2011
03.14

Imagine this: you are running a pretty big Hyper-V environment, Microsoft releases a service pack that adds a great new feature like Dynamic Memory (DM), legacy OS’s will require the new ICs, and you really want to get DM up and running.  Just how will you get those ICs installed in all those VMs?

First you need to check your requirements for Dynamic Memory.  The good news is that any Windows Server 2008 R2 with SP1 VM will have the ICs.  But odds are that if you have a large farm then things aren’t all that simple for you.  Check out the Dynamic Memory Configuration Guide to see the guest requirements for each supported OS version and edition. 

OK, let’s have a look at a few options:

By Hand

Log into each VM, install the ICs, and reboot.  Yuk!  That’s only good in the smallest of environments or if you’re just testing out DM on one or two VMs.

VMM

VMM has the ability to install integration components into VMs.  The process goes like this:

  1. Shut down a number of VMs
  2. Select the now shut down VMs (CTRL + select)
  3. Right-click and select the option to install new integration components
  4. Power up the VMs

You’ll see the VM’s power up and power down during the installation process.  Now you’re done.

WSUS

Here’s an unsupported option that will be fine in a large lab.  You can use the System Center Updates Publisher to inject updates into a WSUS server.  Grab the updates from a W2008 R2 SP1 Hyper-V server and inject them into the WSUS server.  Now you let Windows Update take care of your IC upgrade.

Configuration Manager

This is the one I like the most.  ConfigMgr is the IT megalomaniac’s dream come true.  It is a lot of things but at it’s heart is the ability to discover what machines are and distribute software to collections of machines that meet some criteria.  So for example, you can discover if a Windows machine is a Hyper-V VM and put it in a collection.  You can even categorise them.

You may notice that Windows Server 2008 with SP2 Web and Standard editions require a prerequisite update to get DM working

So, you can advertise the ICs to a collection of W2008 with SP2 standard and web editions, making that update a requirement.  The update gets installed, and then the ICs get installed.  All other OS’s: it’s just an update.  And of course, you just need to install SP1 on your W2008 R2 VMs.  As you may have noticed, I’[m not promoting the use of the updates function of ConfigMgr; I’m talking about the ability to distribute software.

I’ll be honest – I don’t know if the ConfigMgr method is supported or not (like the WSUS option) but it’s pretty tidy, and surely must be the most attractive of all in a large managed environment.  And because it’s a simple software distribution, I can’t see what the problem might be.

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