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I have a windows server 2008 R2, I have an Enterprise license

1) Do I need to activate windows server on each hyper-v server? As if I add a particular role for a server i.e. IIS it will then prompt me for a Web Server key for that hyper-v server. The host server has a Enterprise activation.

2) Do I have to install and run an anti-virus on each virtual machine or will running just on the host server suffice?

3) Similarly with above, do Windows updates need to be applied to each hyper-b server or just the host?

4) Are hyper-v snapshots backups (images) than can be restored?

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6 Answers 6

2) Do I have to install and run an anti-virus on each virtual machine or will running just on the host server suffice?

3) Similarly with above, do Windows updates need to be applied to each hyper-b server or just the host?

To both: Yes. Each guest is a separate Windows instance and needs to be treated as such.

(Theoretically an anti-malware toolset could be "VHD" aware and work from the host, but I have not heard of any such tool being created: it would need to provide its own file-system drivers and handle the concurrent usage in a safe way: not an easy thing to create reliably)

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So i guess on that basis the same goes for the license keys? –  asn187 Dec 7 '09 at 12:17
    
asn187: that actually depends. By default, yes, you have to get a license for anything you install, each time--regardless of host/vm/etc. However, some licenses are per processor or per host. Our HyperV machine's license (Data Center) allows us to install as many MS Server OS's as we want on that machine. Obviously there's a practical limit of how many machines we can run at the same time... –  Michael Haren Dec 7 '09 at 13:54
    
See my answer regarding licensing. –  Chris Marisic Dec 7 '09 at 14:09

1) Do I need to activate windows server on each hyper-v server? As if I add a particular role for a server i.e. IIS it will then prompt me for a Web Server key for that hyper-v server. The host server has a Enterprise activation.

Windows 2008 Enterprise with Hyper-V license comes with an inclusion for up to 4 operating systems plus the hypervisor itself. What this means is if you install the server and configure the physical instance to run absolutely nothing other than Windows itself and Hyper-V you may then install up to 4 guest instances of Windows 2008 in any flavor that is Enterprise level or lower (ie you can't install Datacenter editions with it).

If you use the hypervisor installation for any other roles, such as running an active directory domain controller etc you will then only be able to install 3 guest OS's without needing additional licenses.

This is more of an assumption but I would assume when you activiate each copy of windows 2008 you install as a guest OS you just use the same key they provided, otherwise there will need to be some kind of web interface that will generate keys for you and should have been included with the documentation on how to access it.

Also remember any server that is running Hyper-V can install an infinite number of operating systems until system resources become the limiting factor as long as you have licenses for them. So if you have an older Win2k3 server and want to virtualize it, you can. And still have the 4 licenses from Windows 2008.

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Perfect thank you Chris, I shall proceed with using the same key –  asn187 Dec 8 '09 at 9:32

4) Are hyper-v snapshots backups (images) than can be restored?

You're corect in that you can take a snapshot and then roll back to undo changes, but I absolutely would not treat snapshots as your only backup solution. They can save you a good chunk of time, but remember that you still need to protect yourself from physical defect, disaster, or corruption of your VM with a distinct backup (preferably including an offsite copy).

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1) Do I need to activate windows server on each hyper-v server? As if I add a particular role for a server i.e. IIS it will then prompt me for a Web Server key for that hyper-v server. The host server has a Enterprise activation.

Yes, each VM must be licensed individually. However, you can often get a nice license for the host which includes additional keys for additional VMs running on that host. This can get complicated so read the licensing rules carefully.

2) Do I have to install and run an anti-virus on each virtual machine or will running just on the host server suffice?

3) Similarly with above, do Windows updates need to be applied to each hyper-b server or just the host?

Yes, each VM is an isolated machine, just like a regular server. As such, it must be maintained individually with its own install (and license) of virus scanners and windows updates.

Backups are a little different logistically. If you have specific files you want to backup, you can do that like you would for any server. If you have ample backup space, though, you could just backup the entire image. Which leads me to...

4) Are hyper-v snapshots backups (images) than can be restored?

A VM is really just a virtual harddrive (the huge .vhd file) and some config (the little files). Really all you should need are those two things. If you care about running state (the ability to restore a machine that was booted) you have to capture an additional file or two.

The easiest way to do a one-time backup is via Export, or by just copying the machine's files while the VM is shutdown. I wouldn't use a snapshot because they have long-term performance issues if not cleaned up properly. They have a place--for patching, etc.--but they're not designed for regular, off-machine backups.

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Thats perfect, I have also read that snapshots are not a full backup of all files. Essentially, as you say the best way is to power down and copy the vhd etc. Thank you –  asn187 Dec 8 '09 at 9:35

Im going out on a limb here, not knowing how Microsoft hyper-v works.

But in XenServer the visor and the vm are totaly separate. Meaning you will have to have antivirus inside and outside aswell install updates outside and inside.

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I have a windows server 2008 R2, I have an Enterprise license

1) Do I need to activate windows server on each hyper-v server? As if I add a particular role for a server i.e. IIS it will then prompt me for a Web Server key for that hyper-v server. The host server has a Enterprise activation.

If you want to maximize your dollar value, go with datacenter...you get unlimited (well up to 192 with current processors) licenses for VM instances with a per-processor license of Datacenter edition. You still have to purchase Client Licenses for any server that uses AD for user access outside of administration, but you're definitely saving on server licensing costs.

What's all the rave these days is buying a multi-socket, multi-core (BTW Windows Datacenter is licensed per socket not core) machine with a crap ton of RAM to virtualize your entire datacenter for example, check out this Nehalem based Sun Fire (up to 24 cores, and 256 GB RAM in a 2U machine)

The Datacenter SKU comes with a Volume License Key...although it does require activation, you won't exhaust activations as quickly as you will with non-VL keys. You also get downgrade rights so you can run any supported version of windows your heart desires.

2) Do I have to install and run an anti-virus on each virtual machine or will running just on the host server suffice?

3) Similarly with above, do Windows updates need to be applied to each hyper-b server or just the host?

Most anti-virus solutions need to be applied directly on the guest machines. (I would say all but there might be something I'm not aware of). Microsoft Forefront I believe has a per socket licensing plan that let's you pay a single price to cover all of your VMs (don't quote me on that but I do recall seeing this somewhere).

Windows updates need to be applied per guest as well...this is a good thing because it allows you to selectively apply updates (in case one or more might create conflicts with the software on a particular VM).

4) Are hyper-v snapshots backups (images) than can be restored?

For backups, I would suggest actually making a backup of the full VHD. Snapshots are more or less a convenience feature to enable you to easily roll-back the state of your VM (great for lab or testing environments).

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