. partitions, snapshots)
  • Any interesting similarities to and differences from other virtualization technologies (Virtual Server, VMWare, etc)
  • Some of the more common gotchas

I've found the Wikipedia article on Hyper-V, but it's short on practical discussion.

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Thanks for the responses - I'm still hoping for some good consolidated docs that give a general overview of this stuff. –  Charlie May 14 '09 at 2:24
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6 Answers 6

I've found Hyper-V to be quite intuitive to use. But I've picked up several tips and an appreciation for what is going on "under-the-hood" from the Virtual PC Guy's WebLog. Lately, he has had several informative posts on how snapshots work and their performance implications.

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hypervoria is a good place to start, they mostly link to other places, but they have a pretty good collection of what you're looking for.

John Howard mostly blogs about administering Hyper-V (including getting everything configured to administer it remotely)

If you're running Vista, I suggest getting the Hyper-V gadget.

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Tony Soper has a couple of links to Microsoft's collections of Hyper-V info.

One of the big gotchas that have caused us headaches is using snapshots. They're great, but you have to be very mindful when using them. Some points:

  1. Snapshots are stored as separate files from the VHD.
  2. When you delete a snapshot, it will no longer be listed in the snapshot list, but will still exist on disk. It won't be merged unless the virtual machine is actually shutdown.
  3. If you want to move a VHD without using Export/Import or Virtual Machine Manager, you want to make sure all snapshots have been merged and there are none remaining.

Another point to note is that when Integration Services are installed on Windows machine, the hal.dll may be replaced by a Hyper-V version, so moving the machine to another virtualization host (i.e. Virtual PC 2007), it may not boot since the hardware layer is completely different. We got around this by connecting the VHD to another VM and manually replacing the hal.dll.

I definitely recommend System Center Virtual Machine Manager if you'll have more than one Hyper-V and/or Virtual Server 2005 hosts. It makes things wonderfully easy.

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First read MS virtualization solutions overview http://csna01.libredigital.com/?urmvs17u33 This will give a broad understanding of various virtualization offerings from MS and how Hyper-v fits in to that.

Then, start reading technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc794762(WS.10).aspx for Planning and deployment guidance around Hyper-v. This provides some of the best practices and helps you understand a few Hyper-v concepts well.

And then there are lot of blogs including mine (http://www.ravichaganti.com) giving information on various aspects of Hyper-v technology. I suggest virtual PC guy, James O'neil, Virtual Varia, John Howard, Robert Larson, etc then, if you want in-depth technical knowledge, refer to MSDN documentation

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Tony Voellm is a Test Lead on the Hyper-V team and focuses on Performance. He has a great blog post that talks about monitoring Hyper-V and gauging its performance.

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I don't think there is a shortcut to understanding Hyper-V. Depending on your learning style, you will need to to a lot of reading and hands-on testing to fogire out how to make best use of it within your organization. We have morphed our tactical and strategic approach several times over 5 years. Design it, Deploy it, Use it, Monitor it, then start over.

That said, I suggest you start at TechNet's Getting Business done with Virtualization page. Links to documentation, VZ solutions, blogs, downloads etc.

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Thanks for the ideas. I'm not actually looking for a shortcut, just a good primer and jumping-off point for deeper learning. –  Charlie Sep 6 '11 at 14:50
    
Right - sorry for the assumption. Have fun. We love Hyper-V. –  uSlackr Sep 6 '11 at 16:01
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