I once made an offhanded remark within an article that if you don’t like the Hyper-V Manager, then it would be theoretically possible to create a replacement tool using nothing but PowerShell. While I have yet to hear of anyone actually using PowerShell to build a Hyper-V Manager replacement, ManageEngine has taken it upon themselves to create a free, lightweight Hyper-V management tool, which the company simply calls the Hyper-V Configuration Tool. In this article, I want to show you how the tools works so that you can get a sense as to whether it might be a good fit for use in your own organization.
As previously noted, the ManageEngine Hyper-V Configuration Tool is available for free. You can download the tool here. The installation process is based around a really simple wizard, and does not require the installation of supplementary software such as SQL Server or the .NET Framework.
Once the Hyper-V Configuration Tool is installed, you will be taken to the screen shown below. To get started, just enter the hostname (or IP address), domain, username, and password for your Hyper-V server. It is worth noting that when I added one of my Hyper-V servers to the Hyper-V Configuration Tool, the tool seemed to lock up for about a minute. Eventually, though, the tool became responsive again.
Clicking on a virtual machine causes the tool to reveal five VM-related tabs: Power, Boot, CPU, RAM, and Hard Disk. The Power tab tells you whether the VM is turned on and how long the virtual machine has been running. There are also buttons for turning the VM on or off, pausing, and suspending the VM.
The Boot tab displays the virtual machine’s current boot device order and allows you to change that order if necessary. You can see what the Boot tab looks like below.
Hopefully, by reading this article, you have been able to get a good feel for ManageEngine’s free Hyper-V Configuration Tool, as well as the tool’s features and limitations. I think that the big takeaway is that the Hyper-V Configuration Tool works well as a lightweight management tool, but it is not a true replacement for the Hyper-V Manager. In all fairness though, the tool is free, and ManageEngine does not market it as a Hyper-V Manager replacement.
The reason why I do not consider the Hyper-V Configuration Tool to be an effective Hyper-V Manager replacement is because it lacks some of Hyper-V Manager’s key functions. For example, there is no option to create a new virtual machine or to perform a live migration of an existing virtual machine.
Now please do not misunderstand me. I’m not trying to bash the Hyper-V Configuration Tool, but rather to set expectations. Besides, it would not be fair for me to bash a free tool, especially one that seems to work just the way that it is supposed to.
I think that the Hyper-V Manager could be an effective tool for keeping tabs on host resource consumption (in smaller organizations), and for making basic virtual machine configuration changes.
The one thing that I think that ManageEngine could do to really improve the tool is to allow it to be run full screen. You might have noticed in my screen captures that there is no option to maximize the window. This probably isn’t a big deal for a lot of people, but I think that a full-screen mode would really improve the tool’s usability.
Featured image: Shutterstock
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