Prior to deployment on production I wanted to test new Windows Server 2016 Hyper V Cluster. On paper it seems it didn’t change much from Windows Server 2012 R2 but still there is fear of unknown. My goal was to test all of it on my desktop workstation since it is quite good even after 3 years of service it is still capable of doing some serious business. Main new feature that will enable me to do this is called Nested Virtualization.

Well now after everything I must say I am impressed what I was capable to achieve and this will be series of articles and step by step instructions if you are interested in doing similar setup at your home or just part of it for fun.

First things comes first 🙂

In all possible scenarios planing and preparation is half work done right there, because of that we need detail plan of our future Hyper V cluster environment and all of it parts and envision our test case.

Let see what hardware I have and what you will need or at least something similar if not better:

CPU: Intel i7  3770K (Any CPU will do only we need to be sure that it supports Vt-x and VT-d, more cores and speed help in performance segment so this 377oK is ideal)

RAM: 32 GB DDR3 (Well this is very important since all VMs you plan to deploy will consume certain amount of RAM so I would say that 16 GB is minimum for this kind of lab)

HDD: 500 GB (this will be more than enough to accommodate our LAB but there is difference in type of disk and thus performance I have few disks and my OS disks are SSD – 250 GB. This 500 GB is where all our VM will be and it is regular 7200rpm disk.)

OS: Windows 10 Pro or Enterprise Anniversary Update build 1607 (this is must if we want nested virtualization)

Some steps that are straight forward I will not focus in detail, because I want to focus on some more important things but I will give link and point how can you achieve that.

Hyper V does not come installed by default on Windows 10 so you can follow  these instructions how to enable it.

After we have working Hyper V it is time to plan our LAB test environment.

Scenario 1:

Scenario 2:

We can do this in two ways and footprint is quite different in both scenarios. One way is doing it via GUI and with full featured Windows Server 2016 using VM templates for deployment and other is via PowerShell using new Nano Server.

Note: First scenario also can be done with PowerShell and DSC (Desired State Configuration) which make it a lot quicker deployment but that part is intentionally left for other post and tutorial.

Also SAN component will be different in both scenarios. In first we will use StarWind Virtual SAN and in second new Storage Spaces Direct functionality in Windows 2016 also considered Hyper Converged scenario.

You can see both diagrams here and our plan in table below regarding deploying VMs and their planed resources on our host.

Scenario 1:

SRV001-N1 2 GB 20 GB 2 2
SAN 2 GB 200 GB 2 2
SRV001-A1 4 GB 20 GB 4 2
SRV002-A2 4 GB 20 GB 4 2

Scenario 2:

VM Memory HDD VNIC vCPU VHDx for Performance VHDx for Capacity
SRV001-N1 2 GB 20 GB 2 2 0 0
NanoSRV01 4 GB 4 GB 2 2 2 x 10 GB 4 x 20 GB
NanoSRV01 4 GB 4 GB 2 2 2 x 10 GB 4 x 20 GB

As you can see from table above Scenario 2 have additional disks that will be used for Storage Spaces Direct.

Its time to start with my first scenario and it will be in my next post.