Managing Hyper-V infrastructures can be complicated when you don’t have the right tools, especially in a hybrid cloud environment. Microsoft has several native Hyper-V management tools in addition to other third-party instruments.
In this post, we’ll explore the tools to simplify hybrid cloud infrastructure management and their features.
- Hyper-V Manager Hyper-V Manager is a Microsoft graphical interface (GUI) management tool that enables the creating, deleting, and modifying of virtual machines on a Hyper-V host. The solution is free and can be installed on Windows Server 2008 or newer. It can also be installed on Windows 7, 8, or 10 using RSAT (Remote Server Administration Tools).
This tool enables you to manage VMs on a local or remote host, fully manage on a standalone host and also partially manage a host that’s a member of a cluster.
- Failover Cluster Manager In a cluster of Hyper-V hosts, Hyper-V Manager can’t access all the settings of a clustered VM. As a result, you won’t be able to fully manage the hosts and the VMs with that tool, so this is where the Failover Cluster Manager comes in handy.
When you set the cluster role in the Windows Server OS, you can use Failover Cluster Manager to create and manage clusters. However, managing standalone Hyper-V hosts isn’t possible here.
- SCVMM The System Center Virtual Machine Manager (SCVMM) is a tool that centralizes the management of the VM environment, allowing you to manage multiple Hyper-V clusters or standalone Hyper-V hosts.
It also has more features than the Failover Cluster Manager. For example, you can create virtual network switches, create VM templates, and integrate with third-party software. However, keep in mind that SCVMM requires a database to store the infrastructure configuration.
SCVMM doesn’t run the cluster; the Failover Cluster Manager does, but you can safely restart the SCVMM server without affecting the state of the managed hosts and clusters.
- Windows Admin Center In 2018, Microsoft introduced Windows Admin Center to centralize the management tools that system administrators use. This web-based tool replaces the traditional Microsoft Management Console (MMC) snap-ins and can be download for free.
This tool can manage Hyper-V clusters, the Azure Stack hyper-converged infrastructure (HCI), Windows servers, and Windows 10 and 11 workstations through the Windows Admin Center Gateway. It enables a more granular level management of Hyper-V VMs, and if you publish the Gateway to the internet, the tool becomes usable from any point with web access.
You can also use Windows Admin Center to manage the Windows Server operating system of a VM in Azure.
- Azure Arc Azure Arc is a platform that extends Azure Resource Manager (the management tool in Azure) to on-premises and multi-cloud resources. With Azure Arc you can manage virtual machines hosted outside of Azure, such as an on-premise Hyper-V VM. Managing Kubernetes clusters and databases hosted inside or outside Azure is also possible. This tool can integrate with SCVMM and VMware to enable managing the VM’s lifecycles from a single pane of glass.
DevOps teams can benefit from what Azure Arc is capable of to build applications and services across different clouds.
- Powershell Use Powershell (PS) to manage your environment with scripting. Powershell is Microsoft's native open-source solution for task automation and is used behind the scenes by many Microsoft tools as it can be used across Windows, Linux, and Mac operating systems.
PS consists of a command-line shell, configuration management framework, and scripting language. You can use Powershell to manage and automate tasks in an on-premises Hyper-V environment and Azure resources.
A reliable Hyper-V backup solution
The complexity of modern Hyper-V infrastructures makes them challenging to manage efficiently. But, more importantly, those environments are time-consuming to build and optimize. Therefore, a disrupting incident in a Hyper-V environment can cost an organization immense labor and financial resources to restore production. Moreover, an organization risks stopping operations entirely after a major data loss incident, a ransomware attack, or a security breach.
The only reliable way to save the organization’s carefully built virtual environment and data is to use a Hyper-V backup solution that enables you to set, schedule, and manage automated backup workflows for separate Hyper-V VMs, entire hosts, clusters, and mixed environments from a single dashboard. You can store backups on-site and send them offsite and to cloud repositories to avoid a single point of failure and increase reliability. When a data loss incident occurs, use the backup you need to restore data and production with minimum recovery time.