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Since the hypervisor innovations in Server 2019 were relatively few, the free Hyper-V Server core functions have seen hardly any improvements. One of them are shielded virtual machines (VMs) for Linux. In addition, updating to VM configuration version 9.0 achieves some improvements, including hibernation support.
Not the latest VM configuration version
However, Microsoft did not use the long break between releasing Windows Server 2019 and Hyper-V Server 2019 to update the latter's virtual hardware support. This command displays 9.0 as the maximum version:
The recently released Server 1903 in the semi-annual channel and the Windows 10 May update already support VM configuration 9.1. Therefore, this command results in an error on Hyper-V Server 2019:
New-VM -Name MyVM -Version 9.1
However, the minor update to VM version 9.1 does not include any new features. In addition, the risk of compatibility problems is low because virtual hardware 9.0 is still the default for the two latest OS versions.
General improvements to Windows Server
As with version 2016, which had significantly more new features, Hyper-V Server 2019 also benefits from several general improvements in Windows Server. These include, for example, Microsoft now also supporting data deduplication with Resilient File System (ReFS).
In addition, there are some improvements in the cluster feature, such as cross-domain cluster migration. This allows moving server clusters between domains in Active Directory (AD). Another new feature is the option to use a file share witness on a machine that is not an AD member.
MMC-based admin tools in the console
Essentially, Hyper-V Server is Server Core reduced to the role of Hyper-V. Thus, it benefits from an innovation Microsoft introduced specifically for this installation option.
This new feature on demand (FOD) is Core App Compatibility, which allows executing additional GUI applications. Basically, Hyper-V Server also supports graphical programs without this FOD, but their number is very limited. These include some applets from the Control Panel, Task Manager, or Notepad.
Core App Compatibility significantly increases the number of graphical management tools admins can run in the console. This applies in particular to mmc.exe with a number of snap-ins, including those for Event Viewer, Disk Management, or Failover Cluster Management.
No Hyper-V Manager
However, Hyper-V Manager is missing, although it would be most needed on a virtualization host. A look into the %windir%\system32 directory shows that the required file virtmgmt.msc has not been installed.
By adding roles and features, you can install the hypervisor management tools with Server Manager, but these are limited to the PowerShell module.
Remote management with Admin Center
Thanks to Core App Compatibility, the management options for Hyper-V 2019 have been extended by adding local tools to the console. They complement remote management using Remote Server Administration Tools (RSAT) or PowerShell.
But that's not all. Windows Admin Center (WAC) is now also available, which did not exist when Hyper-V Manager 2016 appeared (nevertheless, it is now also manageable via WAC).
The browser-based tools offer all the essential functions for configuring the host, virtual switches, and VMs. They are particularly suitable for simple tasks such as changing VM power states because you can perform them from any computer without having to install any software. Other activities such as creating VMs are relatively cumbersome with the web tools.
In Preview 1906, WAC received additional Hyper-V management functions also available for Hyper-V Server 2019. These include VM importing and exporting, both of which are limited to local drives on the host.
Another new feature is the ability to tag VMs. Don't confuse this feature with the VM notes assignable in Hyper-V Manager.
Availability and installation
As usual, Microsoft provides Hyper-V Server 2019 as an .iso file for free download in the Evaluation Center. Due to the license conditions for Windows Server, the free Hyper-V Server's primary application is to provision virtual desktops or Linux in the VMs.
If you want to operate Windows Server in VMs, you must acquire the required virtualization rights via the Standard or Datacenter Edition, which also allow the bare-metal installation of the full operating system including the hypervisor.
While Microsoft supports an in-place upgrade from Server 2012 R2 or 2016 to 2019, this does not apply to Hyper-V servers.
Nevertheless, a direct upgrade has been popular in the past, especially in lab environments, because it saves some work. If you start the setup of version 2019 in Hyper-V 2016, you can run through all dialogs and get no indication of possible problems.
At the very end, the installation fails with this message:
0x80070490 - 0x2000e "The installation failed in the SAFE_OS phase with an error during SET_PRODUCT_KEY operation."
This does not seem to be strictly an upgrade problem but a bug of the sloppily adopted Windows setup for Hyper-V servers.
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Could someone confirm that Hyper-V Server doesn't have DSC? I tried to run a (very simple) configuration and it gives me an error (somewhat like "PSDesiredStateConfiguration namespace not found")
If this is true, I would really like to understand the motivation behind this: a console-oriented version of an OS which doesn't work with console-oriented tools
(also, the lack of Hyper-V manager when other GUI tools where added in this version is really, really interesting — and makes someone think about Microsoft ideas about this product)
I downloaded the latest HyperV Server 2019 image available at Microsoft evaluations page.
Nope, no DSC. No System Insights as well.
I'd say Hyper-V Server is now just an afterthought, only there to satisfy the Free Hypervisor tickbox comparison when compared with VMWare offerings.
I guess that if you use a free version, you cant expect everything… its the same with VMware, you cant od much with the hypervisor without vCenter, basically you can run VMs and create snapshots… no cluster with free ESXi, while you can create one with free Hyper-V…
Honestly Im not sure why would someone want to use a full GUI hypervisor. I only user the core version and manage it remotely as usual.
Does this version bring any improvement to the difficulties using free Hyper-V without a Windows domain? Having only a Workgroup set-up caused a notoriously difficult set-up of replication, for example.
Is this version any better?
I dont think there is any change in such case as replication. It has still the same requirements for authentication between the servers.
Except from replication and VM move, I dont see any difficulty or limitations of having Hyper-V not in domain.
Can i create a host cluster between 2 physical server running free Hyper-V Server 2019?
Can i also use storage space direct? i've read that only datacenter edition can use s2d
I'm planning to create an host 2 nodes cluster hosting some vm and a guest cluster… is it possible?
You can create standard cluster even with free Hyper-V.
I havent found any information that S2D requires datacenter edition. In any case, this would be a requirement for the Guest OS, not the hypervisor. More info
So yes, this should be possible.
Yes you can create a failover cluster using Hyper-V Server 2019.
S2D is a Datacenter-only feature (see the 2nd paragraph here – https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-server/storage/storage-spaces/storage-spaces-direct-overview). You'd need to use something like Starwind VSAN to achieve the same thing with Standard Edition or Hyper-V Server.
The Starwind VSAN how-to for a 2-node cluster on Hyper-V Server 2016 is here – https://www.starwindsoftware.com/resource-library/starwind-virtual-san-for-hyper-v-2-node-hyperconverged-scenario-with-hyper-v-server-2016/ – so you would just use Hyper-V Server 2019 instead.
Not sure why you'd run a guest cluster though. Testing, maybe?
There's also a free version of Starwind VSAN available here – https://www.starwindsoftware.com/starwind-virtual-san-free
Your right about S2D, I completely oversaw that Datacenter part 🙂
Why should guest cluster be for testing? Its quite normal to have HW cluster and then Failover clustering feature inside guest OS.
Thank you for your replay.
Can I create a guest cluster without having a host cluster? I should have to make a sort of shared storage and I think can't create s2d at guest level..
probably it sounds strange to you but in my actual configuration I have a lot of SAS HD 2.5" in raid mode an no ssd.
I've just read in spec you link me that S2D needs SSD + HDD with no raid (or a raid pass-through and I don't know if mine can do this)
What is your goal actually?
For completeness, here's the output from Get-WindowsFeature on one of my Hyper-V Server 2019 installs, so you can see what features are available. As you can see, there's a huge cull from Standard/Datacenter Editions.
It's also worth mentioning that you can install Server Core App Compatibility FOD on Hyper-V Server 2019. Instructions are here – https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-server/get-started-19/install-fod-19
This gives you MMC, Event Viewer, Performance Monitor, Resource Monitor, Device Manager, File Explorer, PowerShell ISE, Disk Management and Failover Cluster Manager (need to install Failover Clustering feature first). No Hyper-V Manager though – you'll need to use it or Windows Admin Center remotely. Otherwise you can use the Free or Pro version of ProHVM (https://www.probus-it.com/).
Honestly, Hyper-V should be only used as a Core installation in production environment. Hypervisor should be a thin system and its single purpose should be to do its job as hypervisor. No additional roles.
You can easily manage Hyper-V Core installation with Hyper-V Manager remotely.
I've just two server single host running free hyper-v 2019 and I'm using RSAT or WAC to manage them without any problem. One DC in any host, and most of the other services have HA integrated at applications layer.
Sure I want a thin system to use resources for VMs.
I haven't any problem about these aspects.
My goal is to create a Host Hyper-v failover cluster without buy a SAN… so I try to figure me hot to do this goal.
S2D works only with datacenter (core or guide installation) and it could be expensive… 2 datacenter license and I should have to change my configuration from several raid 5 15k hdd arrays to HBA + SSD + SAS HDD.
I think Solarwind VSAN is the cheapest option I try (free or not free licenses). it seems less expensive than change hardware and buy datanceter license. As Chris Knight suggest.
I'm on the right way?
I've just read Chris Knight articles about Azure Stack HCI and certificate hardware, perhaps it can be another option
Thank you for all of reply
OK clear. This topic has been discussed dozens of times, see this Technet post. If you scroll down a bit you will find detailed answer from Taras Shved. I guess that StarWind is your good way to go.
I know this is an old post, but does free Hyper-V server 2019 support TPM?
I can enable it on a newly created machine without any errors but I am unable to start any VMs with TPM enabled.
Error is “The key protector could not be unwrapped”
HostGuardingService-Client log shows the following error:
“System.IO.FileNotFoundException: Could not find file ‘C:\Windows\system32\config\VSMIDK”
Just wondering if anyone knows if this is also a limitation of the free Hyper-V server or if I messed up my configuration somehow.
Tpm work perfectly on Windows VM but can cause some problems on Linux.
I get the same error when i move an existing vm to a new host or between cluster nodes. You have to use the same certificate key on all hosts. I Found different posts around about this problem.
If you are using bitlocker in the vm + tpm, you could decrypt the disks on the vm runnimg, disable vTPM on the old host, move it to the new host and then enable vTPM and bitlocker
Another Solution could be create a new vm and link the exisisting vhd file
In my case it was all new VMs created on a single host so none of the typical cert/encryption issues apply.
I solved my problem by enabling secure boot on the host. I wish Microsoft came up with a clearer error message for such a trivial config issue.