Hyper-V is the Microsoft’s virtualization platform that allows creating virtual infrastructures under Windows and/or Linux (Hyper-V 2016 Overview and Architecture Guide). Hyper-V 2016 version has been improved by Microsoft then they released a lot of new features such as network, installation mode, Nano Server, Virtual Machines and Security, administration, Nested Virtualization, QoS for storage, rolling Hyper-V Cluster upgrade, improved ReFS (Resilient File System), and virtual hard disk. Here’s the post to introduce Hyper-V 2016 New Features – Virtual Machines.
There is a new Virtual Machine file format. Basically, Microsoft switches from “.XML” to “.VMCX” format. The new format offers more robustness as well as a reduction of errors and risks of corruption of the Virtual Machines. The file “.VMRS” is used for the Run-Time Data.
The version of Virtual Machines has also evolved to version 8.0. You can upgrade Virtual Machines that are to earlier versions with the command:
Windows Server and VMs supported:
- Windows Server 2016: 8.0, 7.1, 7,0, 6.2, 5.0
- Windows 10: 8.0, 7.1, 7,0, 6.2, 5.0
“Discrete Device Assignment” allows physical PCIe hardware to be directly accessible from within a Virtual Machine. It provides a better direct communication between Hyper-V node and VMs (efficiency). Some PowerShell commands are according to the DDA technology:
Add-VMhostAddignableDevice Get-VMHostAssignableDevice Remove-VMHostAssignableDevice
Hot add memory (RAM) to your Virtual Machines, without any disruption of service.
Hot add or remove network adapters to your Virtual Machines, while VMs are power-on (VMs of generation 2 on Windows and Linux). Integration services in the new version of Hyper-V are included directly in Windows Updates. For Linux Virtual Machines, additional information is available here.
There is a new type: “production checkpoints”, that allows taking snapshots suitable for production environments. Production checkpoints are point in time images of a Virtual Machine, which can be restored later on in a way that is completely supported for all production workloads. This is achieved by using backup technology inside the guest to create the checkpoint, instead of using saved state technology. Standard checkpoints capture the state, data, and hardware configuration of a running virtual machine and are intended for use in development and test scenarios. Standard checkpoints can be useful if you need to recreate a specific state or condition of a running virtual machine so that you can troubleshoot a problem. For example, when installing an application on the Virtual Machine.
By default, the control points are configured in production checkpoints. However, you can opt for standard checkpoint mode.
Linux Secure Boot:
Linux Virtual Machines (Generation 2) can support Secure Boot level.
Here are the distributions supported by Hyper-V for the Secure Boot:
- l Suse Linux Entreprise Server 12 et +
- l Ubuntu 14.04 et +
- l CentOs et +
- l Red Hat Entreprise Linux 7.0 et +
To use this mode, UEFI Certificate Authority has to be set up on the Virtual Machine (Generation 2).
Set-VMFirmware nom_VM -SecureBootTemplate MicrosoftUEFICertificateAuthority
Shielded Virtual Machine:
Secure the Virtual Machine by encrypting it. This Virtual Machine will only work on trusted Virtualization hosts that are determined by what is known as a “Host Guardian” Server.
Hyper-V 2016 allows adding a virtual TPM (Trusted Platform Module) to the Virtual Machines in order to encrypt them with BitLocker. This feature allows securing the virtual environments especially the Virtual Machines especially if they are hosted in the Cloud with several tenants for example.
Host Resource protection:
This feature is very useful for monitoring Virtual Machines. It can alert in case of overconsumption of resources, and if there is a high activity of the Virtual Machine which could degrade the performance of the hypervisor.
This feature is disabled by default. When it is enabled, if the hypervisor detects high activity on a Virtual Machine, the Virtual Machine will remove some resources.
To activate the monitoring (Host resources Protection), you can execute this PowerShell command on the target hypervisor:
Set-VMProcessor -EnableHostResourceProtection $true
Hyper-V 2016 New Features – Network (Part 1): Guide.
Hyper-V upgrade from Windows 2012 R2 to 2016: Guide.
If you need to disable UAC Server on Windows Server 2016 Script Guide.
Veeam Agent for Windows step by step installation guide.
Video Recording of my webinar Veeam and Windows Server 2016: video link.
Recommending to read an E-book “All You Need to Know About Microsoft Windows Server 2016 Virtualization” by Clint Wyckoff (Veeam’s Blogger)to stay tuned with the technology changes that will have a great impact on Hyper-V.