Hyper-V is Microsoft’s native hypervisor that allows for the hosting of virtual machines. I’ve been seriously neglecting my homelab’s newish Hyper-V server for no good reason lately. Gates (pretty obvious namesake) is a Dell PowerEdge T20 Server with a measly 8GB memory (for now), 2 120GB SSDs in RAID 1 and 2 1TB WD Reds in RAID 1 as well. I’d previously installed Windows Server 2012 R2 Data Center on this server, but that’s about it. So it’s definitely time to bring this thing to life.
Adding the Hyper-V Role
I, firstly, installed Windows Server 2012 R2 Datacenter on the server’s bare metal. I went with the datacenter edition because it allows for unlimited VMs unlike the other versions. I gave this new server a static IP and enabled Remote Desktop Connect so I can manage the server remotely. Next, I added the Hyper-V role in Server Manager so now Hyper-V is running on the server’s bare metal. I don’t plan on running any live migrations to or from this server so I didn’t worry about those settings during this installation process.
Creating a Virtual Machine
Next it was time to create my first virtual machine within Hyper-V. To do this I navigated to the Hyper-V Manager and clicked ‘new virtual machine’ and followed the easy to use new virtual machine wizard.
I configured my VM with 2 GB dynamic memory, 128 GB storage (way overkill) and set it up as a second generation VM so it has the most up to date capabilities. I then specified that the VM use a Microsoft Server 2016 Technical Preview ISO that I’d recently downloaded.
I connected to the console of the newly created VM, started it up, and followed the easy to follow Windows prompts to install Server 2016. When I initially started the VM, I ran into a scary looking error message. After some Googling I realized that I simply failed to quickly hold down a key when booting from the ISO for the first time. So press and hold down a key as soon as booting from the ISO or you’ll get a scary warning message like I did.
Basic Windows Server 2016 Configuration
After I had Server 2016 up and running, I made a few final simple configuration changes to make it easier to manage. I then set a static IP address and changed the hostname on the VM. I also enabled remote desktop for remote management.
I haven’t added Gates or this newly created VM to my domain/Active Directory. I intend on eventually setting Gates up on its own VLAN and turning it into a primary Domain Controller for a new domain apart from my existing homelab domain. In the meantime, I’ll be installing a SQL 16 server and a Guacamole server on Gates. Stay tuned!