Virtual Machines With Virtualization on Windows 8

| April 24, 2015

There is a powerful virtualization tool built into Microsoft Windows 8.x Pro and Windows 8.x Enterprise. Its called Client Hyper-V, and is an essential tool if you’re a software developer. This is the same hypervisor that can run virtualized enterprise workloads, and also comes with Microsoft Windows Server 2012 R2. If you are creating virtual machines on your desktop with Client Hyper-V you will find them compatible with your server systems too.

Windows 8 logo

Windows 8 logo

If you’re a software developer and your regularly carrying out testing for applications, or you just want additional operating systems running on your PC such as Linux, Hyper-V is a great program to take the hassle out of this and allow you trouble free virtualization. Client Hyper-V has a small amount of limitations compared to its server equivalent. It doesn’t have Remote FX capabilities to allow it to virtualize GPU’s. It can’t do live migrations of a virtual machine from one host to another host. The feature Hyper-V Replica is unavailable. There is no included Virtual Fibre Channel capabilities. Neither can it do 32-bit SR-IOV networking, or share the virtual hard disk format .vhdx. If you need access to these features then you will have to consider using the separate Hyper-V server product, or use instead Windows Server 2012 R2.

Enabling 64-bit Virtualization in PC Bios

If you’re planning on using the Hyper-V feature on your PC, you need to have a PC thats equipped with a minimum of 4GB of Ram, and also a 64-bit processor that includes the feature second level address translation (SLAT). Most of the PC’s today include this feature, but there are some older machines that don’t have it included. Many PC’s also don’t have the virtualization options turned on by default in the bios. You will need to consult your PC documentation to access your bios on startup if the usual F2 doesn’t work. You should be able to locate the virtualization option once inside the bios.

Client Hyper-V is only available with certain version of windows. These are:

Windows 8 Pro 64-bit Edition
Windows 8 Enterprise 64-bit Edition
Windows 8.1 Pro 64-bit Edition
Windows 8.1 Enterprise 64-bit Edition
Windows 10 Technical Preview

Windows 8 Hyper-V Setup

The first thing to do is to turn Windows Features on

  • Go to the Windows 8 start screen,
  • Type “Turn Windows Features On”
Windows features on

Windows features on

  • Click on the icon and you will be presented with a dialog box showing the features installed.
  • Locate the Hyper-V section, and tick the boxes as shown.
Hyper-V-Windows-features

Hyper V Windows features

You will be prompted to restart your computer, so do that first.

Adding Hyper-V to your Desktop

  • Once your PC has rebooted, go to the start screen and type “Hyper-V Virtual Machine Connection”.
  • The icons for both the Hyper-V Manager and the Hyper-V Virtual Machine Connection will appear.
  • Right Click on both the icons and select pin them to start or task bar.
Pin to start menu Hyper V

Pin to start menu Hyper V

  • The Hyper-V Manager is your main administrative and management console to access all your Hyper-V activities.
  • The Hyper-V Virtual Machine Connection allows fast access to the console and get access to a virtual machine.

Start Hyper-V Manager

  • Start the Hyper-V Manager, and then select “Virtual Switch Manager” from the choices on the right side named actions.
Virtual Switch Manager

Virtual Switch Manager

Add a New Virtual Switch

  • From inside the Virtual Switch Manager select new virtual switch from the left menu.
  • You then have to choose what type of switch you want, and the choices are external, internal or private.

The type of option you select here depends on what type of configuration you’re going to use.

  • External Virtual Switch is when you want to allows communications between virtual machine to another virtual machine on your PC. It should also be used when you want to setup a virtual machine to a parent partition. You can set ip it also with a virtual machine to an external located system or visa versa. Or finally you can have your PC communicating with an externally located server.
  • Internal Virtual Switch is when you need to allow communications between a virtual machine to another virtual machine on your pc, but not to the external LAN. You can also use internal with a virtual machine to parent partitions.
  • Private Virtual Switch is when you want to allow communications between a virtual machine and another virtual machine  that you have running on your PC but is on an isolated network.

Select the one that best suits your setup and create the virtual switch.

Enabling a VM Connection

You will then have to name your virtual switch, VM is fine.

  • If you choose to allow the switch external network connectivity you will need to choose the network interface on your PC that the VM will use to access your LAN and the internet.
  • You can choose to allow the VM to use the same NIC for network access by selecting the “Allow management operating system to share” option. This is the default that most desktop users should select if you have a single  physical network interface.
Virtual Switch Properties

Virtual Switch Properties

Create a New VM

  • After you create your virtual switch you can go to the actions menu in the Hyper-V manager, and select new, and then virtual machine.
  • You then can follow through the step by step virtual machine wizard to complete the setup.

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