Running Hyper-V in vCenter!

With the announcement of vCenter Operations a few months ago I was thinking about how vCenter and how useful this interface has become over the last few years. For whatever reason I started to wonder if vCenter could handle the management of non-vSphere virtual machines. As I had a few conversations I was met with some weird expressions and utter confusion. “Why would you want to?” seemed to be a common response, more on that later.

I knew that Microsoft Virtual Machine Manager claims to manage VMware VM’s (I wouldn’t vouch for the performance ) so I was sure VMware had some sort of tool of their own, right?  After some research it turns out I was half right.


Lets back up and explain the why. First and my favorite response is always “why not?” If it can be done, why not prove it. Second and a more responsible and applicable reason is because hyper-v is free.* I am not saying replace your VMware environment, I am saying from a cost perspective if you wanted to spin up a few fully functioning VM’s for test/dev or branch office tier 3 applications hyper-v is a good and inexpensive choice.

The Solution

The part why I was only partially correct. So it turns out there is a program called vCenter XVP Manager and Converter, and it does just that.  As stated from their website.

VMware vCenter XVP Manager and Converter provides basic virtualization management capabilities for non-vSphere hypervisor platforms towards enabling centralized visibility and control across heterogeneous virtual infrastructures. It also simplifies and enables easy migrations of virtual machines from non-vSphere virtualization platforms to VMware vSphere.

But, and it’s a big but, it is part of VMware Lab’s department and isn’t fully supported. So while it is a tool that exists, I can’t claim it is a full-fledged product. With that said use at your own risk.

Fine Print

It is new and doesn’t look like it was tested very much as the forums are looking a bit full. The technical requirements are a little strict. For example you actually need Virtual Machine Manager running and the host must also have Windows Remote Management (WinRM) v1.1. Performance and features are limited with its primary purpose bridge to managing a mixed environment.

*I don’t want to get bogged down on true cost of Hyper-V, it has been overly communicated if you want more information feel free to Google it, but just know nothing is free and you do end up paying something for Hyper-V.

Below is some more details and I have provided some links.


  • Management of the following Microsoft Hyper-V platforms:
    • Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2008
    • Microsoft Windows Server 2008 (64-bit) with Hyper-V role enabled
    • Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2008 R2
    • Microsoft Windows Server 2008 R2 with Hyper-V role enabled
  • Familiar vCenter Server graphical user interface for navigating through and managing non-vSphere inventory
  • Ease of virtual machine migrations from non-vSphere hosts to vSphere inventory
  • Compatible with VMware vCenter Server 4.0 & 4.1
  • Scalable up to management of 50 non-vSphere hosts

If you find it interesting:

-Here is a link on a guide to Hyper-V Features for the VMware administrator.

What Can You Officially Virtualize With Windows Hyper-V?

I will be the first to admit. I don’t write enough about Microsoft Hyper-V. This is partly due to popularity of VMware and Citrix, but also because Hyper-V at times isn’t as flashy as the alternatives. So in the spirit of fairness, I thought I would spend sometime evaluating Microsoft offerings.

One place I wanted to start with was the supported Microsoft server software that can be virtualized using Hyper-V. Since the majority of the environments I work with are Microsoft centric it is a good start. Hopefully this quick list will help when deploying that new Microsoft application. Below is the list:

  • Microsoft Application Virtualization 4.5 or later. (Management Server, Publishing Server, Sequencer, Terminal Services Client, and Desktop Client).
  • BizTalk Server- 2004, 2006, 2006 R2, and 2009.
  • Microsoft Commerce Server– 2007 SP 2 or later.
  • Dynamics AX-2009 or later.
  • Dynamics GP -10 or later.
  • Dynamics NAV– 2009 or later.
  • Exchange Server 2007 SP1 or later.
  • Forefront Client Security.
  • Forefront Identity Manage– 2010 or later.
  • Microsoft Intelligent Application Gateway (IAG) – 2007 SP 2 or later.
  • Forefront Security for Exchange (FSE) – SP1 or later.
  • Forefront Security for SharePoint (FSP) SP2 or later.
  • Microsoft Host Integration Server-2006 or later.
  • Microsoft Internet Security and Acceleration (ISA) Server.
  • Groove Server– 2007 SP1 or later
  • PerformancePoint Server– 2007 SP2 or later.
  • Office Project Server– 2007 SP1 or later.
  • SharePoint Server/SharePoint Services- 2007 SP1 or later/3.0 SP1 or later.
  • Operations Manager (MOM) 2005.
  • Search Server- 2008 or later.
  • Essential Business Server 2008– 2008 or later.
  • Windows Small Business Server 2008- 2008 or later.
  • Microsoft SQL Server 2005 and SQL Server 2008
  • Configuration Manager-System Center Configuration Manager 2007 Service Pack 1 (both server and agents) or later.
  • Data Protection Manager- Supported with limitations.
  • Microsoft System Center Essentials-2007 Service Pack 1 and later.
  • Operations Manager– 2007 (both server and agents) or later.
  • Microsoft System Center Virtual Machine Manager
  • Microsoft System Center Service Manager- 2010 or later.
  • Server (SMS)– Systems Management Server 2003 Service Pack 3 (agents only) is supported.
  • Microsoft Visual Studio Team System– 2008 or later.
  • Microsoft Windows HPC Server 2008– 2008 or later.
  • Windows Server 2003 Web Edition– Windows Server 2003 Web Edition with Service Pack 2 or later.
  • Microsoft Windows Server Update Services (WSUS)– Update Services 3.1 or later.
  • Windows Web Server 2008
  • Identity Lifecycle Manager 2007- 2007 Feature Pack 1 (FP1) (with the latest updates) and later versions are supported.
  • Microsoft Office Web Apps

More information can be found here.