Installing SCVMM for Hyper-V

Welcome Back! For this article I am going to try and cover SCVMM (System Center Virtual Machine Manager) well enough to allow you to install it for testing purposes. This isn’t intended to cover all of the details as I think there is too much material here for one post and I haven’t had time with my new job to properly explore deeply yet. If I have missed something important or you would like me to go into more detail on a part of this, please send me a message and I will be happy to look into it.

SCVMM is the functional Hyper-V equivalent to vCenter in a vSphere environment. I have rather extensive experience dealing with vCenter, so I wanted to try and familiarize myself with SCVMM in the same way. With System Center 2012 and 2012 R2 it comes as part of the entire package, which is rather handy. I am going to go through step by step and show my experience with it. I will make note of any caveats or landmines I come across during the setup.

Probably the number one thing to consider before getting started is your SQL environment, where are you going to host your SQL DB? I am in the process of familiarizing myself with SQL 2012 right now so I have chosen to deploy this on another server. You are also able to use a local SQL Express install should you only want to run this in testing. I  would recommend a dedicated server if you plan to run this in production.
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Hyper-V memory oversubscription

Welcome back to my third article, I hope these provide some useful information. This posting is based around my observations of the differences in how vSphere and Hyper-V manage memory on the host. Without further rambling, let’s get started.

Hyper-V handles memory in a noticeably different way than vSphere does. This has taken me some getting used to but the largest take away is that it does not overcommit memory. Microsoft uses the term Dynamic Memory for their version, and based on my observations that is a good term for it.

Memory over allocation in vSphere is handled through the VMTools and the balloon driver in instances of the memory allocation actually being utilized. This historically, to my understanding, results in paging to disk when recovered memory isn’t adequate for the needs to be met. This is where Dynamic Memory kind of breaks my brain. Unlike vSphere, which more or less just assumes you will overcommit at some point, you need to explicitly enable this functionality. It’s not complicated, just not something you might think to do when coming from a VMware environment.
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Hyper-V Replication

Hello again, welcome back to the second of my indeterminate number of articles covering my various observations regarding differences around vSphere and Hyper-V. This post is covering host replication without a central controller. So hopefully you benefit from and enjoy this one.

As near as I can tell there is no direct analog in vSphere to compare this to.  As such I’m going to give as much of an explanation as I realistically can and show where I think this would be extremely beneficial.

Hyper-V replication does not require SCVMM or any kind of centrally managed vCenter equivalent, all it requires is two or more Hyper-V hosts that meet the necessary requirements for performing the replication. (CPU, Memory, Storage, etc….) Once that is met it is quite straight forward to do as a test.
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Hyper-V for the vSphere Admin

Welcome to my inaugural post on, I’m happy to be here and hope that I can provide some useful insight. Recently, I received a voucher for the Microsoft Hyper-V certification exam and decided to take that opportunity to really give it a proper test. With that in mind, Rob convinced me to write some articles on interesting or difficult concepts I come across in the hope that I can help people down the road avoid the same technical landmines. I’m a vSphere admin by experience, so I’ll be comparing Hyper-V components to their vSphere equivalents to help root this in familiar terms. Today, I’ll describe what Hyper-V is, the lab I’m running it in, and some pre-reqs to installing it. Follow up articles with provide greater detail (and pictures!) and cover installation and use.

Hyper-V is Microsoft’s virtualization product in their server line. In my opinion, starting with Hyper-V in Server 2012, it’s becoming competitive with vSphere for the small to medium scale environments in which I’ve worked. Veeam has a great article explaining the concept of Hyper-V. Veeam is a terrific backup product for virtual environments and it supports both Hyper-V and vSphere. If you are an MCSA/MCSE or VCP, you should look into their NFR (Not for resale) licenses to run in your home lab.
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