I know that adding the Hyper-V role to a Small Business Server 2008 installation is not supported as stated by Microsoft Support (KB 958829). I'm aware that I can use Virtual Server 2005 to host my testing virtual machines on SBS 2008 if I have to.

Nevertheless I was wondering if anyone has been able to fix the resulting networking issue (DHCP binding to the virtual adapter instead of the real adaptor) to allow for this very appealing scenario to work?

Does anyone know if a Windows Server 2008 R2-based version of SBS 2008 will not have this Hyper-V role limitation?


We've put Hyper-V on SBS. In these days where servers are ridiculously powerful it seems an obvious option and we've found it to work just fine as long as you don't run anything too heavy in the VMs.

We use Dells that have two NICs built in. We set up SBS with NIC2 disabled. Once it's all working enable NIC2 then install Hyper-V (and reboot). Now create a Hyper-V network on NIC2, then on the host disable the resulting synthetic NIC.

So the host now has NIC1 untouched by Hyper-V and used for the normal SBS operations, and a disabled synthetic NIC. DHCP and indeed all aspects of SBS work fine. The VMs use the virtual network on NIC2. Disabling the synthetic NIC on the host does not affect the VMs.


  • Sounds reasonable. So far I haven't been able to reproduce your results though - all seems well, but I only get local network connection in the guest VM. BTW, what do you mean exactly when you say 'We setup up SBS with NIC2 disabled'? Do you mean not having it installed in the box? I don't know how to disable it while running the SBS installer otherwise. – Philipp Schmid Jul 13 '09 at 13:25
  • I finally got it working (accepting the answer now). This is a great find - thank you for your contribution! – Philipp Schmid Jul 22 '09 at 19:32

We've done the reverse.... install a system with hyper-v and then virtualized sbs. This has the disadvantage that the usb disk backup and ms fax server are not supported (both for the same reason - lack of usb support in hyper-v) but it works just fine.

We've only done this in networks where we've had DCs on other boxes, otherwise the hyper-v machine boots and doesn't see a Dc until it boots it sbs client... not exactly desirable.


  • I've no reason to suppose this wouldn't work perfectly. My only concern is that MS would refuse to support it. I suppose that while I can make SBS 2k3 sing and dance I don't feel as comfortable with 2k8 yet, so potential problems with MS support make me nervous. Give it 18 months (and another generation of servers!) and I'm sure we'll all be virtualising SBS quite routinely. – John Rennie Jul 14 '09 at 5:39

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