Hyper-V Server 2012 is a stand-alone product offered for free by Microsoft. Basically, it’s a stripped down Windows Server 2012 Core installation, which is meant to only be running Hyper-V. This might work fine for you if you are only using the host as a hypervisor, as it’s free and leaves minimal footprint and attack surface.
This is really practical if you’re running your server for lab environments or if you just want to run all of your server/client machines virtually, without installing a full-blown Windows Server 2012. The best thing is that you won’t need a license and will therefore not need to reinstall your Hyper-V host when your evaluation license runs out
To be able to download it, go here http://www.microsoft.com/click/services/Redirect2.ashx?CR_EAC=300055432 and login with your Microsoft account.
The easiest way to install Hyper-V Server 2012 is to put the media on a USB, make it bootable and run the installation from it. You can read my previous blog post on how to create a bootable Windows 8 USB using Diskpart, as the steps are exactly the same.
Once booted up, you’re prompted with the standard installation screen, where you can choose language, time, keyboard layout.
Running the installation on my server with an SSD took well under 5 minutes.
Once the installation is complete, you will be automatically prompted with a command line tool called sconfig, that you can use to set up all the basic things:
By default, Hyper-V Server 2012 will use DHCP, so you will most likely already have network connectivity if you are plugged in to your network. But if you want to you can just press option 8 to go to Network Settings if you want to specify a Static IP, Subnet Mask, Gateway and/or DNS server.
Remote Management is enabled by default and Remote Desktop is disabled. As you can see I’ve enabled Remote Desktop, but that is only for me taking these screenshots Otherwise, you will be fine with just enabling Remote Management, for administration via Powershell or the Server Manager in the RSAT tools for Windows 8.
The first thing I would do, before configuring anything else would be to run Option 6, “Download and Install Updates”.
Now, you could make all the configuration steps sitting by the local server, but I would much rather just install it, make the intital configurations as mentioned earlier, and then sit at my workstation configuring it.
My recomendation would be to install RSAT for Windows 8 and run the Server Manager.
Administration using RSAT for Windows 8
Start by opening Server Manager and selecting Add other servers to manage
Now, you can search for the server in Active Directory or via DNS. I will search via DNS as my Hyper-V host is in a Workgroup and I haven’t set up a domain yet.
Search for the server and then press the arrow to choose it:
When adding a server in a Workgroup you need to add the server name to the Trusted Hosts list of the machine that is running Server Manager. Enter this command in Powershell on the Workstation you are running Server Manager on.
Set-Item wsman:\localhost\Client\TrustedHosts hyperv -Concatenate -Force
If you don’t add the server to the Trusted Hosts list, you will receive the error below:
WinRM Negotiate authentication error
Once you’ve added the server to the Trusted Hosts list, the status of the server should change in Server Manager:
Now just right click the server and open Hyper-V Manager
If you prefer to use Powershell for Remote Administration, just select Windows Powershell instead of Hyper-V Manager.
How to create and configure Virtual Machines will be covered in another blog post.