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If you've been using Windows Server for a while, then you are certainly familiar with Windows Server Core (which offers many advantages such as reduced attack surface, minimized downtime, reduced consumption of resources etc.) and standalone version of Hyper-V Server, available for download from Microsoft website free of charge.

However, if you decide to run Server core or standalone version of Hyper-V Server you'll need to do a lot of work to configure and be able to manage your servers. Windows Server core comes without GUI and is not easily manageable without sufficient scripting skills or heavy investing in SCVMM, which can be prohibitive for price-sensitive smaller businesses because of the licensing costs. Remote Server Administration Tools are free, but doesn't allow to manage newer versions of Hyper-V Server from the previous operating systems. This means what you'll be forced to use a combination of tools/command lines to manage servers on day-to-day basis constantly figuring out that went wrong and how to fix it (remotely of course, as local management is not available in most cases). Not every small and medium shop have an expertise like that to be able to keep running smoothly in case of software and hardware problems.
There are other possibilities to manage Windows Sever core and Hyper-V Server. You might want to look at VT Technology Management Utilities ( vtUtilities) for Hyper-V.
http://vttechnology.com/Products/vtUtilities

#Hyperv   #windowsserver   #windowsserver2012r2   #virtualization   #microsoft   #vtutilities  

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How to use Hyper-V and Failover Clustering with vtUtilities:
A goal of this article is to introduce new functionality implemented in VT Technology Management Utilities for Hyper-V (vtUtilities) version 3.2 that greatly simplifies management of Microsoft Hyper-V on environments configured for high availability with Microsoft Failover Clustering. This version of vtUtilities does not support ‘bare metal’ storage and cluster provisioning yet, so you will need to follow steps outlined here: https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc732181(v=ws.10).aspx to configure your storage and create cluster. The rest of this article will show how vtUtilities can be used to create and manage highly available Hyper-V resources such as virtual machines and Hyper-V Replica Broker.
https://vttechnology.com/Customer/Support/Hyper-V-Failover-Clustering …

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vtUtilities for Hyper-V
VT Technology Management Utilities for Hyper-V (http://vtutilities.com) can be used to manage Microsoft Hyper-V  from Windows 7 and Windows 8 and support all recent versions of free/core Hyper-V Server (Hyper-V Server 2008, 2012, 2012 R2).

Easy to navigate GUI provides a view into the performance of the virtual environment, lets you start, stop, create and interact with virtual machines. With vtUtilities you can change and read VM's settings, see host and guests performance data, configure virtual networks and virtual hard disks, create snapshots, configure, start and monitor replication.

Additional information 
Tutorials https://vttechnology.com/Customer/Support/Tutorials
Virtualize your data center on a budget with free Hyper-V Server and vtUtilities
http://blog.vttechnology.com/2014/11/virtualize-your-data-center-on-budget.html
Simplified Management for Microsoft Free Hyper-V Server
http://blog.vttechnology.com/2014/05/simplified-management-for-microsoft.html
#vtutilities   #hyperv   #windowsserver2012r2   #windowsserver   #virtualization  

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Virtualize your data center on a budget with free Hyper-V Server and vtUtilities
In resent years Windows Server has become the leading virtualization platform offering world class features, reliability and great performance helping to transform existing infrastructures into modern setups. Latest enhancements introduced in Windows Server 2012 R2 have made it possible for small businesses to build an enterprise-level virtual environment on a very modest budget.

The sysadmins planning to use Windows Server as their virtualization platform may choose between two ways of having a Hyper-V in their data center: installing it as a role on top of Windows Server   or simply downloading and installing standalone version of Hyper-V Server.

The affordability can significantly increase if organizations were using Hyper-V Server, which is completely free. Hyper-V Server is an ideal choice for many data centers, because it makes possible to virtualize existing physical servers that are already licensed absolutely free by hosting them on Hyper-V Server, which doesn't require an additional license.

Aside from licensing standpoint, standalone Hyper-V Server has many benefits to offer, but can be difficult to manage in some situations.

In contrast with Windows Server edition, Hyper-V Server does not include the Hyper-V Manager console and doesn't allow changing Hyper-V settings, except for basic configuration tasks via command line interface.

Of course you can manage Hyper-V by using System Center Virtual Machine Manager, but this option is quite expensive and kind of defeats the purpose. PowerShell is good if you want to do things at large scale, requires a great deal of understanding of the subject and may be quite difficult for sysadmins being new to the Hyper-V world.  One more option is to run Hyper-V Manager remotely, but there is no way you can do it locally in case you wanted to troubleshoot your setup in an emergency type situation.  RSAT also doesn't allow to manage some versions of Hyper-V Server from the older operating systems, so if you are still running Windows 7 and planning to virtualize with Hyper-V Server 2012 R2, you're out of luck.

vtUtilities as a management tool for Hyper-V: 
http://vttechnology.com/Products/vtUtilities

To avoid a painful task of dealing with command-line interface, learning scripting with PowerShell, or paying a small fortune for SCVMM, we recommend VT Technology Management Utilities for Hyper-V. vtUtilities have a powerful collection of features which caters to all your virtualized infrastructure  needs. With a license priced only $120 per host, vtUtilities  is a sensible choice what can outrun all the mentioned above management options for Hyper-V. The low cost of the tool can be easily justified in small to medium environments, including setups for personal use.

After downloading and installing vtUtilities you'll get the full GUI with functionality level similar to Hyper-V Manager, options to choose local or remote management, monitor health of the Hyper-V host and guests. The tool enables an easy access to Hyper-V event logs and virtual machine jobs history providing diagnostic and troubleshooting options to the user. There are also all kind of extras what can help you to cut your workload and run your data center daily tasks more efficiently.


vtUtilities deliver GUI for:

Replication, including support for extended replica
Guest migration
VHDX
Virtual Fibre Channel Adapters
Virtual network management (including the management of virtual connections and bindings)
Advanced virtual switch management, including port-level access control
File system views and operations
Guest configuration management, including support of Gen 2 virtual machines
Server manager view
New virtual machine wizard, Import virtual machine wizard
Hyper-V settings management
Diagnostic and troubleshooting, including real-time performance monitoring of host and guests, access to Hyper-V event log and asynchronous Hyper-V tasks history.
Advantages of the vtUtilities

vtUtilities allow management and monitoring of virtual machines, virtual hard disks and networks on both local and remote Hyper-V servers.

vtUtilities eliminate the requirement for an additional Windows license when used to manage free Microsoft Hyper-V Server locally.

The features that make vtUtilities unique are the product's ability to manage different versions of Hyper-V from centralized management console, including non-compatible versions and operating systems:

vtUtilities can be used for remote management of different versions of Hyper-V from a single application, adjusting to the features supported by managed version. With vtUtilities you can manage Hyper-V Server 2012 R2 while still having a full access to Windows Server 2008 R2 and Windows Server 2012.
vtUtilities allow local and remote management of Hyper-V Server 2008 R2 and Hyper-V Server 2012 / 2012 R2 not only from Windows 8 / 8.1 but from Windows 7 as well.

#vtutilities   #hyperv   #virtualnetwork   #virtualization   #windowsserver   #windowsserver2012r2  

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Virtualize your data center on a budget with free Hyper-V Server and vtUtilities
In resent years Windows Server has become the leading virtualization platform offering world class features, reliability and great performance helping to transform existing infrastructures into modern setups. Latest enhancements introduced in Windows Server 2012 R2 have made it possible for small businesses to build an enterprise-level virtual environment on a very modest budget.

The sysadmins planning to use Windows Server as their virtualization platform may choose between two ways of having a Hyper-V in their data center: installing it as a role on top of Windows Server   or simply downloading and installing standalone version of Hyper-V Server.

The affordability can significantly increase if organizations were using Hyper-V Server, which is completely free. Hyper-V Server is an ideal choice for many data centers, because it makes possible to virtualize existing physical servers that are already licensed absolutely free by hosting them on Hyper-V Server, which doesn't require an additional license.

Aside from licensing standpoint, standalone Hyper-V Server has many benefits to offer, but can be difficult to manage in some situations.

In contrast with Windows Server edition, Hyper-V Server does not include the Hyper-V Manager console and doesn't allow changing Hyper-V settings, except for basic configuration tasks via command line interface.

Of course you can manage Hyper-V by using System Center Virtual Machine Manager, but this option is quite expensive and kind of defeats the purpose. PowerShell is good if you want to do things at large scale, requires a great deal of understanding of the subject and may be quite difficult for sysadmins being new to the Hyper-V world.  One more option is to run Hyper-V Manager remotely, but there is no way you can do it locally in case you wanted to troubleshoot your setup in an emergency type situation.  RSAT also doesn't allow to manage some versions of Hyper-V Server from the older operating systems, so if you are still running Windows 7 and planning to virtualize with Hyper-V Server 2012 R2, you're out of luck.

vtUtilities as a management tool for Hyper-V: 
http://vttechnology.com/Products/vtUtilities

To avoid a painful task of dealing with command-line interface, learning scripting with PowerShell, or paying a small fortune for SCVMM, we recommend VT Technology Management Utilities for Hyper-V. vtUtilities have a powerful collection of features which caters to all your virtualized infrastructure  needs. With a license priced only $120 per host, vtUtilities  is a sensible choice what can outrun all the mentioned above management options for Hyper-V. The low cost of the tool can be easily justified in small to medium environments, including setups for personal use.

After downloading and installing vtUtilities you'll get the full GUI with functionality level similar to Hyper-V Manager, options to choose local or remote management, monitor health of the Hyper-V host and guests. The tool enables an easy access to Hyper-V event logs and virtual machine jobs history providing diagnostic and troubleshooting options to the user. There are also all kind of extras what can help you to cut your workload and run your data center daily tasks more efficiently.


vtUtilities deliver GUI for:

Replication, including support for extended replica
Guest migration
VHDX
Virtual Fibre Channel Adapters
Virtual network management (including the management of virtual connections and bindings)
Advanced virtual switch management, including port-level access control
File system views and operations
Guest configuration management, including support of Gen 2 virtual machines
Server manager view
New virtual machine wizard, Import virtual machine wizard
Hyper-V settings management
Diagnostic and troubleshooting, including real-time performance monitoring of host and guests, access to Hyper-V event log and asynchronous Hyper-V tasks history.
Advantages of the vtUtilities

vtUtilities allow management and monitoring of virtual machines, virtual hard disks and networks on both local and remote Hyper-V servers.

vtUtilities eliminate the requirement for an additional Windows license when used to manage free Microsoft Hyper-V Server locally.

The features that make vtUtilities unique are the product's ability to manage different versions of Hyper-V from centralized management console, including non-compatible versions and operating systems:

vtUtilities can be used for remote management of different versions of Hyper-V from a single application, adjusting to the features supported by managed version. With vtUtilities you can manage Hyper-V Server 2012 R2 while still having a full access to Windows Server 2008 R2 and Windows Server 2012.
vtUtilities allow local and remote management of Hyper-V Server 2008 R2 and Hyper-V Server 2012 / 2012 R2 not only from Windows 8 / 8.1 but from Windows 7 as well.

#vtutilities   #hyperv   #virtualnetwork   #virtualization   #windowsserver   #windowsserver2012r2  

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Hyper-V Virtual Network Management with vtUtilities
#vtutilities   #hyperv   #virtualnetwork   #virtualization   #windowsserver   #windowsserver2012r2  

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VT Technology Management Utilities for Hyper-V
vtUtilities   https://vttechnology.com/Products/vtUtilities  provide a local GUI to manage Hyper-V. Hyper-V is supported on Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Server 2012 / 2012 R2, as well as on Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2008 R2 and Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2012 / 2012 R2, which are Microsoft standalone free hypervisor products.

vtUtilities deliver functionality level similar to Microsoft Hyper-V Manager, while it can run on environments where Hyper-V Manager is not supported such as core installations of Windows Server and standalone free Hyper-V Server.

vtUtilities can be also used for remote management of different versions of Hyper-V (i.e. Hyper-V on Windows Server 2008 R2 and Windows Server 2012 / 2012 R2) from a single application. In this scenario functionality and GUI will be adjusted to reflect the features supported by managed Hyper-V version.

vtUtilities provide GUI for all new features introduced in Windows Server 2012 / 2012 R2 such as Hyper-V replica and extended replication, guest live migration, VHDX, virtual Fibre Channel adapters, generation 2 virtual machines and Hyper-V virtual networking enhancements.

 In addition to the Hyper-V management functionality, vtUtilities also implement GUI allowing connecting to the virtual machine console. This is an important factor when managing or troubleshooting virtualization environments on GUI-less hosts when local management utilizing command line interface (PowerShell) or remote management is difficult or even not feasible.

vtUtilities do not extend a potential attack surface on managed Hyper-V hosts and do not install or require any additional components.

Source: https://vttechnology.com/Customer/Support/Hyper-V-Management-and-Diagnostic

#hyperv   #hypervisor   #windowsserver   #windowsserver2012   #vtutilities   #software  

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Hyper-V Virtual Network Management with vtUtilities
Fully understanding the Hyper-V virtual networking as well as managing the Hyper-V virtual switch to leverage its advanced functionality and follow best practices is a task that even seasoned system administrators may find challenging, partially due to the lack of the management tools that provide a unified view of the physical adapters, virtual networks/switches and Windows network connections.

A goal of this article is to introduce virtual network management functionality implemented in VT Technology Management Utilities for Hyper-V (vtUtilities) as well to demonstrate how it can be used to troubleshoot common virtual network management issues such as fixing connection binding for virtual adapters. We will also review some advanced virtual network switch features that can be easily accessed using vtUtilities virtual network manager.

Virtual Networks, Physical Network Adapters and Windows Network Connections
Hyper-V creates software-based or virtual network switch for each virtual network type created on the host (i.e. private, internal or external), see ‘Virtual Switch Management’ section below for more information. Virtual network ports can be added or removed dynamically when virtual machines are connected or removed from a corresponding virtual network on a host. Hyper-V also creates additional components in the parent partition for ‘internal’ and ‘external’ (when host OS is allowed to share corresponding physical adapter) virtual networks: virtual network adapters connected to the virtual switch that allow host to communicate through the virtual network. In last case host virtual and/or physical adapter network connections will be reconfigured with the default bindings or Microsoft Virtual Network Switch protocol binding when appropriate. Screens below illustrate how private, internal and external virtual networks with their corresponding physical adapters and network connections are represented in the vtUtilities Virtual Network Manager.

#hyperv   #hypervisor   #windowsserver   #windowsserver2012   #vtutilities   #software  
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