Hyper-V in Windows 10 has a number of new features, including PowerShell Direct, hot add/remove of memory and network adapters, Linux Secure Boot, and down-level management of Hyper-V on older operating systems. In this article, I’ll cover how to use these new features in Hyper-V for Windows 10.

Kyle Beckman

Kyle Beckman works as a systems administrator in Atlanta, GA supporting Office 365 in higher education. He has 17+ years of systems administration experience.

As an IT pro and a blogger, I spend a lot of time testing things such as new builds of Windows 10 and Windows Server, new configurations, building software deployments, and more. Hyper-V is an invaluable tool for allowing me to do that without impacting my production computer and servers that need to work reliably. Windows 10 improves on Windows 10 client Hyper-V even more.

PowerShell Direct ^

PowerShell Direct allows the Hyper-V host administrator to run PowerShell commands directly against VMs running on the Hyper-V host. This eliminates the need to have direct network access to the VM, which can come in really handy if your host server or management station on a different VLAN than the virtual machines you’re managing. You will need an account that has access to the virtual machine as well as Admin rights or delegated permissions to run PowerShell commands.

You can run the following command to enter a remote PowerShell session on the VM:

Enter a remote PowerShell session on a VM with PowerShell Direct
Enter a remote PowerShell session on a VM with PowerShell Direct

You can also use the following command if you need to run something longer or don’t need an interactive login:

Note that this feature requires that the host system is running Windows 10 and the VM is also running Windows 10 or Windows Server 2016.

Linux secure boot ^

Linux operating systems can now take advantage of secure boot in Generation 2 VMs in Hyper-V on Windows 10. Both SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 12 and Ubuntu 14.04 (and later) are currently supported, but more will follow over time. The VM must be configured to use the Microsoft UEFI Certificate Authority (CA) before it is booted. You can configure it by running the following PowerShell command:

Hyper-V Manager down-level management ^

In past versions of Hyper-V, you had to manage your Hyper-V host server from a management station at the same OS level. This meant having to keep your desktop OS at the same level (Windows 8.1 and Server 2012 R2, for example) or maintaining a “jump box” that had the same OS as your Hyper-V host servers.

With the release of Windows 10, this is no longer necessary. The Hyper-V Manager can now connect to older, down-level operating systems to manage Hyper-V. The supported operating systems are: Windows 8, Windows 8.1, Windows Server 2012, and Windows Server 2012 R2.

Hot add/remove of memory and network adapters ^

Generation 2 VMs now support hot add/remove of network adapters. The “hot” change allows you to add or remove the NIC without needing to shut down or reboot the VM and is supported for both Windows and Linux VMs.

Memory can also be modified in running VMs for both Generation 1 and Generation 2 VMs.

Production checkpoints ^

One of the biggest warnings you hear in the Hyper-V world is to stay away from checkpoints in production environments. A checkpoint comes in very handy when you’re testing configurations and need to roll back to a previous configuration, keep multiple configurations of a single VM, or just revert back to a clean, pristine setup when you’re done. However, in a production environment, applications don’t always behave well when they’re a part of a checkpoint.

In Windows 10, you can now make checkpoints that are data-consistent and use the built-in backup technology in the OS. This allows you to make what are called production checkpoints that don’t include information from running applications so that, when you restore a checkpoint, applications don’t have unexpected behaviors.

Production checkpoints can be configured in the Checkpoints section of the VM’s Settings panel. If you need the ability to use the old standard checkpoint, you can change the option here. If a production checkpoint can’t be taken, a standard checkpoint is still used.

Checkpoint options in Windows 10 VM Settings
Checkpoint options in Windows 10 VM Settings

Alternate credentials in Hyper-V Manager

Hyper-V Manager in Windows 10 now supports connecting to another Windows 10 Hyper-V host using alternate credentials. When connecting to another host, click the Connect as another user check box, and then click the Set User button to set the alternate credentials. This feature currently supports Windows 10 only but will most likely add Windows Server 2016 when it is released.

Using alternate credentials in Windows 10 Hyper-V Manager
Using alternate credentials in Windows 10 Hyper-V Manager

Integration Components updates

Integration Components have always been a huge pain point when upgrading Hyper-V host servers. When a new version of Hyper-V is released, the Integration Components (which contain all of the device drivers for the virtual hardware) need to be updated to the latest version. In many larger corporate environments, Hyper-V host servers and virtual machines don’t always have the same administrators. The Integration Components, which are delivered as an ISO image (vmguest.iso), had to be mounted and installed on each VM. Even if you did make a copy of the files and put them on a network share, the process still required a reboot and downtime.

Starting with Windows 10, updates to the Integration Components are now delivered through Windows Update and WSUS. Updates to the Integration Components will also include the down-level operating systems Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows Server 2008 R2, and Windows Server 2012 in addition to Windows 10.

Virtual Machine Boot Summary

The Virtual Machine Boot Summary is a feature I stumbled upon completely by mistake. I haven’t seen it in any official documentation or presentations yet. When a VM has issues booting, the Virtual Machine Boot Summary is displayed to assist you in troubleshooting the issue. In the case of the screenshot below, I have a new Generation 2 VM that hasn’t had an OS loaded yet. When I attempted to PXE boot it, the PXE boot failed because the network was disconnected in the VM.

Virtual Machine Boot Summary on Windows 10 Hyper-V
Virtual Machine Boot Summary on Windows 10 Hyper-V

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