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Hyper-V architecture can be misleading


In this post, I will speak about a very important topic that could decrease you virtual infrastructure performances if you are using Hyper-V or you intend to use it.

First of all, during working on a SCOM project, I wanted to try some new features in a test environment. But I had just one server (HP DL 380 with 16Go) to do it.

For this reason, I have thought about virtualizing (using Hyper-V) a domain controller on the same server before installing SCOM. The benefit of installing Hyper-V is so obvious: The Hypervisor starts before any virtual machine and all the virtual machines start at the same time even the parent partition. So, logically and generally, no problems with domain authentications if you are using domain accounts for the services.

However, with 14Go, I have noticed that my SCOM is so lento! So what’s the matter?

The response is in my introduction: Hyper-V relies on its parent partition to deliver virtualization services and drivers access to the child partitions:

Unfortunately, Hyper-V role allows you to install anything on the parent partition. And according to the Microsoft best practices, it is recommended to install the core edition in such way to limit you. So the parent partition is not dedicated for installing production products like SQL Server, SCOM, SharePoint, etc. And even you have to do it for test purposes, think about following the best practices like using the disk passthrough for the databases.

If we take a look on the ESX architecture we’ll see that this problem could not occur easily. As the VMKernel does not allow anything to be installed, the performances headache is eliminated.

To solve the problem, you have to use the ancient virtualization technology that relies on the host operating system. The advantage of this solution is that your test environment is not virtualized and in this case, you enjoy entirely the benefits of your hardware performances. Virtual Box can be so useful in such situations. You have just to configure automatic starts of your virtual machines (domain controller for example) and authentication latencies of the services that use domain or service accounts for example.

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