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Hyper-V: Integration Components and Enlightenments

In order to get the most from your VM’s it is good to understand a couple of concepts that can impact the performance and operation of your Virtual Machines.   Here are some the concepts I’ll describe below:

·Integration Components
·Synthetic vs. Emulated Devices
·Operating System Enlightenments

Integration Components: Integrations components (ICs) are sets of drivers and services that help your Virtual Machines have more consistent state and perform better by enabling the guest to use synthetic devices.   Some ICs that come with Hyper-V are VMBUS (transport for Synthetic devices), Time Sync (used to keep VM clocks in sync with the root partition sometimes called the host), Video Driver, Network Driver, Storage Driver, …

You can tell you have these components installed by looking for VMBUS driver and “Virtual “ & “VMBus” in device names in the device manager.  If a SCSI drive is attached you will also see the “StorVSC” driver.  Since this is Beta we may update any or all of the naming.

Windows Server 2008 will come with the integration components pre-installed.  For other operating systems you can use the “vmguest.iso” image in the %SYSTEMROOT%\system32 directory.  A simpler way to install ICs is to use the vmconnect (console gui) and select Action->Insert Integration Services Setup Disk.  You may need to kick off setup manually depending on how autorun is configured – just inserting the CD doesn’t guarantee the ICs are installed.

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