What’s New in Hyper-V for Windows Server 2012 R2?

New features in Hyper-V 2012 include:

Shared virtual hard disk

Storage QoS

Virtual machine generation

Enhanced session mode

Automatic virtual machine activation

Shared virtual hard disk:

Hyper-V server 2012 enables clustering of virtual machines possible by making use of shared virtual hard disk files. It is a must to build a highly available infrastructure which helps to manage large workloads. It enables virtual machines to access the same virtual hard disk files (VHDX), which provides shared storage to use for Windows Failover Clustering. It was not possible to cluster virtual machines by making use of shared virtual hard disk in previous versions.

Storage QoS:

This enables to increase storage throughput for virtual hard disks that are used by the virtual machines. It lets you specify minimum and maximum I/O loads called as IOPS (I/O operations Per Second) for each virtual disks used by the virtual machines. It ensures that this storage throughput does not make any impact on another virtual hard disks residing in the same host.

Virtual Machine Generation:

Determines the virtual hardware and functionality of the virtual machine. While creating a vritual machine you need to specify virtual machine generation which can’t be changed later. Hyper-v supports two generations namely

Generation 1 provides the same virtual hardware to the virtual machine as in previous versions

Generation 2 provides some new functionality like

Secure Boot (enabled by default)

Boot from a SCSI virtual hard disk

Boot from a SCSI virtual DVD

PXE boot by using a standard network adapter

UEFI firmware support

As a result generation 2 virtual machines support the following operating systems:

Windows Server 2012
Windows Server 2012 R2
64-bit versions of Windows 8
64-bit versions of Windows 8.1

Enhanced Session Mode:

Enables full remote desktop capabilities including shared clipboard, folder redirection etc.  Server 2012 allows having remote desktop connection to a VM by making use of VMBus thereby allowing to redirect local resources to the VM session. It eliminates the need of network connection to the VM. Below 3 options should be checked inorder to use ESM:

On Hyper-V Settings:

ESM Policy in Server settings

ESM in User settings

On VM settings:

Guest services in Integration services

Automatic Virtual Machine Activation:

Let’s you install virtual machines on a computer where windows server 2012 R2 is activated. That means administrators don’t have to manage product keys for each individual virtual machine. AVMA makes use of the licensed virtualization server for activating the virtual machine and activates the same when it starts. It also provides support on real time reporting on usage and history of license states of the virtual machine. To make use of AVMA, virtualization server must be running Windows server 2012 R2 datacenter and the guest virtual machines must have Windows server 2012 R2 Datacenter/Standard/Essentials.

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