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What's New in Virtual Machine Manager 2008 R2 SP1

Updated: March 16, 2011

Applies To: Virtual Machine Manager 2008 R2 SP1

System Center Virtual Machine Manager (VMM) 2008 R2 Service Pack 1 (SP1) contains a rollup of all previously released hotfixes for VMM 2008 R2. Additionally, the service pack adds support for the new Dynamic Memory and Microsoft RemoteFX features in Windows Server 2008 R2 Service Pack 1 (SP1).

In addition to the VMM 2008 R2 SP1 documentation, we strongly recommend that you review the following Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 topics, as they provide important information that you should know before using Dynamic Memory or RemoteFX on Hyper-V hosts:

ImportantImportant
You must use VMM 2008 R2 with SP1 to manage Hyper-V hosts that are running Windows Server 2008 R2 with SP1. You can also use VMM 2008 R2 with SP1 to manage Hyper-V hosts that are not running Windows Server 2008 R2 with SP1. For more information, see Supported Operating Systems for VMM Components.

Support for Dynamic Memory

In VMM 2008 R2, memory is allocated in a fixed manner for both virtual machines and hardware profiles. A specific amount of memory is configured for and allocated to an individual virtual machine and does not vary, regardless of actual memory usage. In addition, Hyper-V hosts can only support a combination of virtual machines whose configured memory is less than or equal to the physical memory on the host, minus a configured reserve.

Like a physical server, the resource consumption of a virtual machine varies over time. A virtual machine rarely uses all of its allocated hardware resources all of the time. In addition, requestors of virtual machines typically ask for more hardware resources than their workload requires. As such, Hyper-V hosts are generally underused and could often support hosting an increased number of virtual machines.

With Dynamic Memory, you can more effectively take advantage of physical memory resources. Dynamic Memory is a new feature in Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 that enables a Hyper-V host to balance memory automatically between running virtual machines. This feature adjusts the amount of memory available to the virtual machines in response to the needs of the virtual machine. These adjustments are made based on ranges and priorities that you specify. Through VMM 2008 R2 SP1, you can configure Dynamic Memory settings for virtual machines, virtual machine templates and virtual machine hardware profiles. You can specify the startup memory, maximum memory, memory buffer percentage and the memory priority.

Operating System and Host Hardware Requirements

Dynamic Memory is only supported on a Hyper-V host that is running Windows Server 2008 R2 with SP1. Additionally, the guest operating system on a virtual machine must support Dynamic Memory. The requirements are summarized in the following table.

 

Host operating system

Hyper-V host running Windows Server 2008 R2 with SP1

Compatible guest operating systems

For a list of compatible guest operating systems, see the “Requirements” section of the Hyper-V Dynamic Memory Evaluation Guide (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=196615).

Additional software requirements

The version of integration services that is included with Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 must be installed in the virtual machine. This version of integration services is installed automatically during the migration of a stopped virtual machine to a Hyper-V host that is running Windows Server 2008 R2 with SP1. You can also install integration services through virtual guest services in VMM.

noteNote
You do not have to upgrade the integration services if the virtual machine is running Windows Server 2008 R2 with SP1 or Windows 7 with SP1.

Configuring Dynamic Memory Settings

For information about how to configure Dynamic Memory settings in VMM, see How to Configure Memory for a Virtual Machine. For more information about Dynamic Memory in Hyper-V, including recommended memory settings for guest operating systems, how to use performance counters to monitor memory allocation, and troubleshooting information, see the Hyper-V Dynamic Memory Evaluation Guide (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=196615).

How Dynamic Memory Affects Placement

Be aware that if the virtual machine (including any one of its checkpoints) is configured to use Dynamic Memory, placement is blocked during creation or migration if the destination host does not support Dynamic Memory. For additional Dynamic Memory-related placement considerations, see the “Conditions That Cause a Zero Rating” section of How Virtual Machine Manager Rates Hosts. Specifically, refer to the “Memory” row of the table.

Support for Microsoft RemoteFX

In Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1, support was added through the Microsoft RemoteFX feature for virtualizing the server’s video adapter and making it available to virtual machines. RemoteFX delivers a rich user experience for Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) by providing 3D capabilities to virtual machines that are running a supported guest operating system. Through VMM 2008 R2 SP1, you can enable the RemoteFX 3D video adapter for virtual machines, virtual machine templates and virtual machine hardware profiles. Additionally, you can configure the following RemoteFX-related settings:

  • Maximum number of monitors (up to 4 depending on the maximum resolution)

  • Maximum monitor resolution rate (up to 1920 x 1200 depending on the maximum number of monitors)

Operating System and Host Hardware Requirements

To use RemoteFX features through VMM, there are certain operating system and hardware requirements that must be met. These requirements are summarized in the following table.

 

Host operating system

Hyper-V host running Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1, with RemoteFX enabled

noteNote
RemoteFX is a feature of the Remote Desktop Virtualization Host role service, under the Remote Desktop Services server role.

Required host hardware

  • A CPU that supports Second-Level Address Translation (SLAT). On Intel processors, this is referred to as Extended Page Tables (EPT). On AMD processors, this is referred to as Nested Page Tables (NPT).

  • One or more supported graphics processing units (GPUs). Note the following:

    • The GPU must have sufficient dedicated video memory that is separate from system memory.

    • If more than one GPU is installed in the Hyper-V server, the GPUs must be identical.

    • To use live migration, all Hyper-V nodes in the cluster must have the same GPU installed.

For more information about RemoteFX hardware requirements, including supported GPUs and the video memory requirements for a maximum number of monitors and resolution, see Hardware Considerations for RemoteFX (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=196610).

TipTip
GPU information was added to the Hardware tab that is available when you view the properties of a host. This enables you to easily view the available RemoteFX-capable GPUs, and the total and available video memory on each GPU. To view information about total and available GPU memory in the VMM Administrator console, right-click the column header row in the All Hosts host group, and then add the GPU Available Memory and GPU Total Memory columns.

Compatible guest operating systems

  • Windows 7 with Service Pack 1, Ultimate and Enterprise Editions (32-bit and 64-bit)

noteNote
Be aware that RemoteFX affects network bandwidth usage. RemoteFX is optimized for a local area network (LAN) environment with connection speeds of 10 megabits per second (Mbps) or higher.

Connecting to RemoteFX-enabled Virtual Machines

Virtual machines that are configured to use the RemoteFX 3D video adapter will appear in the Self-Service Portal. However, self-service users cannot use the Connect to VM option or view a thumbnail of the desktop in the portal. Instead, self-service users must connect to a RemoteFX-enabled virtual machine by using the Remote Desktop Connection (RDC) 7.1 client. RDC 7.1 is included with Windows Server 2008 R2 with SP1 and Windows 7 with SP1.

The same restriction applies to the VMM Administrator Console, where you cannot use the Connect to virtual machine option or view a thumbnail of a RemoteFX-enabled virtual machine. You must use the RDC 7.1 client to connect to the virtual machine.

Configuring RemoteFX Settings

For information about how to configure RemoteFX settings in VMM, see How to Configure the Video Adapter for a Virtual Machine.

How RemoteFX Affects Placement

Be aware that if the virtual machine (including any one of its checkpoints) is configured to use the RemoteFX 3D video adapter, placement is blocked during creation or migration if the host does not support RemoteFX. For additional RemoteFX-related placement considerations, see the “Conditions That Cause a Zero Rating” section of How Virtual Machine Manager Rates Hosts. Specifically, refer to the “Video” row of the table.

Updated Management Packs

Updated management packs are available for VMM 2008 R2 SP1. Be aware that you cannot use previous versions of the management packs on a VMM 2008 R2 SP1-based server. The management packs include a change to enable Performance and Resource Optimization (PRO) to use current memory consumption instead of a static memory value. The updated management packs are included with the download of VMM 2008 R2 SP1, in the i386\VirtualizationMP folder or the amd64\VirtualizationMP folder. For information about Operations Manager integration, see How to Integrate Operations Manager with VMM 2008 R2 (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=162959).

See Also

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