Hyper-V Manager is the central administration tool for Microsoft Hyper-V through which an administrator can configure all Hyper-V settings, Virtual Machines, Virtual Switching, Virtual SAN capabilities and all dependent virtual operations of a Hyper-V Infrastructure.
Hyper-V Manager can be installed in any Windows OS (Windows Server 2008 and above) that has Hyper-V role and in Windows 7 through Remote Server Administration Tools (RSAT) as a role Administration Tool. RSAT is not enabled by default and must be set manually.
There are 3 major versions of Hyper-V and Hyper-V Manager that were launched by Microsoft in Windows Server 2008, 2012 and 2016 respectively. If we count each version in each Windows OS (with R2 and Hyper-V versions), we get 3 versions for each version of Windows Servers.
Note: The Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2008/2012 and 2016 is a stand-alone product that contains only the Windows hypervisor, a Windows Server driver model, and virtualization components.
When using Hyper-V Manager for remote Hyper-V, features of Hyper-V Manager will be the features/version of Hyper-V host.
Example: If we are connecting from a Hyper-V Manager 2012 to a Hyper-V 2016 host, features available will be from the remote Hyper-V Manager 2012 and not from the Hyper-V 2016 host.
Hyper-V Manager improvements in the last 2016 version as per Microsoft official Docs page.
- Alternate credentials support – You can now use a different set of credentials in Hyper-V Manager when you connect to another Windows Server 2016 or Windows 10 remote host. You can also save these credentials to make it easier to log on again.
- Manage earlier versions – With Hyper-V Manager in Windows Server 2016 and Windows 10, you can manage computers running Hyper-V on Windows Server 2012, Windows 8, Windows Server 2012 R2 and Windows 8.1.
- Updated management protocol – Hyper-V Manager now communicates with remote Hyper-V hosts using the WS-MAN protocol, which permits CredSSP, Kerberos or NTLM authentication. When you use CredSSP to connect to a remote Hyper-V host, you can do a live migration without enabling constrained delegation in Active Directory. The WS-MAN-based infrastructure also makes it easier to enable a host for remote management. WS-MAN connects over port 80, which is open by default.
How does it work?
Administrators can create Hyper-V Failover Cluster with Hyper-V Manager. A Failover Cluster (or High Availability Cluster) is a set of 2 or more Hyper-V nodes. Hyper-V works in Cluster mode to provide High Availability and Failover to Virtual Machines with only a few seconds of downtime. Virtual Machines will still be unavailable for a few seconds, the time (seconds) failover services takeover and move Virtual Machines between nodes. Hyper-V Failover Cluster is then administrated through Failover Cluster Manager.
With Hyper-V Manager, an administrator can manage a local or remote Hyper-V. Hyper-V Manager will be installed when you install Hyper-V Management tools which you can do either through a full Hyper-V installation or a tools-only installation. Doing a tools-only installation means you can use the tools on computers that don’t meet the hardware requirements to host Hyper-V.
How to Install Hyper-V Manager?
Hyper-V Manager can be installed with Hyper-V Management Tools through Server Manager “Add Roles and Features” or through PowerShell. Hyper-V Manager can be installed when installing Hyper-V role or can be installed when Hyper-V role is already installed, and not as a Hyper-V Manager feature.
Install Hyper-V Manager through Server Manager – “Add Roles and Features.”
In “Server Manager Dashboard” select “Manager” and “Add Roles and Features,” click next until you reach Roles section if Hyper-V is already installed, click next and in Features section check in “Remote Server Administration Tools – Role Administration Tools – Hyper-V Management Tools.”
Note: If the plan is to install Hyper-V role you can select here if the plan is just to install Hyper-V Manager, click next.
In this section choose the Hyper-V Manager features to install: Hyper-V Manager GUI Management Tools, Hyper-V Module for Windows PowerShell.
Hyper-V Module for Windows PowerShell is a module where the administrator can do all Hyper-V Manager tasks using PowerShell scripting (like creating and change VMs).
After Hyper-V Module for Windows PowerShell is installed, you can find module source files in C:\Windows\System32\WindowsPowerShell\v1.0\Modules\Hyper-V. The module will automatically load every time PowerShell is started.
More details about Hyper-V Module for Windows PowerShell can be found here: Hyper-V and Windows PowerShell
Install Hyper-V Manager using PowerShell
To install Hyper-V Role without Management Tools run:
Install-WindowsFeature -Name Hyper-V
To install Hyper-V Role with Management Tools run:
Install-WindowsFeature -Name Hyper-V -IncludeManagementTools
To install just Hyper-V Management Tools run:
Install-WindowsFeature RSAT-Hyper-V-Tools -IncludeAllSubFeature
To install and use just Hyper-V Module for Windows PowerShell run:
After installing Hyper-V Manager, you will see the icon in your Windows (in Administrative Tools).
Possible operations and tasks in Hyper-V Manager:
- Create/Change Virtual Machine
- Rename Virtual Machine
- Start/Stop Virtual Machine
- Add virtual devices
- Add/change Virtual Networks
- Add/change Virtual Disks
- Install Guest OS
- Create/Delete Snapshots
- Enable Virtual Machine Replication
- Create/Change Virtual Network Switch (Internal, External or Private Networks)
- Enable Switch Extensions
- WFP vSwitch Extension LightWeight Filter for Hyper-V Virtual Switch Filtering
- Microsoft Azure VFP Switch Extension
- Microsoft NDIS Packet Capture Filter Driver
- Rename Virtual Network Switch
- Add VLANs
- Add/Change Mac Addresses
Virtual SAN Manager
- Create/Change Virtual Fiber Channel SANs
- Define/Change World Wide Names (WWN
- World Wide Port Name (WWPN)
- World Wide Node Name (WWNN)
With Hyper-V Manager, administrators can also Edit and Inspect Virtual Machine Virtual Hard Disks (virtual disks are stored as .vhd or .vhx files)
Hyper-V Manager is the primary management tool for an administrator managing their Hyper-V Infrastructure (Local, Remote or even Cluster). As we have seen, this can be done through Hyper-V Manager GUI or use Hyper-V Module for Windows PowerShell. All tasks and operations can be done with both options.
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