Hyper-V is a native hypervisor that enables platform virtualization on x86-64 systems first introduced in Windows Server 2008.  Subsequent releases existed in Windows Server 2008 R2 and the latest in Windows Server 2012.  It is Microsoft’s competitive offering against VMWare ESX.

Hyper-V has taken a debut in the non-server operating systems, Windows 8 Pro and Windows 8 Enterprise.

There are a few methods of creating virtual machine templates.  I will go over the traditional method that does not involve any additional cost programs like SCVMM (System Center Virtual Machine Manager.)  However, I highly suggest using it to manage a virtual machine environment and the System Center suite, in general, is fantastic for managing an entire infrastructure deployment.

Base Virtual Machine

  1. Create Base Virtual Machine
  2. Shut down VM and make a backup copy of the VHD.  This is used in the future if you want to recreate the base template.
  3. Boot the original VM and not the copy you just made.
  4. Run System Preparation Tool (Sysprep).  It is found under: C:\Windows\System32\Sysprep\sysprep.exe.
  5. Configure Sysprep to do an Enter System Out-of-Box Experience (OOBE), check the Generalize button so it creates a new SSID and choose Shutdown as the Shutdown Option.
  6. Copy the VHD again, making copies for all the new machines you want to create.

Creating Virtual Machine from Base Template

  1. Select New Virtual Machine Wizard and assign memory, CPU and configure networking.
  2. Connect Existing Virtual Hard Disk.
  3. Finalize wizard to build the new virtual machine.
  4. Start the newly created virtual machine.