I'm using Hyper-V remote management from a management/file server to control 3 Hyper-V core servers. Now I want to store all the virtual disks and virtual machines on a SMB share on the management server. Currently all the servers are in a workgroup, my question is, is the correct way of doing this to create an AD on the management server, join it with the core servers and then create the SMB shares?

EDIT: Now I've created an AD and joined with one of the core servers. I've then added the core server computer to the permissions of the share but I get a General access denied error when trying to create a virtual disk using the share in Hyper-V management?

Thanks in advance!

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    Aren't you mixing up SAN and NAS ? SAN are block device and you will not be able to access then through SMB – Stephane May 24 '13 at 8:49
  • Sorry, it's the naming from the company. It's basiclly just a 2012 server in development meant with SMB shares to store the virtual machines and do the management from. – user172571 May 24 '13 at 8:57

While you could potentially make hyper-v use a domain account for its service account and do this, it's highly inadvisable to use an SMB (or CIFS) share as a backing store for your virtual disks. You will experience horrible performance and reliability (how many times have you seen a long file transfer fail over SMB?). Usually if there is any significant disk load on the VMs people will set up a fibre channel SAN for this, connected to a controller right on the hypervisor.

To change the service account for hyper-v, you will need to add the account to the host's distributed COM users group, and use azman.msc (the authorization manager MMC snapin) to add the user account to the authorization store which is usually at C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Hyper-V\initialstore.xml. Ensure it has filesystem rights to all the files related to your VMs. Then, you can change the service account for the hyper-v virtual machine management service to the domain account you created.

Microsoft has a guide which includes the steps for this in detail (along with some other steps for setting up hyper-v over a network).

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    We have seen no significant performance drop between iSCSI VHDs and SMB3 VHDs. If this was a 2008/r2 environment using SMB2 (which is inadvisable as MSFTs own best practice for Hyper-V 1/2 was to only use direct attached storage,) then I would agree. But SMB3 is much better performance wise than it's predecessor and as long as the back-end isn't a bunch of SATA disks it should be fine assuming the network has enough bandwidth to handle the extra traffic. Granted it will never be as good as fibre channel but neither can iSCSI or FCoE either, the speed difference is too great. – David V May 24 '13 at 11:05
  • Thanks for answering my question and you have to forgive me, im quite new to windows server. I thought i would clarify a bit. I got a 2012 server that i use hyper-v manager on. I turned it into a DC and then joined with one of the core servers. I created a smb share using shares in the File and Storage Services on the management server. I gave full access to the computer object of the hyper-v server. In addition to that i also delegated CIFS to the hyper-v computer object as described here goo.gl/Hiwmw does that sound about right? In addition to that i should include your instructions? – user172571 May 24 '13 at 12:12
  • I see no reason that shouldn't work. It looks like that tutorial has you granting delegation to the computer instead of using a domain user account, which will be functionally similar. – Falcon Momot May 28 '13 at 10:45

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