Windows Server 2016 is Finally RTM and in MSDN

So, I didn’t want to waste a lot of time getting things configured to just go and remove it and start over when 2016 came out.

A lot of my home cloud has not been configured. I had installed Windows 10 Enterprise on all the machines mainly to test everything.

After reviewing my options, I’m not going to install NANO on the servers that will be my HyperV cluster. No I’m installing Windows 2016 Hyper-V server on them. Its basically like NANO with the HyperV role built in.

Though I got some sad news, I couldn’t install HyperV 2016 on any of my machines, they lack the SLAT processor option.

Regardless of the Hyper-V features you want to use, you’ll need:

  • A 64-bit processor with second-level address translation (SLAT). To install the Hyper-V virtualization components such as Windows hypervisor, the processor must have SLAT. However, it’s not required to install Hyper-V management tools like Virtual Machine Connection (VMConnect), Hyper-V Manager, and the Hyper-V cmdlets for Windows PowerShell. See “How to check for Hyper-V requirements,” below, to find out if your processor has SLAT.
  • VM Monitor Mode extensions
  • Enough memory – plan for at least 4 GB of RAM. More memory is better. You’ll need enough memory for the host and all virtual machines that you want to run at the same time.
  • Virtualization support turned on in the BIOS or UEFI:
    • Hardware-assisted virtualization. This is available in processors that include a virtualization option – specifically processors with Intel Virtualization Technology (Intel VT) or AMD Virtualization (AMD-V) technology.
    • Hardware-enforced Data Execution Prevention (DEP) must be available and enabled. For Intel systems, this is the XD bit (execute disable bit). For AMD systems, this is the NX bit (no execute bit).

So I ran the “Systeminfo.exe” from a PowerShell prompt, and I didn’t have SLAT enabled. So its looking like no HyperV 2016 server on my boxes 🙁

Now keep in mind, I was able to install it fully, it didn’t give me any problems until I went to create a new VM and try to start it. Only then did it complain.

Now this is different than if you have the GUI, with the GUI when you try to add the role it tells you right away that you can’t.

So for my HyperV cluster I will be installing Windows 2012 R2 HyperV server, which is like the 2016 version (core with HyperV role) but with SLAT as optional.

Yes BTW I did update the BIOS and still no joy. Its not easy to find which processors have SLAT, I found once source that says all E5500 and higher have it, yet I have E7640 and figured that is way above E5500.

This works to my advantage, after all a large part of this is for my lab to simulate a client site going hybrid with on premise to Azure. Most of the clients I work with will be a few years out on moving to 2016. So a more realistic lab would have a mixture.

The key things learned:

  • Must have SLAT, VM Mode as well as what is listed above.
  • HyperV Server 2016 will install without checking for SLAT, so don’t get your hopes up thinking you got it nailed.
  • Mixed environment makes for a more realistic scenario for my lab.

Hope others find this useful, here are a few links I found useful during this experience:

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