Virtualization Nation,

With the release of Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2008 R2 SP1, we have once again raised the bar for providing a robust, enterprise class virtualization platform at no cost. For example, did you realize that Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2008 R2 SP1 includes RemoteFX? This new feature provides Graphical Processing Unit (GPU) accelerated video within a virtual machine. VMware's flagship product VSphere Enterprise Plus ($3500 per processor) doesn't have this capability.

Let that sink in for a moment.

GPU accelerated video within a virtual machine is an important consideration when architecting a Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) deployment. Perhaps you decide you're willing to deploy VDI using 2D virtualized video today.  But what if you realize six months or a year down the road that you need 3D GPU accelerated graphics support? Do you really want to choose a virtualization platform for VDI that doesn't offer this capability today? Is VMware willing to provide this feature without requiring an upgrade ($$$)? In writing? If you review their history, that seems highly unlikely. These are key factors that you should consider when making a decision for VDI.

For more info on Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2008 R2 and R2 SP1, check out these two blogs:


Microsoft Hyper-V Server User Experience

If you've ever fired up the no-cost Hyper-V Server, you know that the UI is minimal. This is by design. The goal of Hyper-V Server is to make it easy for you to get the system configured and on the network for remote management. There's no Start menu or local GUI. Hyper-V Server instead includes a command line and SCONFIG, which is included to make it easy for you to configure the system for remote management functionality, such as:

  • Domain Join
  • Name the Computer
  • Add Local Administrator
  • Configure Remote Management
  • Configure Networking, IP Addresses, etc.
  • Enable Clustering for High Availability and Live Migration
  • Configure Automatic Updating via Windows Update

Here's a screenshot of SCONFIG:



Once you've configured Hyper-V Server for remote management, you can manage it in a number of ways:

While these options work for most of you, a number of folks have asked for a local GUI that could be run directly on Hyper-V Server 2008 R2.

Wouldn't that be cool?

We think so too.  That's exactly what our partners at 5nine built!


5Nine Hyper-V Manager

The folks at 5Nine have developed a local GUI for Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2008 R2! With the 5Nine Hyper-V Manager you can create virtual machines, virtual networks, and more. In fact, 5Nine Hyper-V Manager supports Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2008 R2 SP1 and includes the ability to manage RemoteFX and Dynamic Memory settings.

Here's a screenshot of the 5nine Hyper-V Manager:



 Very cool. This is a great opportunity to point out what can be accomplished using the public Hyper-V WMI APIs which have been documented since day one.

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Download Links

Here are the key links:



Jeff Woolsey

Windows Server & Cloud





Q: Did Microsoft develop this Hyper-V Manager for Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2008 R2?

A: No. The product is called 5Nine Hyper-V Manager developed by our partners at 5Nine. To learn more about 5Nine Hyper-V Manager you should check out their site here:


Q: How much does the 5Nine Hyper-V Manager cost? What are the system requirements?

A: 5Nine offers both a free version and a $99 version. You should check out their website for the details. The big difference is that the $99 version provides local access to the VM itself.

Note: 5Nine Hyper-V Manager works with Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2008 R2 and later. It doesn't work with the original Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2008 because it requires some capabilities not included Hyper-V Server 2008, such as .NET Framework.


Q: Does Microsoft support the 5Nine Hyper-V Manager?

A: The 5Nine Hyper-V Manager was developed by the folks over at 5Nine, however, the 5Nine Hyper-V Manager uses our published Hyper-V WMI APIs, which are fully supported by Microsoft.


Q: Will Microsoft provide a local GUI?

A: Microsoft provides multiple ways to manage Microsoft Hyper-V Server remotely including:

Microsoft has no plans to provide a local GUI for Microsoft Hyper-V Server, and we are pleased to see our partners provide a solution.