Many versions of Windows 10 and Windows 8.x include the Hyper-V virtualization technology. It is the same virtualization technology previously available only in Windows Server but this desktop version is referred to as Client Hyper-V. As in server versions, it is a Type 1 hypervisor which enables you to run more than one 32-bit or 64-bit virtualized operating system at the same time on top of a single physical host.
The technical approach remains pretty much the same as it was with Windows Server 2008 but a number of other features are now available.
The management of the VMs created inside the Client Hyper-V can be performed using tools created for Server Hyper-V, such as VMM P2V or Sysinternals Disk2vhd, and Hyper-V virtual switch extensions and PowerShell scripts for managing VMs that you develop and test on Client Hyper-V, can be latter on moved to Server Hyper-V.
Limitations of Client Hyper-V
Client Hyper-V has a number of limitations because some features included in Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V are not included in the Windows 10 or Windows 8.x hypervisor. The major limitations are related with the lack of these features:
- Live VM migration
- Hyper-V Replica
- Single Root Input/Output Virtualization (SR-IOV) networking
Besides, the original Windows 10 release was also lacking the ability to use TPM related technologies inside the VMs. Namely, Windows BitLocker or Measured Boot, which rely on TPM, would not work.
However, with the release of the November update (Windows 10 Version 1511), Microsoft fixed this and other issues and it is now possible to enable the use of virtual TPM inside Client Hyper-V VMs. I wrote a step-by-step guide explaining how to use this feature.
Client Hyper-V Requirements
In order to run the new Client Hyper-V under Windows 10, your system must meet a specific set of software and hardware configurations.
Software RequirementsThe Hyper-V role can only be enabled on the following versions of Windows 10:
- Windows 10 Enterprise
- Windows 10 Professional
- Windows 10 Education
Hardware RequirementsYou hardware must have the following items:
- 64-bit Processor with Second Level Address Translation (SLAT).
- CPU support for VM Monitor Mode Extension.
- Minimum of 4 GB memory.
- Virtualization Technology (under different names depending on motherboard manufacturer)
- Hardware Enforced Data Execution Prevention.
Hardware Compatibility VerificationTo verify compatibly open a command prompt and type systeminfo.exe.
In the previous picture you can see that the CPU is lacking the SLAT. This means you cannot use the new hypervisor but you can still use the old one shipped with Server 2012:
If you run systeminfo on an existing Hyper-V host, the Hyper-V Requirements section reads:
Enabling Hyper-V on Windows 10
In order to create virtual machines on Windows 10, you must enable the Hyper-V role. This can be easily done using the Windows 10 control panel.
- Right click on the Windows button and select 'Programs and Features'.
- Select Turn Windows Features on or off.
- Select Hyper-V and click OK.
Next: Using Windows 10 Hyper-V