Checklist: Configure Virtual Machines for Server Consolidation

Applies To: Windows Server 2008 R2

You can improve the efficiency of your server hardware and reduce the costs of running and maintaining that hardware by consolidating multiple server workloads onto fewer physical systems. The following table identifies the basic tasks required to use Hyper-V to consolidate server workloads.

Task Description

Identify the workloads that are the best candidates for virtualization.

You can use the Microsoft Assessment and Planning Solution Accelerator, which helps gather performance data and generates reports that identify the best candidates for server virtualization. For more information about the tool, see Microsoft Assessment and Planning Toolkit (

Assess your hardware requirements based on the type and number of servers that you want to consolidate.

You need to assess the processing, storage, and networking requirements of all the workloads that will run on one physical server to determine the hardware requirements of the physical server. For more information about hardware requirements and maximum configurations for Hyper-V, see

Determine which edition of Windows fits your consolidation plans.

Licensing for Windows ServerĀ 2008 includes usage rights for virtualized environments. The number of virtualized instances you can run according to terms of the licensing agreement varies by edition. For more information, see the licensing information at the Microsoft Web site (

Identify the management tool that suits the needs of your organization.

  • Use Hyper-V Manager, the management snap-in provided with the role. You can use Hyper-V Manager to connect to one physical computer at a time. For information about using Hyper-V Manager for configuration tasks, see the various topics in this Help.

  • Use System Center Virtual Machine Manager to manage larger-scale consolidation, such as a virtualized data center. You can use Virtual Machine Manager to manage multiple physical computers at the same time. For more information, see

  • Create a custom management solution using the Hyper-V SDK. For information about the Hyper-V WMI provider, see the MSDN site (

Install the Hyper-V role on the physical servers that will run the role.

For instructions about installing Hyper-V, see the Hyper-V Planning and Deployment Guide (

Create the virtual machines or migrate them from physical servers.

For instructions about creating virtual machines, see Create Virtual Machines.

For general information about using System Center Virtual Machine Manager to migrate physical servers, see

Test the workloads to ensure that they perform as expected.

Refer to performance data and any other criteria that you gathered when you assessed the physical servers to identify the candidates for virtualization. Gather similar data for the virtualized workloads and compare it to the original data to determine whether performance is acceptable.

Additional considerations

  • By default, membership in the local Administrators group, or equivalent, is the minimum required to complete this procedure. However, an administrator can use Authorization Manager to modify the authorization policy so that a user or group of users can complete this procedure. For more information, see Using Authorization Manager for Hyper-V Security (

Additional references