Installing Server 2008 R2 with Hyper-V as LAB and UC workstation

Last week I got a new laptop (workstation), it was quite an upgrade from my previous machine sporting

– 16 GB memory
– Intel i7 quadcore
– Builtin HD cam
– 120 GB SSD

Wanting to convert it to the a powerful tool for my UC labs and my UC workshop I thought maybe installing Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 and use it as my desktop OS. After all Server 2008 R2 share the same basecode as Windows 7. This will enable me taking advantage of all the cool server roles that are available on this platform and at the same time not installing unnecessary features. My main motivation was getting some hands-on Hyper-V and using it as my virtualization platform. Figured that would make it simpler to take advantage of the Lync labs available by Microsoft and some of my own.

Wanting to check if at all feasible I asked an open question on Twitter:

  • StaleHansen: Is there any use of installing Server 2008 on my Laptop workstation? Thinking about utilizing Hyper-V for lab’s #Server2008 #HyperV #mvpbuzz
    • bartsurminski: You can configure server 2008 r2 to act as a fully configured workstation and use Hyper-V
    • tomarbuthnot: Server on laptop works fine. Just no hibernation with hyper-v. In the end VMware workstation wins for me
  • StaleHansen: Thanks for the tip, but do you have sleep? Use that a lot today.
    • tomarbuthnot: No sleep with hyper-v. All power stuff disabled. Also VMware wrkstn does all a/v sharing the hardware. Tried both, vmw For me
    • gusfraser: Tried both. Win7 for hibernation & either VMWare or VirtualBox work for me. 2008 tips here

After this conversation I found out two things

  1. Twitter works!
  2. It is doable, but need to be aware of hibernation limitation when using Hyper-V

I decided I would try, and reinstall if it was a fail. I started searching around the web for how to go about this and found a lot of good resources in addition to the ones from Twitter.

Here is my install path for Installing Server 2008 R2 as my lab and UC workstation

Installing the Hyper-V role

I have run this configuration a couple of days now and are still enjoying it. Especially enjoy dynamic memory management and having Microsoft’s full hypervizor at my fingertips when working and doing lab’s

I am also looking into using PowerShell to start the Hyper-V service and control my VM’s. Found these resources to start me in the right direction