Management of Microsoft Hyper-V on Windows Server 2008 (Server Core)

I recently bought a new server in order to consolidate various machines onto one host.  The intention here is to license Microsoft Hyper-V Server when it is released but, as that’s not available to me right now, I thought I’d use the latest Windows Server 2008 (Server Core) build with the Hyper-V role enabled.  Everything was looking good until I built the server, installed Hyper-V (using the ocsetup Microsoft-Hyper-V command) and realised that although I had a functioning Hyper-V server, I had no way to manage it.

According to the release notes for the Hyper-V beta:

"To manage Hyper-V on a server core installation, you can do the following:

  • Use Hyper-V Manager to connect to the server core installation remotely from a full installation of Windows Server 2008 on which the Hyper-V role is installed.
  • Use the WMI interface."

I wanted to run Hyper-V on Server Core because my experience of running Virtual Server on Windows Server 2003 has been that patching the host is a major issue involving downtime on each guest virtual machine.  Similarly (unless I migrate the workload to another server) applying updates to the parent partition on Hyper-V will also result in downtime in each child partition.  By using Server Core, I reduce the size of the attack surface and therefore the likelihood of a critical patch being applicable to my server.  If I need another Windows Server 2008 machine with Hyper-V installed just to manage the box then that’s not helping me much – even a version of Hyper-V Manager to run on a Windows client machine and administer the server would be a huge step forward!

I’ve raised a feedback request highlighting this as a potential issue which restricts the scenarios in which Hyper-V will be deployed; however I’m expecting it to be closed as "by design" and therefore not holding out much hope of this getting fixed before product release.

5 thoughts on “Management of Microsoft Hyper-V on Windows Server 2008 (Server Core)


  1. The Hyper-V management console will just be an EXE and some DLLs (can’t remember if it’s an MMC), if you copy those across from a full install and register on your management machine, you should be right to go.


  2. Not having much luck registering the Hyper-V Manager DLLs but there is some hope – I found this on Mike Kolitz’s Virtual Varia blog:

    Remote Administration tools for Hyper-V. These aren’t available yet, but in our final release, we’ll provide a way for you to install the Hyper-V Manager tools on Windows Vista, so you won’t actually have to run them on a server.”

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