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Monday, 9 May 2011

Hyper-V Woes

I have been quiet lately, for a variety of reasons, but I'm back and ready to moan.

I've just had my first attempt at working with MS Hyper-V, and boy was it fun! Now, before I start, I'm not MS bashing for the sake of it here, I was determined to give this a good go and do my best to a simple system up and running quickly. I'd also like to point out that I DO have experience in working in Virtual environments, in VMware ESXi, VirtualBox and a little bit of KVM.

Setting up the VM parameters was great, nice and easy, just like using VMware Infrastructure Client but with the added advantage of working on the localhost rather than across a network. We'll not go into why the physical server is in Australia and how I accessed the physical server, that is for another day's blog.
"I like this!" I thought.........
Installing the Ubuntu 10.04 LTS OS was next and started off quite well, chose my options etc, but then I got "No Network Adapter Found" error message, things started to go pear shaped. I Googled and found a solution which involved loading hv modules at boot by generating a new initrd image. Great, easy. Or not.....

No dice. Nada. Zip. Nothing. No network connectivity at all. "Ok, I'll try some other suggestions" I thought. I tried setting a legacy adapter in Hyper-V, manually starting the hv modules and restarting networking, editing the interfaces file, multiple reboots, but still the NIC is not recognised.

So I have an installed VM server with no connectivity, only just above the chocolate teapot in terms of usefulness then.

Next thing to try is a full re-install (thank goodness it's Linux and only takes 15-20 mins start to finish) but I'm not holding out much hope....and I was right not to. I installed VirtualBox on the Windows server and had my VM up, running and configured in less than half an hour.

The thing is that this process just worked on ANY OTHER virtualisation platform I've tried it on. I was not trying to do something difficult or out of the ordinary, it was a bog standard install of a simple server OS. Now before anybody takes a pop at me and says that the problem lies with Linux for not having the kernel modules to work with Hyper-V, that is not relevant, especially as the kernel modules were loaded. If MS are serious about Hyper-V becoming a VMware beater, they need to provide support for as wide a collection of guest OSs as possible. I've just wasted several hours of my life trying to use what is supposed to be an enterprise class system to do something very simple, which it refused to do. Fail Microsoft, fail.

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