Building up a learning lab based on Windows 8 and Hyper-V, Part II

Creating a Virtual Machine

This is a multi-part series that starts here:



So right click your virtual machine host in the Hyper-V Manager console and select “New/Virtual Machine”.  You should be rewarded with a screen like this:



So lets make a domain controller!  The dude is a fan of old school rap so I’ll give it a fun name as I walk you through the wizard.  By the way this doesn’t HAVE to be the machine name, it can be a friendly name as you see in a moment…

Note:  Some will say you need to store the VM in a different location, etc, etc.  This is a lab, don’t run production here, etc.




In this screen, you can specify the memory available to the VM.  The default is 512 (obviously) but this isn’t really enough for a healthy experience at startup, so I generally set this to 2048 MB of RAM and then check the box for dynamic memory so if a system is not using the memory it frees it up, etc.  Granted, it all depends on how much memory you have in your VM host.




Next we connect (or provide) the virtual network we created in the switch manager to the virtual machine we are creating by using the drop down to select our network we created in the previous blog post.  In retrospect I should have instructed you to name it something other than “New Virtual Switch”…



Hitting next on that window we proceed to the creation or attachment of a virtual disk to the virtual machine.



As you can see, the name of the vhdx file is set to the name of the virtual machine, in this instance, “Great Lyrics”.  “Great Lyrics” is getting a 127 GB vdhx by default because that’s well, the default.  Its also a dynamically expanding vhdx.  In production, you’d generally want to specify static sized vhdx files but for a lab, dynamic is quite fine and shouldn’t incur a performance penalty.  Do note if you have a machine, say, with more than one hard drive attached, or even removable storage such as a USB 3 drive, that is certainly an option for storage placement as well.  You may of course attach to an existing static sized vhdx here, as well as skip the step completely by selecting the bottom radio button.  In this example I’ll go with the defaults.  “Great Lyrics” is going to be a domain controller running Windows Server 2012 for my lab environment and I don’t anticipate the disk needing to be much larger than 20-30 GB anyway, and since this is dynamic, it only consumes the size of the data in the disk, not the whole 127 GB, yay!


On the next screen of the wizard we have a few options as you can see to install an operating system.



We may do the default, which is to skip the step entirely, pick a DVD drive or ISO image for installation (which won’t happen exactly now anyway) or use a virtual floppy disk.  As well, if I were not on an airplane flying over the Atlantic ocean with no wifi onboard, we’d have the option to do a network based install using the virtual network (assuming it were bound to a physical network card and was an ‘external’ virtual switch.

Anyway for this page I select “next”, as we are going to make some modifications to the virtual machine after creating it, prior to OS install.  After that we get the window below that shows us what we’ve selected and a finish button.  Congratulations!




Next step is to modify the virtual machine “Great Lyrics” for production use.


*Q:  Why did you pick “Great Lyrics” for a name, makes no sense?  A:  Great Lyrics, more than anything else (IMO) make a great rap song.  Lyrics in the 80s and early 90s in particular are really (if you think about it) urban poetry with music.  Not to down play the creation of phat beats, we’ll get to that with other machine names, promise.

Next blog post will be on modifying the virtual machine to make it ‘demo ready’ in the Dudes eyes.

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