Introduction to Windows Server 2016 Nested

Introduction to Windows Server 2016 Nested
Front cover
Introduction to Windows
Server 2016 Nested
Virtualization
Introduces this new feature of
Microsoft Windows Server 2016
Describes the steps how to
implement nested virtualization
Demonstrates how to create VMs
nested three levels
Helps IT Specialists understand the
new features of Windows Server 2016
Liu Ping
Michael Miller
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Abstract
Windows Server 2016 includes a number new features that will be useful to IT managers and
nested virtualization is one of them. This new feature makes it possible to create virtual
machines inside virtual machines running on one physical server. This feature is particularly
useful in cloud environments.
In this paper we describe how to enable and use this feature on Lenovo servers using
Windows Server 2016 Technical Preview 4 (TP4). We provide the step-by-step instructions
on how to create a virtual machine inside a Hyper-V virtual machine.
This paper is aimed at IT specialists and IT managers wanting to understand more about the
new features of Windows Server 2016.
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Contents
Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
Hyper-V virtualization . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
Creating a nested virtual machine . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4
Summary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13
Authors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14
Notices . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15
Trademarks . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16
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Introduction to Windows Server 2016 Nested Virtualization
Introduction
Nested virtualization is a new feature of Windows Server 2016 that enables users to run
virtualization inside a virtualized environment. It is similar in concept to the VMware ESXi
feature with the same name. With this new feature, you can create and run a Hyper-V virtual
machine (VM) inside a Hyper-V guest environment.
In our lab we used Windows Server 2016 Technical Preview 4 (TP4) and we evaluated the
new feature on these Lenovo® servers:
򐂰 ThinkServer® TD340
򐂰 ThinkServer RD650
򐂰 System x3650 M5
The configuration of the TD340 was as follows:
򐂰
򐂰
򐂰
򐂰
CPU: Intel Xeon E5-2470 v2 processor
Memory: 32 GB DDR3 memory
Storage: 500 GB SATA HDD
NIC: Intel I350-T4 Ethernet adapter
The objective of our testing was to create a a guest operating system three-levels deep using
Hyper-V; that is, a guest VM within a guest VM within a guest VM.
Hyper-V virtualization
Server virtualization enables users to run multiple operating systems on a single physical
machine as virtual machines. This function can consolidate workloads of underutilized server
machines into a smaller number of fully utilized machines.
Hyper-V requires hardware virtualization support (such as Intel VT-x and AMD-V) to run
virtual machines. However, the hypervisor has previously hidden this capability from guest
VMs which prevents guest VM from running Hyper-V server role among other hypervisors.
For example, in Windows Server 2012 R2, the Hyper-V role cannot be installed in a Hyper-V
guest OS.
In Windows Server 2016 TP4 however, Microsoft provides PowerShell scripts to enable
virtualization within hosted Windows Server 2016 VMs.
The following two diagrams illustrate the architectural differences between Hyper-V VMs and
Hyper-V Nested VMs. Figure 1 on page 4 represents Hyper-V without nesting. The Hyper-V
hypervisor takes full control of the hardware virtualization extensions, and does not expose
them to the guest operating systems.
© Copyright Lenovo 2016. All rights reserved.
3
No
virtualization
VM
VM
vCPU
VM
Host Hypervisor
Using physical
virtualization
vSwitch
Physical system with virtualization support
Figure 1 Hyper-V without nested VMs
In contrast, Figure 2 represents Hyper-V with nesting. In this case, Hyper-V exposes the
hardware virtualization extensions to its virtual machines. With nesting enabled, a guest
virtual machine can install its own hypervisor and run its own guest VMs.
VM L1
VM L2
VM
L3
vCPU
VM
L3
VM
L3
vSwitch
Guest Hypervisor
vSwitch
vCPU
Guest Hypervisor
Get virtualization support from
physical environment
vCPU
Virtualization support
your choice
VM
L2
Get virtualization support from
virtualization environment
VM
L1
VM
L1
vSwitch
Host Hypervisor
Using physical
virtualization
Physical system with virtualization support
Figure 2 Hyper-V with nested virtual machines
Creating a nested virtual machine
The steps to configure Hyper-V and create nested virtual machines are as follows:
1. Install Windows Server 2016 TP4 on the host, as well as the Hyper-V feature role.
2. Create a first layer of VM named VM1. Be sure to provision enough resources for VM1 as
subsequent layers of virtualization will require some of these resources as well. In our
tests we kept the default selections of 24 GB of memory and 320 GB of storage. As
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Introduction to Windows Server 2016 Nested Virtualization
Windows Server 2016 TP4 is installed in each layer of VM, keep 8 GB of memory and 60
GB of disk for each layer of VM.
a. In the New Virtual Machine Wizard, choose Generation 2 in the “Specify Generation”
setting, as shown in Figure 3
Figure 3 Specify generation
b. Assign 24 GB of memory to first layer of VM. Ensure that Use Dynamic Memory for
this virtual machine is not selected. See Figure 4.
Figure 4 Assign memory
c. Assign 320 GB of HDD to the first layer of VM, as shown in Figure 5.
Figure 5 Create a virtual hard disk
5
d. Assign physical server’s Ethernet controller (I350 NIC in our example) to the vSwitch
between host and VM, Figure 6.
Figure 6 Configure networking
3. Install Windows Server 2016 TP4 on the VM you just created, VM1. If you attempt to
directly install the Hyper-V role in VM1, you may meet with the following error, Figure 7.
Hyper-V cannot be installed: the processor does not have required
virtualization capabilities
You will see this message because, by default, the hypervisor hides hardware
virtualization support capability from guest VMs. The next steps are to use the PowerShell
scripts to enable virtualization support capability for guest VMs.
Figure 7 Error installing the Hyper-V server role
4. Shut down VM1.
5. Download the two PowerShell scripts as follows:
– Enable-NestedVM.ps1
This script is used to enable virtualization support within a VM.
6
Introduction to Windows Server 2016 Nested Virtualization
https://raw.githubusercontent.com/Microsoft/Virtualization-Documentation/mas
ter/hyperv-tools/Nested/Enable-NestedVm.ps1
– Get-NestedVirtStatus.ps1
This script is used to get status of nested virtualization and to verify that nested
virtualization is supported.
https://raw.githubusercontent.com/Microsoft/Virtualization-Documentation/mas
ter/hyperv-tools/Nested/Get-NestedVirtStatus.ps1
Use the following command syntax to download them:
Invoke-WebRequest link_address -OutFile ~/filename.ps1
For example for the first script:
Invoke-WebRequest https://raw.githubusercontent.com/Microsoft/VirtualizationDocumentation/master/hyperv-tools/Nested/Enable-NestedVm.ps1 -OutFile
~/Enable-NestedVm.ps1”
Tip: We recommend you use the Invoke-WebRequest command to download the
scripts rather than using your browser’s Save As functionality. Using the command will
ensure the script is downloaded without any character conversions.
6. Use the PowerShell scripts to verify support and to enable support of nested virtualization.
To know whether the physical system supports nested virtualization or not, Microsoft
provides Get-NestedVirtStatus.ps1 to check support status. This is an easier way to
validate support rather than reviewing the processor specifications.
a. Open PowerShell as Administrator
b. Change to the folder where you downloaded the scripts
c. Issue the following command to check the status:
.\Get-NestedVirtStatus.ps1
Figure 8 on page 8 shows that our lab system, the ThinkServer TD340, supports
nested virtualization, but VM1 currently does not support it.
7
Figure 8 Output of the Get-NestedVirtStatus command
d. Issue the following command to enable virtualization of VM1:
.\Enable-NestedVm.ps1 -Vmname "VM1"
The output of this command is shown in Figure 9.
Figure 9 Output of the Enable-NestedVm command
e. To check status again, issue the following command:
.\Get-NestedVirtStatus.ps1
The status changes to YES as shown in Figure 10 on page 9. This will enable you to
install the Hyper-V feature role in VM1.
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Introduction to Windows Server 2016 Nested Virtualization
Figure 10 Checking the status after enabling nested virtualization
7. In the settings for VM1, change the setting Automatic Stop Action to Turn off the virtual
machine. We are doing this to avoid problems associated with nesting as indicated in the
warning message displayed in Figure 9 on page 8.
8. Boot VM1 again and enable the Hyper-V server role into the virtual machine. This time,
you should not see the same error you did in step 3 on page 6.
9. From within VM1, create a virtual machine named VM2. Provision 16 GB of memory to
VM2, Figure 11.
Figure 11 Assigning memory to VM2
10.Provision 120 GB of disk to VM2, Figure 12 on page 10.
9
Figure 12 Configuring a disk to VM2
11. Select Microsoft Hyper-V network adapter - virtual switch to VM2 as VM2 vSwitch as
shown in Figure 13.
Figure 13 Configuring networking in VM2
12.Copy Windows Server 2016 TP4 ISO image and the two PowerShell scripts to VM1, and
install Windows Server 2016 TP4 into VM2. We used the ISO image as the source files to
install the operating system.
13.In Figure 14 on page 11, you can see that VM2 is a guest of VM1 and VM1 is a guest on
the physical server.
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Introduction to Windows Server 2016 Nested Virtualization
Figure 14 Two levels of nesting Windows Server 2016
14.To enable nesting inside VM2, shut down VM2 and run the PowerShell scripts. We ran
Enable-NestedVM.ps1 in VM1 to enable virtualization support of VM2. The command is:
.\Enable-NestedVm.ps1 -Vmname "VM2"
The output of the command is shown in Figure 15.
Figure 15 Running Enable-NestedVM in VM1 to enable nesting support in VM2
15. Verify that nesting has been enabled using the Get-NestedVirtStatus command in VM1 as
shown in Figure 16 on page 12. The command is:
.\Get-NestedVirtStatus.ps1
11
Figure 16 Verifying the status of nested virtualization in VM2
Now that nested virtualization has been enabled in VM2, we can enable the Hyper-V
role and install Windows in a new virtual machine.
16.As we did in step 7 on page 9, In the settings for VM2, change the setting Automatic Stop
Action to Turn off the virtual machine.
17.Boot to VM2 and enable the Hyper-V feature role in VM2.
18.Create the third-level VM named VM3. Provision 8 GB of memory and 60 GB of disk.
19.Copy Windows Server 2016 TP4 ISO image to VM2 and install Windows Server 2016 TP4
into VM3.
As we show in Figure 17 on page 13, we now have 3 levels of embedded virtual machines,
confirming that the nested virtualization feature is functioning correctly.
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Introduction to Windows Server 2016 Nested Virtualization
Figure 17 Nested virtualization to three levels
Summary
Nested virtualization in Windows Server 2016 beings a new usage scenario for virtualization
with Hyper-V that will be particularly useful in cloud installations. This paper describes how to
enable the feature on Lenovo servers.
For more information on nested virtualization, see this following articles:
򐂰 Nested Virtualization
https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/virtualization/hyperv_on_windows/user_guide/ne
sting
򐂰 Windows Insider Preview: Nested Virtualization
http://blogs.technet.com/b/virtualization/archive/2015/10/13/windows-insider-pr
eview-nested-virtualization.aspx
򐂰 Welcome To Hyper-V Nested Virtualization
http://blogs.msdn.com/b/msgulfcommunity/archive/2015/10/14/welcome-to-hyper-v-n
ested-virtualization.aspx
13
Authors
This paper was produced by the following team of specialists:
Liu Ping is a Windows Engineer with the Lenovo Data Center Group in Beijing, China. She
has had eight years of experience with diagnostics development, seven years of experience
with BIOS development, and two years of experience with Windows debugging.
Michael Miller is a Windows Engineer with the Lenovo Data Center Group Lab in Kirkland,
Washington. Mike has 35 years in the IT industry primarily in client/server support and
development roles. The last 10 years have been focused on Windows server operating
systems and server-level hardware, particularly on operating system/hardware compatibility,
advanced Windows features, and Windows test functions.
Thanks to the following people for their contributions to this project:
򐂰 Yang Yao, Lenovo Information Development
򐂰 David Watts, Lenovo Press
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Introduction to Windows Server 2016 Nested Virtualization
Notices
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Attention: Lenovo Director of Licensing
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Any performance data contained herein was determined in a controlled environment. Therefore, the result
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© Copyright Lenovo 2016. All rights reserved.
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Lenovo(logo)®
ThinkServer®
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Other company, product, or service names may be trademarks or service marks of others.
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Introduction to Windows Server 2016 Nested Virtualization
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