I Love my Hyper-Wee

Yes, there I’ve said it, I’m in love with a technology that’s not from AppSense :-)

We had to present at a recent Microsoft Partner event.

Two things Microsoft wanted us to show:

  1. License control for Microsoft Apps in Citrix/Terminal Server/VDI/Streamed App environments, and
  2. How we can simplify Windows 7 migrations.

After a couple of demos from my trusty partner Jacob, they were also all over us about App-V integration.

There was a problem though – none of my demos were running on Hyper-Wee, I mean Hyper-V (must stop listening to PerfMan, his accent is starting to have an effect on me).

So the challenge.

I don’t normally do much between 12 and 6 in the morning, just lying around the house, so let’s rebuild everything on Windows 2008 and Hyper-V.

So a new disk was already available, remove the old one (Dual boot Vista and Win 2003 running VMware Server for VM’s). Demo laptop is a HP (the best) 6710b 4GB ram Dual core 2.4 GHz, with a 300 GB 7200 rpm disk.

Obtain a license, the media and boot up Windows 2008 – 64 bit – yes that’s right, the person who always said 64 bit was not the answer was now asking the question – can I get 64 bit to run all my apps and more importantly will all my drivers work.

To enable Hyper-V you need 64 bit so there was really no option. :-)

The first thing I noticed, Windows 2008 64 bit took around 20 minutes to load!!!!

I sat there thinking there must be something else I’ve missed, surely you can’t load a new O/S in 20 minutes – including the time to format a 140GB partition !!!

But that was it.

Bit of research on the web and now I have to download and run a service pack to get Hyper-V up and running.

Knew there was a catch – the service pack takes about an hour to install :-)

Still not that much effort and time required to get to a new platform. Now the tricky part, what will be the easiest way to get my demo servers back up and running.

More research – turns out there is a freebee download utility available from here http://vmtoolkit.com/files/folders/converters/entry8.aspx which you point at a VMware VM which converts it to a VHD drive, and voila, it runs on Hyper-V.

I did find some extra info about Vm’s that have a SCSI disk as their base – you need to muck around with them a bit and add an IDE disk, so I decided to convert my VMs that used an IDE drive, and rebuild the ones using SCSI.

The longest part of the process was rebuilding the Windows 2003 DC for my AppSense Management Centre.

One thing I was looking for though – a “sleep” mode so I could have my servers boot quicker. When you are meeting a client the last thing you want to do is spend 15 minutes setting up before you start the preso or demo.

I suppose it’s o.k. if you have a big Irishman with you who can tell bad jokes for a while to distract the client, but most of the time I was by myself at appointments.

By accident I discovered the best feature (in my experience) of Hyper-V. Automatically it will snapshot servers if you turn off the host while they are still running. Very cool.

So here’s how my setup for a demo now goes…

08:30 power on laptop, shake hands, exchange cards

08:31 Login to Windows 2008 64bit

08:33 start Hyper-V consoles for my AppSense Management Centre, and my XP desktop

08:34 Demo Environment Manager Personalisation, the crowd goes…..   Oooh…… AAAAAh

08:35 My work here is done

Well not really, but my point is this sucker boots fast, starts my servers faultlessly, and just works.

Of course I have Performance Manager 64 bit running and I have configured it to favour the VM’s as far as CPU and disk priority goes and this definitely helps.

I’m a bit old school, so if I can get something that works for me, I’ll just stick with it. It takes a rocket – or a Microsoft Partner event – to get me to change.

But now that I’ve jumped the 64 bit fence, I’m glad I’m here :-)

Only thing I do have though, is how do I get my Wireless LAN on my notebook working – damn those 64 bit drivers :-)

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