Dienstag, 25. Dezember 2012

Step-by-Step: Building a FREE Hyper-V Server 2012 Cluster

Leverage the FREE Hyper-V Server 2012 to provide an Enterprise-ready
Private Cloud Foundation!
Overhead at one of my recent IT Pro events:
The FREE Hyper-V Server 2012 sounds AWESOME! With the same features and scalability as the Hyper-V role in the full Windows Server 2012 OS, I could really use this to virtualize my application workloads very cost effectively.  But … I need high availability too! 
- Kris”
Great question, Kris! Configuring our FREE Hyper-V Server 2012 in a highly available cluster can be really easy.  In this article, I’ll step through the configuration of a Hyper-V host cluster configuration that uses Hyper-V Server 2012 so that you'll have the details to step through this process in your own lab environment.
In Part 2 of this article series, I’ll finish up with the steps needed to provision and test a highly available virtual machine within your new cluster.

Let’s start with a common scenario …

In this article, we’ll be building a small 2-node Hyper-V Server 2012 host cluster, but the same steps below can be applied to much larger cluster configurations – the FREE Hyper-V Server 2012, like Windows Server 2012, supports up to 64 physical nodes and up to 8,000 virtual machines per cluster.
To build the operating system on each of the Hyper-V hosts, we can leverage the Getting Started Guide to perform the following basic post-installation configuration tasks using the SConfig.cmd script:
  • Set static IP address information on each NIC
    • I’d recommend at least three (3) physical NICs for each cluster host as follows:
      • One NIC for cluster management and storage
        • Connect to a local storage subnet and do not set a default gateway address
        • Note that NIC teaming should not be used for storage networks using iSCSI.  Instead, if more bandwidth and/or resiliency is needed than a single NIC can provide, consider using multiple NICs or iSCSI HBAs with MPIO configured.
      • One NIC or NIC Team for live migration traffic
        • Connect to a local live migration subnet and do net set a default gateway address
      • One NIC or NIC Team for client network traffic to/from the VMs.  
        • Connect to your client network, configure default gateway and DNS info on this NIC or NIC team.
    • Note: If you are interested in leveraging NIC teaming on your Hyper-V hosts to create high bandwidth resilient network connections for live migration and client network traffic interfaces, see this study guide on configuring NIC teaming from our “Early Experts” study group.
  • Set a desired computer name on each host
  • Join each host to an Active Directory domain
    • Note that Active Directory is required for normal operation of Failover Clustering in Hyper-V Server 2012 and Windows Server 2012.  However, the product team has enhanced clustering a bit so that a cluster can now be brought online in disaster recovery situations where Active Directory may not be available on the network.
  • Enable Remote Management and Remote Desktop
Once you’ve gone through these steps, you should now have two standalone Hyper-V hosts that are ready to be configured as part of a cluster.

But wait! I need Shared Storage, Don’t I?

Yes, indeed – for Hyper-V Host Clusters you’ll need to provide shared storage in one way or another that each Hyper-V host can access for storing highly available VM’s.  Commonly, shared storage between Hyper-V hosts in a cluster can be provided via:
  • Fibre Channel (FC) SAN Arrays
  • iSCSI SAN Arrays
  • SAS JBOD Enclosures with SAS Expanders
  • SMB 3.0 Shared Folders on a Windows Server 2012 file server or, preferably, by a Windows Server 2012 clustered file services role for continuous storage availability.
If you already have an investment in FC or iSCSI SAN storage, Windows Server 2012 and Hyper-V Server 2012 will certainly continue to support those array options as shared storage solutions – in fact, with new features, like support for Offloaded Data Transfer (ODX), newer intelligent SAN arrays can perform amazingly better than ever with Windows Server 2012 and Hyper-V Server 2012!
However, if you haven’t invested yet in an intelligent SAN array for shared storage, SAS and SMB 3.0 can be cost-effective shared storage alternatives worth your consideration for a Hyper-V host cluster.

SAS? SMB? I don’t recognize those as shared storage options for VMs!

Support for shared SAS enclosures and SMB 3.0 shared folders as shared storage options for VMs in a cluster is new with Windows Server 2012 and Hyper-V Server 2012.  Both options can provide cost effective alternatives to more expensive intelligent SAN arrays.
  • SAS enclosures are supported as shared storage in a failover cluster via our new Storage Spacessubsystem in Windows Server 2012 and Hyper-V Server 2012.  Along with OEM partners, we’ve demonstrated SAS solutions based on Storage Spaces that have achieved ~1 Million IOPs using commodity storage components.
  • SMB 3.0 has been enhanced in Windows Server 2012 and Hyper-V Server 2012 for large amounts of random IO in big files, such as what you’d typically find with VM’s hosted in a shared folder, andcontinuous availability of shared folders when configured in a Windows Server 2012 file services cluster.  In fact, when leveraging hardware that supports SMB Direct, our testing has shown that SMB storage traffic can be within 2% of the performance of direct attached storage!
Both of these options can simplify shared storage configurations tremendously by leveraging commodity storage components over easily configured interfaces.

It’s SMB 3.0 for ME!

I already have a Windows Server 2012 Failover Cluster that supports a number of clustered File Services roles in my environment, so I’ll be using SMB 3.0 shared folders as shared storage locations for my Hyper-V host cluster in this article.  I’ll create two “continuously available” shared folders on one of my clustered File Services roles as follows:
  • \\CAFSC01\HVCVMWitness – this clustered shared folder will be used as a witness by the new Hyper-V host cluster. A witness is a special resource that is used when a physical cluster node fails to determine which node is the “surviving” node to which clustered resources should failover.  In particular, it’s important to use a witness resource when you have an even number of physical nodes within your cluster, as we do in this 2-node cluster scenario.
  • \\CAFSC01\HVCVMStorage – this is a shared folder that I will use as a storage location for highly available virtual machines that I provision in the Hyper-V host cluster.
Note that each of your Hyper-V Server 2012 computer accounts in Active Directory will need to be granted Full Permissions to each of these shared folders and the underlying NTFS folder structure.

Let’s Build Our Hyper-V Host Cluster!

OK … now that we’ve got the basic infrastructure needs addressed, let’s start off by installing the Failover Clustering feature on each Hyper-V host and configuring an external Virtual Network Switch for VM network traffic.  Then we can move on to validating and configuring our new cluster.
Note: We can configure a Hyper-V host cluster remotely by using the Failover Cluster Manager GUI tool from a remote Windows Server 2012 management host or a Windows 8 admin client with the Remote Server Admin Toolkit (RSAT) installed.  However, in this article, I’ll make the assumption that you’ll be doing all of the cluster configuration from the Hyper-V Server 2012 host consoles directly using PowerShell … It’s really very easy!
On our Hyper-V Server 2012 consoles, we can configure our new Hyper-V host cluster by using a bit of PowerShell as follows:
  1. Install the Failover Clustering feature on each Hyper-V Server 2012 host using the Install-WindowsFeature cmdlet:
    Install-WindowsFeature –Name Failover-Clustering –IncludeManagementTools
  2. Configure an external virtual network switch on each Hyper-V Server 2012 host.  Be sure to use exactly the same virtual switch name on each host.  You can use the Get-NetAdapterName cmdlet first to verify the name of each network adapter to make sure you select the correct NIC for binding to the new virtual switch.
    Now that I know the name of my network adapter, I’m going to use the New-VMSwitch cmdlet to configure a new external switch named KEMLABNET01.
    New-VMSwitch “KEMLABNET01” –NetAdapterName “Ethernet 2” –AllowManagementOS:$True 
  3. Next, let’s validate the configuration of our Hyper-V Server 2012 hosts to make sure they are compatible with a cluster configuration by using the Test-Cluster cmdlet.  For my new cluster, my individual Hyper-V host computer names are KEMLABHV06 and KEMLABHV07.
    Test-Cluster –Node KEMLABHV06,KEMLABHV07
    The output of the Test-Cluster cmdlet will be written to:
    C:\Users\[username]\AppData\Local\Temp\1\Validation Report [Date] at [Time].xml.mht
    Ultimately, we want to review this report and make sure that the cluster validation tests passed on each of our hosts.
  4. Now that we’ve validated our host configurations, we can create our new cluster with the New-Clustercmdlet.  I’m going to name my new cluster KEMLABHVC01.
    New-Cluster –Name KEMLABHVC01 –Node KEMLABHV06,KEMLABHV07 –StaticAddress
    The output from the New-Cluster cmdlet will be logged to:
    C:\Windows\Cluster\Reports\Create Cluster Wizard [Cluster_Name] on [Date] at [Time].mht
    After creating your new cluster, it’s a good idea to review this report to ensure that no unexpected errors occurred.
  5. After our new cluster is created, our final step is to configure our file share witness with the Set-ClusterQuorum cmdlet:
    Set-ClusterQuorum –Cluster KEMLABHVC01 –NodeAndFileShareMajority \\CAFSC01\HVCWitness    

That’s it! Our new Hyper-V host cluster is now built!

To test the status of our new cluster, we can use the Get-ClusterGroup cmdlet:
This command should show that our Cluster Group resource group is online on one of our nodes.  Note that the Available Storage cluster resource group may show as Offline because in our configuration above, we aren’t using any shared disk storage – just SMB 3.0 shared folders!

What’s Next? Your Turn!

Now, you try it!
  • Download our FREE Hyper-V Server 2012 installation bits
  • Complete the process outlined above to build out your own Hyper-V Host Cluster
In Part 2 of this article series, I’ll step through provisioning and testing new virtual machines that are highly available on our new Hyper-V host cluster.

In the meantime …

Be sure to check out our “Early Experts” study group and our new “Virtualizer Quest" athttp://aka.ms/EarlyExpertsVirtualizer.  The Virtualizer Quest includes structured study guides that walk through configuring the other new features associated with the Hyper-V role in Windows Server 2012 and Hyper-V Server 2012. 
Along the way, you’ll be preparing for the new MCSA on Windows Server 2012 certification exams and be entered into a chance to win FREE MCSA Exam Vouchers in our December sweepstakes!

Are you ready to Cluster?

Did the article help you prepare for clustering Hyper-V hosts in your environment?  Be sure to leave your feedback, questions and comments below!

This article is Part 2 in a two-part series on building a FREE Hyper-V Server 2012 Cluster to support highly available virtual machines as a foundation to a Private Cloud solution. If you missed it, be sure to check outPart 1 of this article series on the initial steps for building Hyper-V Server 2012 hosts in a Failover Cluster configuration.
In this article, we’ll walk through provisioning highly available virtual machines on our new FREE Hyper-V Server 2012 cluster and testing Live Migration failover scenarios.

It’s Time to Build Highly Available VMs!

Now that we have our Hyper-V failover cluster up and running, it’s time to provision our virtual machines in a highly available configuration.  Once provisioned in this manner, highly available virtual machines can failover to other physical nodes within our cluster in both planned and unplanned failover scenarios.
If you’ve installed the Hyper-V Manager and Failover Cluster Manager GUI tools on a Windows Server 2012management server or Windows 8 admin workstation, you can easily perform these steps remotely using these tools.  See my article on the Remote Server Admin Toolkit for Windows Server 2012 to learn how to setup a Windows 8 admin workstation for remote management of Windows Server 2012 and Hyper-V Server 2012 hosts.
However, in this article, we’ll assume that you’ll be performing these tasks from the console of your Hyper-V Server 2012 hosts using our built-in Hyper-V cmdlets and Failover Clustering cmdlets in PowerShell 3.0.  PowerShell 3.0 ROCKS and is really quite easy to use for these tasks as you’ll see below.
Here’s the steps that we’ll be using to build each highly available virtual machine:
  1. Create new Virtual Hard Disks (VHDs or VHDXs) in a shared storage location that is accessible to your clustered configuration. 
    As you may recall from my Part 1 article, we’re using the new SMB 3.0 shared application folder functionality to provide a shared storage location for our highly available VM’s.  To create a new virtual hard disk in this shared location, I’ll use the New-VHD cmdlet in PowerShell 3.0:
    New-VHD -Path \\CAFSC01\HVCVMStorage\HAVM01.VHDX -Dynamic -Size 127GB 
  2. Now that we have our Virtual Hard Disk(s) sitting in a shared storage location that is accessible from our clustered hosts, next we’ll use the New-VM cmdlet to provision each new Virtual Machine in the same shared storage location:
    New-VM -Name HAVM01 -Path \\CAFSC01\HVCVMStorage -Memory 1GB -SwitchName "KEMLABNET01" -BootDevice CD -VHDPath \\CAFSC01\HVCVMStorage\HAVM01.VHDX
  3. After each new Virtual Machine is provisioned, we can use additional cmdlets, such as Set-VMAdd-VMDvdDrive and Add-VMHardDiskDrive, to set additional VM settings and/or attach additional virtualized storage devices, as necessary. 
    Since my new Virtual Machine in this example is using a blank Virtual Hard Disk for its storage, I’ll attach an ISO image as a DVD boot device to this VM so that I can install Windows Server 2012 when this VM starts up for the first time:
    Add-VMDvdDrive -VMName HAVM01 -Path \\CAFSC01\ISO\WS2012RTM.ISO
  4. Since the Failover Cluster manages the startup and failover of highly available VMs, we’ll want to disable the Hyper-V Automatic Start Options for each of our VMs in this scenario.  This will prevent Hyper-V from trying to directly manage the startup of these VMs and instead rely on the cluster for startup and failover tasks:
    Set-VM -Name HAVM01 -AutomaticStartAction Nothing
  5. Our VM’s are now setup with the necessary VM configuration settings.  To add our new VMs to the cluster and make them highly available, we’ll now use the Add-ClusterVirtualMachineRole cmdlet as follows:
    Add-ClusterVirtualMachineRole -VirtualMachine HAVM01       
  6. Once you’ve setup your new highly available VM’s you can check their status and bring them online with the following cmdlets:
    Start-ClusterGroup –Name “HAVM01”
  7. Your Virtual Machines will start up and you can now connect to their consoles via the VMConnect.execommand-line tool from a remote Windows Server 2012 management server or Windows 8 admin workstation.  VMConnect is included with the Hyper-V Management GUI tools.
    VMConnect.exe <Hyper-V Host> <Virtual_Machine_Name>     
    We can use our VMConnect remote console connection to complete the installation and configuration of the Guest OS within each new virtual machine.

We’re finished … Let’s Test!

Our highly available VMs are up and running in our cluster, so let’s test our failover cluster with a Live Migration planned failover using the Move-ClusterVirtualMachineRole cmdlet.  I’ll move one of my highly available VMs to the second physical node in my cluster live while it’s running with the following command line syntax:
Move-ClusterVirtualMachineRole -Name "HAVM01" -Node KEMLABHV07

Now it’s Your Turn! Are you Clustered Yet?

Download our FREE Hyper-V Server 2012 using the link below and step through the commands in Part 1 andPart 2 (this article) of this article series to build your own Hyper-V Cluster with highly available VMs.
Once you’ve finished building your lab, be sure to continue your learning and study on Windows Server 2012 by leveraging our “Early Experts” FREE Online Study Group at …
  • Join us! Be an “Early Expert” on Windows Server 2012!
Feel free to leave your feedback, results and questions in the comments below to share your experiences in building a Hyper-V Cluster!
Hope this helps,

VMware ESXi 5.1 can run Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2012 VMs

Here's the gist:

  1. Create a "Microsoft Windows Server 2012 (64-bit)" VM, using Typical Configuration
  2. right-click the new VM and Upgrade Virtual Hardware to Version 9
  3. tweak the VMX, adding these 4 lines:
    • mce.enable = TRUE
    • hypervisor.cpuid.v0 = FALSE
    • featMask.vm.hv.capable = “Min:1″
    • vhv.enable = TRUE
  4. be sure it's assigned to a network where the vSwitch has Promiscuous Mode set to Accept
  5. power up the new Hyper-V VM
  6. perform typical install and configure of Hyper-V, hard-code IP if you'd like, create an Admin username/password that matches a client system
  7. create a Windows 8 "client" VM, since Hyper-V Manager takes just a few seconds to add
  8. fix COM Security on that client system
  9. use that VM's Hyper-V Manager to connect to Hyper-V, then...
  10. create a Hyper-V hosted Virtual Machine, connect to it, and turn it on to test

I'm eager for any suggestions or alternative methods, but for now, this was the only way I could get it working in my own lab, figured others might want to try to replicate this excercise.

youtube Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u7rhWn0dNac

You heard all about guestOS = "winhyperv" here first.

What if you just want to virtually “kick the tires” on the latest Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2012, without committing dedicated hardware, to focus more on learning the features than the performance? Well, if you already have the prerequisites:

a) an ESXi 5.1 lab where you’re allowed to tweak the Hyper-V VM’s vmx file slightly (not changing anything in the ESXi host configuration)
b) a current subscription to MSDN or TechNet Professional, or even the free eval obtained by clicking the Free Download button here

then you’re in luck. Just leave your VMware VMs going, and add a Hyper-V VM without the server UI stuff (called the Core version), for a smaller resources footprint, and the ability to “nest” Hyper-V VMs.

The video walk-through seen at the end is 32 minutes, but you can skip the video and deploy this in your lab in well under 15 minutes, if you already have the 1.7GB ISO file downloaded that is. Just follow along with the screenshots below!

Windows Server 2012 with Hyper-V includes these lofty claims:
Why Hyper-V? Competitive Advantages of Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V over VMware vSphere 5.1.

More info here:
Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2012and in TechNet here:

Yes, the initial learning curve for Hyper-V without the full GUI is a bit rough:
Standalone Hyper-V is too painful to usebuy hey, all you really care about is getting it to run multiple VMs, so do you really need a fancy UI, do you? I finally got this all working just this past weekend, so I didn’t waste any time getting this word out there (early Monday).

In other words, if you got VMware ESXi 5.1 working on your hardware, that means your BIOS and CPU are capable with Intel VT-x or AMD-V explained here, and you will very likely be able to get ESXi 5.1 to run Windows Server 2012 with Hyper-V.

Back on ESXi 5.0, luck with running nested Hyper-V VMs didn’t work out well. By nesting, I mean getting ESXi 5.0 to run Hyper-V to run Hyper-V VMs at all, explained here:

Doing a little research that included combing the best of these recent articles:

How to Enable Nested ESXi & Other Hypervisors in vSphere 5.1, Wednesday, August 29, 2012

How To Install CentOS 6.3 KVM on vSphere 5.1, by Chris Colotti,

coupled with the incentive that this really should work, based on folks’ discussions over here (that didn’t exactly spell out the exact steps):

Server 2012 Hyper-V under ESXi 5.x??, Sep 14, 2012 7:41 PM

Running Nested VMs, Created on: Nov 30, 2008 9:17 PM by jmattson – Last Modified: Sep 12, 2012 2:06 PM by jmattson

I was finally able to prototype and get this whole procedure going , and boiled it down to the simplest method I could come up with. I even managed to avoid the step of having to use the vSphere Web Client to expose hardware assisted virtualization to the guest OS, to speed you along toward success.

VMware ESXi 5.1 can run Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2012 VMs
Comprehensive Implementation Guide

1 ) Install VMware ESXi 5.1:
Assuming your hardware platform is compatible, such as tinkertry.com/vzilla, installation and configuration instructions of ESXi 5.1 can be seen here:

2 ) Turn on SSH on ESXi using the vSphere Client:
If you haven’t done this already, the steps are shown on VMware’s site here, or a more visual approach here:

3 ) Download the 1.7GB ISO:
Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2012 Release Candidate (x64) – DVD (English)
Visit MSDN’s download site, with the permalink to the x64 English version here:

The actual file you’re grabbing is:
or from the free eval site here by clicking the Free Download button, or just use the direct download link here, with a file named:

These 2 files are identical, so doesn’t matter which you choose (seen pictured below):

4 ) Use Datastore Browser (or Veeam FastSCP) to transfer the ISO file to your ESXi storage:
Consider creating a folder named ISO, then use Datastore Browser to upload your ISO file to that new folder

5 ) Configure your ESXi host network properly, turning on “Promiscuous Mode”:
You’ll need to enable “Promiscuous Mode” on your vSwitch that this Hyper-V VM network will use (there are a variety of ways to layout your network, including dedicating a NIC for this Promiscous mode Hyper-V that will still be accessible by clients), also seen in the video atthis exact spot.


If you forget this step, you may get the Hyper-V Manager RPC Error ”Cannot connect to the RPC service on computer. Make sure your RPC service is running.”

6 ) Configure a new VM:
In the video, you’ll see me create a new VM called “TEMPLATE-hyperv-Microsoft Server 2012 with Hyper-V” using the Typical wizard, pictured below.
The finalized product name was actually ”TEMPLATE-hyperv-Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2012″ so despite the screenshots, you may wish to go with that name instead.

Navigate to the ISO file, and be sure Connect at power on checkbox is on, click “Finish”:

7 ) Upgrade Virtual Hardware to Version 9:

8 ) Tweak the VM’s .vmx File:
Use free WinSCP to edit the .vmx file for the VM you just created. VMware’s jmattson has informed me this is the only tweak needed in the VMware Nested Virtualization forum:

Change this one line from:

guestOS = "windows8srv-64"
guestOS = "winhyperv"

and add the following line to the very end
featMask.vm.hv.capable = "Min:1"

followed by a carriage return, then save your changes.

Those changes, along with VM Hardware version 9 upgrade, are the “secret sauce” to success. And potentially a bit easier than trying to do this from vSphere Web Client or VMware Workstation 9.


The definitive simplification was from jmattson’s response at http://communities.vmware.com/message/2119895#2119895, and his Running Nested VMs overview.
www.virtuallyghetto.com/2011/07/how-to-enable-support-for-nested-64bit.htmlcommunities.vmware.com/docs/DOC-8970tw.linkedin.com/in/aliao and www.youtube.com/watch?v=I-rjR4OawvQ
and Chris Colloti’s article giving me the idea to compare the vmx file before and after editing with the vSphere Web Client to ”Expose hardware assisted virtualization to the guest OS” as Chris explains here:

9 ) Power on the VM, and install Hyper-V:
Proceed with a normal install

10) Configure Hyper-V:
Configure basic Hyper-V settings if you’d like, including allow Remote Management, and creating an administrator account for the remote client system that you’ll be connecting, using the same username and password.

11) Install Hyper-V Manager on Windows 8 Release Preview:
Go to Add/Remove Programs, Add/Remove Windows Components, then turn on the Hyper-V Management Tools checkbox. I used my convenient, 3-minutes-to-deploy Windows 8 VM for the client, because the Hyper-V management UI is extremely easy to install.

If you’re on Windows 7, get the equivalent function from
Remote Server Administration Tools for Windows 7 with Service Pack 1 (SP1).

12) Run Hyper-V Manager and connect to Hyper-V:
Now you’re ready to hit the Windows key on your keyboard, and type “hyper” and hit enter, and the Hyper-V Manager should start right up and allow you to connect, or at least try to, but you’ll get this error:
“Access denied. Unable to establish communication between”

So finding COM Management to fix this in Windows 8 wasn’t easy like it was on Windows 7:
tokyoimage.wordpress.com/2010/10/15/hyper-v-manageraccess-denied-unable-to-establish-communication-betweenbut I finally found this post:
http://www.calvinirwin.net/tag/hyper-vwhich told me to use Start, Run, DCOMCNFG, then click “Properties”, “COM Security”, “Edit Limits…”, turn on the “Remote Access” checkbox and click OK

13) Created a simple “nested” VM:
Use all the defaults for a VM you create, but on the Connect Virtual Hard Disk, choose “Attach a virtual hard disk later”. Why? We’re just trying to test if a nested VM is allowed to boot succesfully, either it works, or it doesn’t.

14) Power on to test the “nested” VM:
It not only works, it seems to work pretty well, with less CPU load noticed on the ESXi 5.1 host than the betas, this is a good sign.

Of course, future tests will exercise this new nested lab of mine considerably harder, with nested VMs with full operating systems, and Hyper-V live migrations. I’ll also test conversions of VMware VMs to Hyper-V with Microsoft’s tools here, just to compare with VMware Converter. And I need to test if Hyper-V VMs can actually see the network properly, and if the better vmxnet3 network driver would work.

mce.enable = TRUE
hypervisor.cpuid.v0 = FALSE
featMask.vm.hv.capable = "Min:1"
vhv.enable = TRUE

youtube Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u7rhWn0dNac

Sonntag, 23. Dezember 2012

Restoring Windows Server to Bare Metal


Successful disaster recovery is all about preparation because bad things happen when you least want them to. There are several different ways you can restore a Windows server when the system drive fails on it. The approach we're going to walk you through here is simple and straightforward: just replace the failed drive, boot the server from Windows installation media, and launch the restore process. There are a couple of things to watch for however when you do this as we shall shortly see.

Test Environment

For simplicity, the walkthrough performed below uses a virtual environment running on Microsoft Hyper-V. The server we're going to restore is a virtual machine named SEA-FS1 in the contoso.com domain. The backup will be saved to a shared folder on the Hyper-V host on which this virtual machine is running. And the "bare metal system" to which we're going to restore the backup is another virtual machine that has no operating system installed on it. But the steps listed below are the same as if you were backing up a physical server and restoring it to actual bare metal.

Backing Up the Server

Let's begin. Figure 1 below shows our file server before it "crashes" and needs to be restored. The server name and domain are circled in red, and the title bar of the Virtual Machine Connection window also shows the server's name:

Figure 1: The server before it crashed
We'll map a drive letter to a shared folder named Backups on the Hyper-V host machine so we can store our backup "on the network" when we create it:

Figure 2: Preparing to back up the server
We enter credentials for accessing the shared folder on the host:

Figure 3: Preparing to back up the server
As you can see there are currently no backup sets in the shared folder:

Figure 4: There's no backup yet
Now we'll type "backup" in the Start menu search box to bring up the Windows Server Backup feature (which of course must be installed on your server before you can use it):

Figure 5: Step 1 of backing up the server
When the Windows Server Backup window opens, click Backup Once as shown here:

Figure 6: Step 2 of backing up the server
On the Backup Options page of the wizard, make sure Different Options is selected:

Figure 7: Step 3 of backing up the server
On the Select Backup Configuration page, select Custom:

Figure 8: Step 4 of backing up the server
On the Select Items For Backup page, click the Add Items button:

Figure 9: Step 5 of backing up the server
In the Select Items dialog, select the checkbox labeled Bar Metal Recovery. Doing this will automatically select all other checkboxes as well:

Figure 10: Step 6 of backing up the server
Clicking OK returns you to the Select Items For Backup page. Click Next on this page:

Figure 11: Step 7 of backing up the server
On the Specify Destination Type page, select Remote Shared Folder:

Figure 12: Step 8 of backing up the server
On the Specify Remote Folder page, we type the UNC path to the shared folder on the "network" where we will be storing our backups. The path we specify is \\HV-1\Backups and we leave the other options on the page at their defaults:

Figure 13: Step 9 of backing up the server
At the credential prompt, we specify credentials for accessing the shared folder on the host machine:

Figure 14: Step 10 of backing up the server
After reviewing the Confirmation page below, we will click Backup to begin backing up the server:

Figure 15: Step 11 of backing up the server
The server is being backed up:

Figure 16: Step 12 of backing up the server
Backup is finished:

Figure 17: The server has been backed up
We open the mapped drive in Explorer to verify the backup set is there:

Figure 18: The server has definitely been backed up
Now we shut down our file server and close the virtual machine. We're ready to restore to bare metal!

Restoring the Server to Bare Metal

Figure 19 below shows a virtual machine named Bare Metal System. As you can see, when we try to boot the system the boot fails because there is no operating system installed on the machine:

Figure 19: This bare metal system has no operating system installed
To launch the recovery process, we need to boot our bare metal system using Windows media. Since our system is a virtual machine, we simply attach an .iso image of Windows Server 2008 R2 installation media in the settings for the virtual machine and then restart the virtual machine. In a few seconds the Install Windows dialog comes up:

Figure 20: Step 1 of restoring to bare metal
After clicking Next in the previous screen, we now select the Repair Your Computer option at the bottom left as shown here:

Figure 21: Step 2 of restoring to bare metal
In the System Recovery Options dialog, we select the "Restore your computer using a system image that you created earlier" option:

Figure 22: Step 3 of restoring to bare metal
When the Re-image Your Computer dialog appears, we click Cancel:

Figure 23: Step 4 of restoring to bare metal
Note:#If the backup you were restoring from resided on a hard drive attached to the system (for example an external USB drive) this Re-image Your Computer dialog won't be displayed. Instead, you'll be taken directly to the next screen below where you will select the first option "Use the latest available system image (recommended)" and proceed with the restore process.
On the Select A System Image Backup page, make sure Select A System Image is selected and click Next as shown here:

Figure 24: Step 5 of restoring to bare metal
The next page should not show any backups available. The reason is because we've backed up our server to the network (to a file share on our host machine) and not to a local drive on the system or attached USB drive. If you had backed up to a local or attached drive instead of the network, you would continue the restore process starting at Figure 30 below.
On the page shown below, click Advanced:

Figure 25: Step 6 of restoring to bare metal
In the dialog that appears, select the "Search for a system image on the network" option as shown here:

Figure 26: Step 7 of restoring to bare metal
Note:The test environment for this walkthrough has a DHCP server and this is how the Windows Recovery Environment is able to connect to the network share where the backup set is located.
In the Are You Sure dialog that appears next, click Yes:

Figure 27: Step 8 of restoring to bare metal
Note:As the dialog above indicates, restoring a system from a backup stored on the network is not as secure as restoring the system from a local or attached drive, so take this into consideration when planning your disaster recover infrastructure for your servers!
Type the UNC path to where the backup is stored on the network:

Figure 28: Step 9 of restoring to bare metal
Specify credentials needed to access the network share:

Figure 29: Step 10 of restoring to bare metal
Once the Windows Recovery Environment has connected to the network share you should see a list of available backup locations on the share. Select the one you want and click Next as shown here:

Figure 30: Step 11 of restoring to bare metal
Now select the backup set you want to restore from:

Figure 31: Step 12 of restoring to bare metal
Clicking Next brings up the Choose Additional Restore Options page:

Figure 32: Step 13 of restoring to bare metal
If you click Advanced, you can see that the system will automatically restart once the restore process is finished and will also check the disk for errors. We'll leave both of these options selected:

Figure 33: Step 14 of restoring to bare metal
Clicking Next asks us to confirm our selections:

Figure 34: Step 15 of restoring to bare metal

Figure 35: Step 16 of restoring to bare metal
Now we get an error message:

Figure 36: The restore failed!
Oops, what went wrong? Let's try the restore process again starting from Figure 19 again...
Rats, this time we get a different but even worse error:

Figure 37: The restore failed again!!
We click the Details link in the above dialog box and get this in response:

Figure 38: Thanks a lot for the advice
What could be wrong? A bit of Binging around on the Internet brings up this thread from the Microsoft TechNet Forums.
The person who answered the original poster's question is right on the money because when I open the settings for my Bare Metal System virtual machine in Hyper-V Manager, I see that the virtual hard drive on this machine is in fact smaller in size than the VHD on my original system SEA-FS1.
LESSON LEARNED: Make sure the hard drive of the bare metal system you are restoring to is equal to or larger in size than the hard drive of the system that failed.
To fix this, we detach the VHD file from the Bare Metal System VM, create a new VHD equal in size to the one attached to the SEA-FS1 VM, and restart our restore process beginning with Figure 19 again, and this time the restore process works:

Figure 39: The restore is now working, whew!!
Once the restore to bare metal finishes and the machine reboots, we log on and verify that our recovered server has the same name as our original server (compare the figure below with Figure 1 at the beginning of this article):

Figure 40: The restore is finished.

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