Modifying guest session configuration settings

Learn how to make changes to a guest session after it is installed. This excerpt from "Windows Server 2008 Unleashed" tells you how to tackle common modifications.

After a guest session has been installed, whether it is a Microsoft Windows server guest session, a Microsoft Windows client guest session, or a guest session running a non-Windows operating system, the host configuration settings for the guest session can be changed. Common changes to a guest session include things such as the following:

  • Adding or limiting the RAM of the guest session
  • Changing network settings of the guest session
  • Mounting a CD/DVD image or mounting a physical CD/DVD disc

Adding or Limiting the RAM of the Guest Session

A common configuration change that is made of a guest session is to increase or decrease the amount of memory allocated to the guest session. The default memory allocated to the system frequently is fine for a basic system configuration; however, with the addition of applications to the guest session, there might be a need to increase the memory. As long as the host server system has enough memory to allocate additional memory to the guest session, adding memory to a guest session is a very simple task.

To add memory to the guest session, do the following:

  1. From the Server Manager console or from the Virtualization MMC snap-in, click to select the guest session for which you want to change the allocated memory.
  2. Right-click the guest session name, and choose Settings.
  3. Click on Memory and enter in the amount of RAM you want allocated for this guest session (in megabytes).
  4. Click OK when you are finished.

Changing Network Settings for the Guest Session

Another common configuration change made to a guest session is to change the network setting for the guest session. An administrator of a virtual server might choose to have each guest session connected directly to the network backbone just as if the guest session had a network adapter connected to the backbone, or the network administrator might choose to set up an isolated network just for the guest sessions. The configuration of the internal and external network segments that the administrator can configure the guest sessions to connect to is covered earlier in this chapter in the section "Virtual Network Manager."

The common configuration methods of the virtual network configurations can be broken down into two groups, as follows:

  • Direct addressing -- The guest sessions can connect directly to the backbone of the network to which the virtual server host system is attached. In this instance, an administrator would configure an external connection in the Virtual Network Manager and have an IP address on that external segment.
  • Isolated network -- If the administrator wants to keep the guest sessions isolated off of the network backbone, the administrator can set up an internal connection in the Virtual Network Manager and the guest sessions would have an IP address of a segment common to the other guest sessions on the host system. In this case, the ¬virtual server acts as a network switch connecting the guest sessions together.

Mounting a Physical CD/DVD Image or Mounting a CD/DVD Image File

When installing software on a guest session of a virtual server system, the administrator would either insert a CD or DVD into the drive of the physical server and access the disc from the guest session, or mount an ISO image file of the disc media.
To access a physical CD or DVD disc or to mount an image of a CD or DVD, do the following:

  1. From the Server Manager console or from the Hyper-V MMC snap-in, click to select the guest session for which you want to change the allocated memory.
  2. Right-click the guest session name, and choose Settings.
  3. Click on DVD Drive and choose Physical CD/DVD Drive if you want to mount a disc in the physical drive of the host system, or click on Image File and browse for the ISO image file you want to mount as a disc image.
  4. Click OK when you are finished.

Other Settings to Modify for a Guest Session Configuration

There are other settings that can be changed for a guest session. These options can be modified by going into the Settings option of the guest session and making changes. These other settings include the following:

  • BIOS -- This setting allows for the selection of boot order on the guest machine to boot in an order that can include floppy, CD, IDE (disk), or network boot.
  • Processor -- Hyper-V provides the ability to allocate core processors to the guest image, so a guest image can have up to four core processors allocated for each session. Additionally, resource control can be weighted between guest sessions by allocating system resource priority to key guest server sessions versus other guest sessions.
  • IDE Controller -- The guest session initially has a single virtual hard drive associated with it. Additional virtual hard drives can be added to a virtual guest session.
  • SCSI Controller -- A virtual SCSI controller can be associated with a virtual guest session as well providing different drive configuration options for the different drive configurations.
  • COM Ports -- Virtual communication ports such as COM1 or COM2 can be associated with specific named pipes for input and output of information.

Use the following table of contents to navigate to chapter excerpts

Windows Server 2008 Unleashed
  Home: Deploying and using Windows virtualization: Introduction
  1: Understanding Microsoft's virtualization strategy
  2: Planning your implementation of Hyper-V
  3: Installation of the Microsoft Hyper-V server role
  4: Becoming familiar with the Hyper-V administrative console
  5: Installing a guest operating system session
  6: Modifying guest session configuration settings
  7: Launching a Hyper-V guest session
  8: Using snapshots of guest operating systems sessions
Windows Server 2008 Unleashed covers the planning, design, prototype testing, implementation, migration, administration and support of a Windows 2008 and Active Directory environment, based on more than three and a half years of early-adopter experience in full production environments. This book addresses not only what is new in Windows 2008 compared with previous versions of the Windows Server product, but also what is different and how the similarities and differences affect an organization's migration to Windows 2008. Chapters are dedicated to the migration process from Windows 2000/2003 to Windows 2008, how to properly use Group Policies in Windows 2008, and tips and tricks on managing and administering a Windows 2008 environment. Purchase the book from InformIT.
Rand Morimoto has been in the computer industry for more than 30 years and has authored, co-authored or been a contributing writer for dozens of bestselling books on Windows 2003, Exchange 2007, security, BizTalk Server, and remote and mobile computing. Michael Noel has been involved in the computer industry for nearly two decades and has significant real-world experience with enterprise information technology environments. Michael has authored several major publications, such as SharePoint 2007 Unleashed and Exchange 2007 Unleashed Omar Droubi has been in the computer industry for more than 15 years, has co-authored one of Sams Publishing's bestselling books, Windows 2003 Unleashed, and has been a contributing writer and technical reviewer on several other books on Windows Server 2003 as well as Exchange 2000, 2003 and 2007. Ross Mistry is a seasoned veteran in Silicon Valley and has spent more than a decade in the computer industry. As a principal consultant and partner with Convergent Computing (CCO), he had the opportunity to work with Windows Server 2008 for three years before the product was released to the public. Chris Amaris is the chief technology officer and co-founder of CCO. He has more than 20 years' experience consulting for Fortune 500 companies, leading them in the selection, design, planning and implementation of complex information technology projects. Chris worked with Windows 2008 for three years before its release to the general public.

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