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Data Center



Let's get graphical with Hyper-V

Trevor scripts up some GUI admin tools


Review We recently had a good look at what it takes to get a Hyper-V failover cluster up and running using PowerShell. It isn't quite as scary as it is often made out to be, but like many command line interfaces it is the stuff of laminated cheat sheets for administrators who don't use those commands every day.

The alternative is to get the graphical user interface (GUI) administration tools up and running. We will take a brief look at that here.

The right connections

If you want the GUI tools – and ultimately, they are a lot easier for casual administrators than PowerShell will ever be – you need to set everything up for remote administration.

This means getting Windows Remote Management (WinRM) configured properly, various permissions and some firewall rules set. Some examples of the kinds of commands you are in for are:

On the client:

winrm set winrm/config/client @{TrustedHosts="YOURSERVER"} reg add HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\System /v LocalAccountTokenFilterPolicy /t REG_DWORD /d 1 /f

On the server:

winrm set winrm/config/client @{TrustedHosts="YOURCLIENT"} Dism.exe /Online /Enable-Feature /FeatureName:NetFx2-Servercore /FeatureName:MicrosoftWindowsPowerShell /FeatureNameerverManager-PSH-Cmdlets /FeatureName:BestPractices-PSH-Cmdlets

Let me save you several fistfuls of hair: download the Hyper-V Remote Management Configuration Utility and use that instead of mucking about with the command line.

I also strongly encourage you to never under any circumstances or for any reason attempt to do anything with Hyper-V Server without having all your hosts on a domain.

Authentication and configuration drift sets in with only three hosts in use; trying to go beyond that is inviting madness. CredSSP is crafted from the raw, fundamental evil at the centre of the universe.

A good example of wackiness is trying to get Device Manager access working remotely. After some poking around it turns out you need to enable "Allow remote access to the Plug and Play interface" in the Group Policy Object located at "Configuration\Administrative Templates\System\Device Installation".

Oh, and if you want disk management to work, don't forget to ensure the Virtual Disk Service is enabled on the Hyper-V host. (That will catch more than a few folks, I'm sure.)

Another item you might run up against is network identification. Since there isn't exactly a usable interface to manage network identification even on copies of Windows that have a GUI, using a relevant script might help.

Of course, for any scripts you want to run on Hyper-V Server, you will need to set your PowerShell script execution policy accordingly. It is generally a bad idea to use "set-execution policy unrestricted", but I find it is worth it just to get things configured. Provided, of course, that you set it back to "set-execution policy restricted" when you are done.

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