Managing Remote Hyper-V Servers From Windows 7

I’m using the Mini9 quite a lot lately, at least in part to fiddle with Windows 7. I decided it would be nice to be able to access our Hyper-V servers so I went looking for the management tools…

It turns out that Windows 7 ships with the Hyper-V management snap-ins. No real surprise there as my understanding is that it also includes Hyper-V (although I’ve not managed to run it up on an x64 machine yet so I can’t verify that – it certainly isn’t available in x86). To get at them, you need to install the relevant bits of Windows through the ‘Turn Windows Features on or off’ UI:

Windows 7 Control Panel, Programs and Feature section

Make sure the third item down is checked:

Windows Features dialog

Once that’s installed, you can find the Hyper-V Management Console in Administrative Tools via Control Panel.

But it doesn’t work!

John Howard wrote a very useful series of posts about solving this issue with Vista and Server 2008. It turns out that there is one bit which is still relevant in Windows 7. Setting COM Security via dcomcnfg still needs to be done:

You need to run dcomcnfg as an administrator to do this. Once in, browse through Component Services, Computers to see ‘My Computer’. Right-click and pull up Properties. In the COM Security tab you need to select Edit Limits in the Access Permissions section. Make sure that ANONYMUOS LOGON has Remote Access rights enabled.

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Once that’s done, the Hyper-V management console will happily connect to remote servers.

It’s quite frustrating that the management tool installation does not do this, or if security is an issue, that there isn’t a more user friendly way (like an option in the snapin to help) to set the rights correctly.

Netware 6.5 on Hyper-V

As part of a customer project I needed to create a Netware environment for testing. It’s been a little while since I did any netware management and I quite enjoyed it. I did, however, encounter a couple of gotchas which I thought I’d write up for the greater good.

Netware OS

Installing the Netware OS was actually pretty straightforward. There are no integration services offered for Netware so from the outset I knew that I would need to use legacy hardware options in the virtual machine.

I created a nice big dynamic virtual hard disk for the server because I will need to install GroupWise and a whole bunch of other services later. I attached this to the virtual IDE controller, gave the machine a single processor core as anything more needs integration services, and (critically!) added a legacy network adapter. Netware isn’t a huge memory hog, so I added 1Gb of RAM and off we went.

I hit a snag at the point where the server tried to identify network drivers – it couldn’t find any, and I couldn’t see any in the list to load manually which matched the emulated hardware.

The solution turned out to be really simple: as you step through the installation screens there is an option to allow unsupported drivers. By default that is set to no. If you change it to yes, the installation recognises the network adapter as an old DEC and loads a driver which works.

Apart from that, I have experienced no difficulties with the server whatsoever, other than I have to run the machine connection window full screen to be able to switch between console screens.

Windows Client

I will admit, this one drove me crazy for a while before my final epiphany. There is a Novell client for Windows Vista now available, but why build a Vista VPC when an XP one would need less horsepower?

I dutifully grabbed an old Virtual PC VHD of our XP base install and fired it up.

Problem number one: In order to install the integration services I need to first uninstall Virtual Server Additions. No sweat, thinks I, clicking the uninstall button. Nope – you get a nice message saying that setup can only run inside a virtual machine!
Slightly surreal, I must say. I had to fire up the machine under Virtual PC and remove the additions, then copy the VHD back on the hyper-v server and start the system so I could install the integration services.

Problem number two: Once I’d installed the Novell client I couldn’t get it to see the Netware server. Nothing I did would work – I strapped down every setting I could on the client to point it at the Netware machine but it refused to connect, although I could ping between the two quite happily.
The solution, when I finally figured it out (and I must admit it was pure chance that I thought to try it) was to remove the shiny new virtual network adapter and replace it with a legacy adapter. As soon as I did that, the Novell client could communicate quite happily with the server!

The situation would appear to be that the Novell client stack can’t communicate properly through the new virtualised driver provided by Hyper-V. Exactly why this should be, I have no idea, but it drove me wild for a good couple of hours today.