Hyper-V Server 2019 - hardware compatibility?

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  1. Posts : 6
    Windows
       #1

    Hyper-V Server 2019 - hardware compatibility?


    Hi.

    I'm buying a new PC for Hyper-V Server 2019, running a couple of Windows 10 VM's. I would like to buy a new computer to last at least some years. I'm reading some posts that people have some issues with drivers for NIC interfaces, so I guess having the latest technology might not be a wise solution.

    Just to be sure. I'm not talking about Windows Server 2019 running Hyper V, but standalone Hyper-V Server 2019. That is OS for running VM's. Only command-line and Power Shell.

    Some users said they had to install AMD Chipset drivers, but I don't know if that's possible on Hyper-V Server 2019 using command-line/PowerShell?

    Can you please advise me which CPU and Motherboard chipset to buy for best performance and as few compatibility issues as possible?

    CPU:
    AMD Ryzen 7 5800X 8 Cores / 16 Threads /105W - newer
    AMD Ryzen 9 3900X 12 Cores / 24 Threads /105W - older but more cores

    Motherboard chipset:
    AMD X570 - latest
    AMD B550

    If there's anything else that would present compatibility issues please advise.

    Thank you very much!

    Br,
    kd
      My Computer

  2. jimbo45's Avatar
    Posts : 11,005
    Windows / Linux : Arch Linux
       #2

    kdiamond said:
    Hi.

    I'm buying a new PC for Hyper-V Server 2019, running a couple of Windows 10 VM's. I would like to buy a new computer to last at least some years. I'm reading some posts that people have some issues with drivers for NIC interfaces, so I guess having the latest technology might not be a wise solution.

    Just to be sure. I'm not talking about Windows Server 2019 running Hyper V, but standalone Hyper-V Server 2019. That is OS for running VM's. Only command-line and Power Shell.

    Some users said they had to install AMD Chipset drivers, but I don't know if that's possible on Hyper-V Server 2019 using command-line/PowerShell?

    Can you please advise me which CPU and Motherboard chipset to buy for best performance and as few compatibility issues as possible?

    CPU:
    AMD Ryzen 7 5800X 8 Cores / 16 Threads /105W - newer
    AMD Ryzen 9 3900X 12 Cores / 24 Threads /105W - older but more cores

    Motherboard chipset:
    AMD X570 - latest
    AMD B550

    If there's anything else that would present compatibility issues please advise.

    Thank you very much!

    Br,
    kd
    Hi there

    If you want to run any sort of VM's with any decent load on them you need to ensure that the OS overhead is as small as possible and to enable "passthru" of as many devices as possible so in fact you are using Native GUEST OS drivers and hardware rather than the "paravirtualised" (i.e in plain English "Emulated" devices-- not quite 100% true but in fact that's the main effect).

    Using paravirtualised devices --especially for I/O means that you've got double sets of I/O -- first the HOST OS has to effectively map its native file system to the "Virtual disk format" and then has to re-map that to the GUEST OS's file system.
    Same for graphics etc.

    The advantage of course in using paravirtualised hardware is that the VM can run identically from different HOST OS'es and provided you change the computer name you can run concurrent VM's.

    So you need especially to pass thru a GPU (graphics) and at least 1 HDD / SSD. - So you will need two GPU's and a spare SSD / HDD.

    The 2nd graphics card must be dedicated Only to the VM and will therefore be unavilable to the HOST -- same with an SSD / HDD -- the MOBO must also be able to support IOMMU.

    I've found it not easy at all using HYPER-V for this type of thing -- mind you I'm not a Windows Guru by any manner of means so there probably are other forum members who can advise on passthru usimng HYPER-V -- the crunch though is that to get best performance dedicate I/O, one CPU and one GPU to the VM --this is true whatever OS you use on your HOST system.

    -- I have managed though to get a Windows W10 Workstation pro running at almost near native speed using a LINUX host running KVM (Linux HYPERVISOR) where passthru is a bit easier and I've got a dual CPU board as well where I can dedicate 1 of the CPU's to the Windows Host.

    Of course if you do this you will probably only be able to run 1 Windows VM at a time -- it really depends on what worload you want the VM to be able to do.

    Cheers
    jimbo
      My Computer


  3. Posts : 6
    Windows
    Thread Starter
       #3

    Thank you for your reply, Jimbo. I just saw it. Overlooked post reply notice email.

    I guess I didn't really explain what I need to use it for...

    I don't need a heavy performance machine, but I would like to buy a new machine to last at least a decade. It's more about backups and separating the services. What I have now is a Windows 10 PC that runs services.

    - Apache (few websites)
    - FTP
    - Mail server (about 15 accounts)
    - Invoicing software
    - OS Ticket system
    - Warehouse Rental system
    - Home automation software
    - Grafana service

    Nothing resources demanding. My old i5, 8gb ram Windows 10 pro PC is handling it with ease. The problem is that anything goes wrong with the PC, all services go down. And if I made some system changes for one service, can affect others. So fixing one thing might break another. So now it's like "don't touch the running system".

    What I would like to do is to split those services across the stripped VMs (WAMP or LAMP) and make daily backups of each.

    So I was thinking to have one of the option below:

    1. Hyper-V Server 2019 to run a VM for each service using WAMP or LAMP.
    2. Windows 10 using built-in HyperV to run a VM for each service using WAMP or LAMP.
    3. Windows Server 2019 using built-in HyperV to run a VM for each service using WAMP or LAMP.

    Another question was which CPU is wise to choose for the same price. Never with fewer cores or older with more cores?

    Thank you very much
    Br,
    kd
      My Computer

  4. pparks1's Avatar
    Posts : 1,937
    Windows 10 Pro
       #4

    The biggest advantage on the new Ryzen 5000 series is higher single threaded performance which is great for gaming. Since you are running VM's, I think you would benefit more from Core's than higher single core performance. I would choose a 3950x over a 5800x for running the Hyper-V 2019 baremetal hypervisor.
      My Computers


  5. Posts : 6
    Windows
    Thread Starter
       #5

    pparks1 said:
    The biggest advantage on the new Ryzen 5000 series is higher single threaded performance which is great for gaming. Since you are running VM's, I think you would benefit more from Core's than higher single core performance. I would choose a 3950x over a 5800x for running the Hyper-V 2019 baremetal hypervisor.
    That's my thinking also. Will go for 3950x.
    Thank you!
      My Computer

  6. jimbo45's Avatar
    Posts : 11,005
    Windows / Linux : Arch Linux
       #6

    Hi there
    Make sure the MOBO allows IOMMU for optimum performance on an essentially "bare metal Hypervisor" -- also have at least 2 NIC cards, and if you can two GPU's / graphic cards -- and ideally a dual CPU .

    I'd choose the HYPER-V 2019 server rather than the Windows 10 HOST.

    Then you should be decently "in business" with VM's running at almost near 100% Native speed.

    Ensure also if you use HYPER-V to create WAMP / LAMP servers on a VM ensure your CPU allows "Nesting VM's" i.e running a VM on a VM HOST !!!! (your option 3).

    Memory (RAM) shouldn't be a problem but try and use "RAW" HDD Disk I/O - preferably SSD's for the Virtual machines disks wherever possible -- one problem with standard "Classical VM's" is that disk I/O can "really let the side down" in terms of performance.

    Cheers
    jimbo
      My Computer



  7. Posts : 6
    Windows
    Thread Starter
       #7

    Thank you Jimbo.

    So things to check before buy
    1. MOBO allows IOMMU
    2. CPU allows "Nesting VM's"
    3. SDD = M2

    Back to my initial post. Which CPU will you prefer? I would guess more cores.

    CPU:
    AMD Ryzen 7 5800X 8 Cores / 16 Threads /105W - newer
    AMD Ryzen 9 3900X 12 Cores / 24 Threads /105W - older but more cores

    I will certainly look for the things you mentioned.
    If I may ask, for my understanding...

    Why 2 NIC? The server will be connected to 1G switch.
    Why 2 GPU? There will be no almost no GUIs or maybe one Windows 10 VM running. Can HYPER-V 2019 server benefit from GPU's even if there is no OS GUI VM's.?

    Thank you
    Br,
    kd
      My Computer

  8. jimbo45's Avatar
    Posts : 11,005
    Windows / Linux : Arch Linux
       #8

    kdiamond said:
    Thank you Jimbo.

    So things to check before buy
    1. MOBO allows IOMMU
    2. CPU allows "Nesting VM's"
    3. SDD = M2

    Back to my initial post. Which CPU will you prefer? I would guess more cores.

    CPU:
    AMD Ryzen 7 5800X 8 Cores / 16 Threads /105W - newer
    AMD Ryzen 9 3900X 12 Cores / 24 Threads /105W - older but more cores

    I will certainly look for the things you mentioned.
    If I may ask, for my understanding...

    Why 2 NIC? The server will be connected to 1G switch.
    Why 2 GPU? There will be no almost no GUIs or maybe one Windows 10 VM running. Can HYPER-V 2019 server benefit from GPU's even if there is no OS GUI VM's.?

    Thank you
    Br,
    kd
    Hi there


    Of course it really depends on what you need the VM to do.

    Rather than either of those CPU's I'd go for a DUAL processor system as again you can dedicate one processor to the VM -- again it depends on what workload the VM has to do.

    As for the graphic subsystem for the VM :

    The advantage of using a separate GPU for the VM is that you are running at full Native performance of the graphics rather than sharing resources with the host and using "emulated virtual graphics" for the VM. This can increase performance dramatically - especially for 3D applications, other intensive graphical applications e.g CAD and gaming.

    Even in a "bare metal Hypervisor" there has to be some graphics output on the HOST even if it's only Command line. (not quite true -- Linux can run totally happily headless and you can do everything remotely via SSH of course - ensure openssh is installed on the Linux machine though).

    The other question is how are you wanting to access the VM - from the Host itself or remotely using RDP etc. If on the Host and it's HYPER-V and the VM is a Windows VM then prsumably the Windows VM will have to have a GUI in any case even if its only accessed remotely via RDP.

    Linux Hosts with KVM/QEMU can manage VM's entirely through the command line though.


    from Linux:

    The virt-install command allows you to create a fully-virtualized guest interactively from a terminal, without the need for a GUI.

    e.g use virt-install : for say a Windows guest using virt-install --prompt

    virt-install \
    --name=guest-name \
    --os-type=windows \
    --network network=default \
    --disk path=path-to-disk,size=disk-size \
    --cdrom=path-to-install-disk \
    --graphics spice --ram=1024

    the VM install images are stored by default here :
    /var/lib/libvirt/images/

    Once the fully-virtualized guest is created, virt-viewer will launch the guest and run the operating system's installer.

    Having also separate NICs gives better isolation of Host and VM's - and depending on network traffic on either HOST or VM will result in a much better user response time - other things being equal -- e.g load on Internet servers, WAMP / LAMP data base accesses / queries etc.

    There are about 10 zillion ways of arranging VM's !!! but what you need to do is first decide what you want them to do, then users expectations and then get the appropriate hardware.


    For file transfer FROM any Windows machine to any other you will need to have OPENSSH enabled and running on the Windows SENDING system. sftp protocol also encrypts transmission.

    If SENDING from a Linux system, ensure the ssh(d) service is enabled and running. OPENSSH-client is installed by default on current Windows systems. OPENSSH-server on Windows is installed via the optional applications - ensure service is started automatically at boot time in the services menu.

    My own view would be to create a minimal Linux HOST and then create the VM's (Windows or whatever) with KVM/QEMU - these days the HYPERVISOR is resilent, efficient and certainly easier to scale -- the OS is free and doesn't have the overhead of HYPER-V running on a Windows 10 consumer based system.

    As for HYPER-V server -- choice is yours of course !!

    Cheers
    jimbo
    Last edited by jimbo45; 27 Jan 2021 at 08:44.
      My Computer


  9. Posts : 6
    Windows
    Thread Starter
       #9

    Thank you for your reply Jimbo. I really appreciate it!

    I think of VM server not to gain max performance, but to separate services across the VM's and to have easy and effective backup options. Those are really not performance demanding services I have. I need to split the services that run easily now on i5 Windows 10 machine to a few VM's. Mostly for the ease of the backup.

    I believe, but I could be wrong of course, that any new PC could handle it quite easily. I don't think I need a performance killer machine to get it working. I can always upgrade the server later when needed. Plus I might need another PC to do redundancy, which will double the budget.

    So the dilemma is only the CPU choice for CPUs that are priced about the same

    CPU:
    AMD Ryzen 7 5800X 8 Cores / 16 Threads /105W - newer
    AMD Ryzen 9 3900X 12 Cores / 24 Threads /105W - older but more cores
    AMD Ryzen Threadripper 1950X 16 Cores / 32 Threads /180W - Threadripper, more expensive MOBO

    If you could help me to pick the best CPU from the list above would help me a lot. As pparks1 suggested to go for more cores (Ryzen 9 3900X), rather than a better single core performance (Ryzen 7 5800X).

    Thank you

    Br,
    kd
      My Computer

  10. jimbo45's Avatar
    Posts : 11,005
    Windows / Linux : Arch Linux
       #10

    kdiamond said:
    Thank you for your reply Jimbo. I really appreciate it!

    I think of VM server not to gain max performance, but to separate services across the VM's and to have easy and effective backup options. Those are really not performance demanding services I have. I need to split the services that run easily now on i5 Windows 10 machine to a few VM's. Mostly for the ease of the backup.

    I believe, but I could be wrong of course, that any new PC could handle it quite easily. I don't think I need a performance killer machine to get it working. I can always upgrade the server later when needed. Plus I might need another PC to do redundancy, which will double the budget.

    So the dilemma is only the CPU choice for CPUs that are priced about the same

    CPU:
    AMD Ryzen 7 5800X 8 Cores / 16 Threads /105W - newer
    AMD Ryzen 9 3900X 12 Cores / 24 Threads /105W - older but more cores
    AMD Ryzen Threadripper 1950X 16 Cores / 32 Threads /180W - Threadripper, more expensive MOBO

    If you could help me to pick the best CPU from the list above would help me a lot. As pparks1 suggested to go for more cores (Ryzen 9 3900X), rather than a better single core performance (Ryzen 7 5800X).

    Thank you

    Br,
    kd
    Hi there

    For this purpose fast Disks (SSD etc) will be essential if you've got a load of users on email / e-commerce / any sort of database system where you need decently quick response to queries and as much RAM as you can decently afford. If you are using a WAMP / LAMP type of service the standard default data base system is now MariaDB instead of MySQL but the commands etc are identical so if perusing older documentation on WAMP / LAMP you can use the same MySQL command set. You also will need decently fast broadband if you will be hosting the service yourself or ensure if using a Domain hosting service that "it's man enough for the job" -- there are a load of cheap domain servers out their but throughput on those can be as slow as molasses !!! - You get what you pay for.

    I can't really advise on what is the best CPU -- @pparks1 has done this type of stuff so I'd then go with his recommendations. However I can't stress that for decent performance of VM's on any platform sufficient RAM and the fasted Disks possible are probably even more important than they would be on a standard Windows or Linux machine not running any VM's.

    As for HYPER-V supporting VM's on Nvm / M2 type SSD's - I leave that to more experienced users than myself as it's not an area I've any experience with. In theory it should work but often theory and practice can be very different.

    Good luck with the project.

    Cheers
    jimbo
      My Computer


 
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