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Check the system hardware for Hyper-V requirements

Not only do you need a hardware processor that can support a virtual environment, but you also need additional support to take advantage of some Hyper-V features.

Before you plan to deploy Hyper-V virtualization in your production environment, you need to check the requirements for running it. At a minimum, you'll need a hardware processor that can help create a virtual environment for Hyper-V and additional hardware support if you would like to use certain Hyper-V features, like Shielded VM and Discrete Device Assignment. You can check system hardware for Hyper-V requirements using the Systeminfo.exe and Coreinfo.exe tools.

To check the current hardware for Hyper-V requirements, open a PowerShell or command window on Windows Server 2012 or later OSes and then run Systeminfo.exe. Once you run the Systeminfo.exe tool, it collects hardware details on the current server. Systeminfo.exe in Windows Server 2012 and later OSes provides a separate section named Hyper-V Requirements, which shows hardware information specific to Hyper-V and the current status of the hardware component, as shown in Figure A:

Hyper-V requirements and hardware component status
Figure A. Hyper-V requirements and current status of the hardware component

As you can see in Figure A, Systeminfo.exe lists information like VM Monitor Mode Extensions, Virtualization Enabled In Firmware, Second Level Address Translation (SLAT) and Data Execution Prevention Available. To run Hyper-V on a Windows server, at a minimum, SLAT and Virtualization Enabled In Firmware must be enabled. If you try to enable a Hyper-V role on a system where SLAT isn't enabled, you will receive an error message.

To use the Discrete Device Assignment feature in Hyper-V, the processor must support Extended Page Tables (EPT) or Nested Page Tables (NPT) -- Intel or Advanced Micro Devices, respectively. To check for EPT or NPT, you can download the Coreinfo.exe utility from Microsoft and then execute the Coreinfo.exe –v command to check processor logical information, as shown in Figure B:

Processor logical information
Figure B. The Coreinfo.exe –v command shows processor logical information.

If your processor supports EPT or NPT, the output will show an asterisk. If the processor doesn't support EPT or NPT, the output will show a minus sign. As you can see in Figure B, EPT on the current hardware isn't supported, as the output shows a minus sign in front of the EPT component.

Next Steps

Understand Hyper-V files and folders

Know what guest OSes are supported by Hyper-V 2016

Use PowerShell to perform a Hyper-V health check

Dig Deeper on Microsoft Hyper-V management