If you are by any chance a developer reading my blog, you know how painful it is to go after IT department begging for resources for your test lab. Guess what! Screw IT guys (Don’t take it hard on them. They are doing their best. Only problem is $$$$) with Windows 8 & Windows 8.1 you can build your own test lab using Client Hyper-V. Now I know this first hand because I face this problem daily with our development team and we had a awareness session recently on Client Hyper-V.
Client Hyper-V is same as Hyper-V server or Windows Server with Hyper-V role installed (of source with some limitations). All you have to do is enable Hardware Virtualization in you laptop/PC and enable the Hyper-V feature in the OS.
Following features from the Server version of Hyper-V is lack on the Client version.
- Remote FX ability to virtualize GPUs
- Live migration of VMs
- Hyper-V Replica
- SR-IOV networking
- Virtual Fibre Channel
Now lets take a peek on how to do it in a proper way.
- A PC/laptop with a minimum of 4 GB RAM running on 64 bit version of Windows 8/8.1 Professional or Enterprise version (Yes this is a as it is requirement)
- 64 bit processor with Second Level Address Translation (SLAT)
- Hardware Virtualization support in the chipset. You can check this in your BIOS. Most of the modern motherboards have this feature and you can turn it on from BIOS setup. It should be something of a check box saying”enable Virtualization Technology (VTx)”
- Enable Hardware Virtualization from your BIOS setup (Not so sure. Just Google it)
- Go to Control Panel > Programs and Features > Turn Windows Features on or off > Select Hyper-V and Click OK. You need to chosse both Hyper-V Management Tools & Hyper-V Platform. If you choose the management tools alone, you can only remotely administer Hyper-V host and cannot create any VMs on your PC.
AND THAT’S IT! NO MORE BUGGING.
Well you may still require to create a Virtual switch (External Virtual Switch is recommended in order to allow Internet access to your VMs) and associate vNICs of your VMs to that. Well here is a fully featured article from Canadian IT PRO connection blog that explains how to do it yourself. (A big thank you for them as well). Now take advantage of this cool feature from you Windows 8/8.1 PC/laptop and build your test lab in minutes.
One more thing.
More VMs = More Physical RAM + Disk Space
Obviously you need around 16 GB of RAM plus adequate disk space if you need couple VMs depending on your memory allocation. Also take a look at your CPU as well/ Better the CPU is better the performance of your VMs.