Notes on the Windows Server virtualization (Viridian) with Windows Server 2008 RC0

Date September 30, 2007

After the latest announcement from Microsoft on the release of Windows Server 2008 RC0 that included its new hypervisor based virtualization technology, Windows Server virtualization (WSV) codename “Viridian”, I just thought of digging in and finding out a little more about it.

Jeff posted the WSV Customer Technology Preview (CTP) Setup Guide.

WSV Customer Technology Preview (CTP) Setup Guide

System Requirements:

  • Windows Server virtualization requires an x64-based processor, hardware-assisted virtualization (AMD-V or Intel VT), and hardware data execution protection.
  • Ensure your BIOS is up-to-date and has:
    • Hardware Assisted Virtualization is enabled in the BIOS
    • Data Execution Prevention enabled in the BIOS
      • No Execute (NX) bit on AMD systems
      • Execute Disable (XD) bit on Intel systems

NOTE: If any of these features were disabled in the BIOS, be sure to POWER OFF the system (not just reboot) to ensure they are properly enabled.

High Level Setup:

  1. Install a Full Installation of Windows Server 2008 Enterprise x64 Edition.
    1. WSV is also included with Windows Server 2008 Standard and Datacenter Editions; however, the majority of our testing has been on Enterprise Edition at this time so we recommend using the Enterprise Edition.
    2. Currently, WSV doesn’t work with Server Core installation, but will work with Server Core in a future release.
  2. Go to the following folder on the disk: ~:\Windows\wsv
  3. You will see two .MSU files: Windows6.0-KB939853-x64 and Windows6.0-KB939854-x64.
    1. Double click on Windows6.0-KB939853-x64.msu and proceed through the installation process.
    2. Double click on Windows6.0-KB939854-x64.msu and proceed through the installation process.
  4. Go to the Start menu and launch Server Manager.
  5. Go to the Roles Summary and click Add Roles.
  6. Proceed through the wizard and select to install Windows Server virtualization.
  7. Complete the wizard and RESTART when prompted.
  8. After the restart, installation will continue and complete.
  9. When installation is complete, you can now go to: Start Menu–>Administration Tools and launch the Windows Virtualization Management MMC Console. From the MMC, you can now create virtual machines!

NOTE: It is CRITICIAL that you perform steps 2 & 3, otherwise the option to install the Windows Server virtualization role won’t be available in the Role Manager.

eWEEK Labs Tests Windows Server 2008 Virtualization here

Virtual PC Guy points out a couple of notes

  1. This is a preview release.Which means that performance / compatibility / stability is nowhere near what it will be by the time we ship the final release. The real purpose of this release is to give you a preview – so don’t expect everything to work off the bat.
  2. The following features are not present / supported in this release:
    1. Clustering of virtual machines
    2. Clustering of the physical servers
    3. Compacting of virtual hard disks
    4. Backing up guest operating systems using volume snapshot (VSS)
  3. Virtual machines are only supported if they configured as follows:
    1. For the guest operating system, install one of the following:
      1. The RC0 release of Windows Server 2008 with a maximum of 4 virtual processors. No other release of Windows Server 2008 is supported with this release of Windows Server virtualization. You can install either a 32-bit version or an x64-based version.
      2. The Windows Server 2003 operating system, with a maximum of 1 virtual processor. You can install either a 32-bit version or an x64-based version.
    2. Maximum of 64 GB memory.
    3. Maximum of one virtual SCSI controller per virtual machine.
    4. Maximum of one virtual network controller per virtual machine.
    5. Maximum of one legacy virtual network controller per virtual machine.

Earlier Keith Comb had provided a video demonstration of the Viridian integration in a full version of Window which is available for download here and streaming here. This was earlier thought that it will be included in the Windows Server 2008 Core.

However, I am interested to know more on the following:

  1. How many OS’s does WSv support?
  2. The number of Virtual machines that can be created?
  3. What is the format it can be saved in? Is it .VMC and .VHD etc…? or have they worked on the Open Virtual Machine Format (OVF)?

3 Responses to “Notes on the Windows Server virtualization (Viridian) with Windows Server 2008 RC0”

  1. Windows Server Virtualization (WSV) codenamed Viridian is now Hyper-V | Ashwin’s Blog said:

    […] know about the Windows Server Virtualization (WSV) being included with the release of Windows Server 2008 RC0, which was previously codenamed […]

  2. Technologies to watch for in 2008 | Ashwin’s Blog said:

    […] Windows Server 2008, now includes Hyper-V already released to manufacturing, will be available for purchase to new customers on March […]

  3. “Hyper-V” the next generation Virtualization technology | Ashwin’s Blog said:

    […] we hear a lot about the buzzword Hyper-V on Windows Server 2008, scheduled to RTM soon in coming few months, just thought of […]

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