Hyper-V Management from Mac/Linux



  • I've been managing Hyper-V environments (from multi-host clusters, to single hosts with local storage) for many years now. I've always managed them from Windows boxes, because we were always a Windows shop. Recently I've switched over to a Macbook for my main work computer. I love it for ease of managing my Linux boxes, and just about everything else. I run VirtualBox on it and have a few VMs on it, one of which is a Windows 10 VM. The only reason I really need the Windows VM is for Hyper-V manager access. So, the question is, are there any tools out there that will allow me to have access to Hyper-V manager via web access, or something similar? I run Hyper-V server, so RDPing into the desktop of the host server for VM management is not an option.

    Any suggestions?



  • I should add... I'm looking for something similar to what VMWare does with remote web administration with VSphere Web Access.



  • The use of the multiple windows MMCs is what drove me away from Hyper-V.



  • @Dashrender said in Hyper-V Management from Mac/Linux:

    The use of the multiple windows MMCs is what drove me away from Hyper-V.

    What did you move to? Xen?



  • @fuznutz04 said in Hyper-V Management from Mac/Linux:

    @Dashrender said in Hyper-V Management from Mac/Linux:

    The use of the multiple windows MMCs is what drove me away from Hyper-V.

    What did you move to? Xen?

    I still have one VMware server and one XenServer. For me personally, I haven't fully decided if the $500 upfront cost and the the annua $125 maintenance is worth staying on VMWare Essentials.

    The simplicity of the control console definitely has it's value.

    XenOrchestra is available for free, as long as you want to manage it's update, etc manually. The creators of XO have many notices all over the free one that you should use the paid version, that the free is not for production use.

    While I think that's more of a scare tactic to get people to pay, the cost of XO is significantly more than VMWare Essentials, yet XO has more features, but still needs continued efforts in the UI.



  • @Dashrender

    I do like the interface of VMWare, and the ability for web access. However, I'm not willing to spring for the cost at this point. Although small, I just don't see any value in spending for something that has free alternatives with almost the same value points.

    I haven't tried Xen yet. If there are not good alternatives, I will just stick with another Windows VM on the host server, or on a separate box to manage Hyper-V. It is disappointing however that MS does not offer something like what I'm looking for. Perhaps that will come in the future though, as it seems that MS is at least starting to play nicer with non MS products/technologies.


  • Service Provider

    @fuznutz04 said in Hyper-V Management from Mac/Linux:

    I haven't tried Xen yet.

    It's incredibly easy, easier than Hyper-V for me in general and definitely easier if you don't have Microsoft's tools in use all over the place. XO is totally free and there is no need whatsoever to use the paid version, that's just advertising and not a factor. Yes, paying for it is great and you can support the project, so totally considering paying for it, but there is zero need to do so. Especially just to get started, pay later when it has saved you lots of money over Hyper-V.

    I know banks that have moved from VMware to XenServer and seen a 20% performance increase. It's really a win/win. VMware for $500+ doesn't come with support (so is the same as running XenServer and XO for free) and doesn't come with a fraction of the features that XS/XO do for free.


  • Service Provider

    @Dashrender said in Hyper-V Management from Mac/Linux:

    XenOrchestra is available for free, as long as you want to manage it's update, etc manually. The creators of XO have many notices all over the free one that you should use the paid version, that the free is not for production use.

    The reason, which has been explained by the people who put that notice there, is because they feel that you should always have paid support for anything in production. By that logic, you have ruled out VMware Essentials, too. So if you are applying that logic you must apply to both or to neither. You are treating the two products differently unfairly.


  • Service Provider

    @Dashrender said in Hyper-V Management from Mac/Linux:

    The simplicity of the control console definitely has it's value.

    This would be the theory. My experience has been that just dealing with the licensing effort of VMware alone is more effort and time consuming that getting XO set up and working. This is partially because the VMware side was so poorly managed. But that's not including the financial efforts that many companies add. Getting the annual approval for the purchase of VMware support and the risk that it won't get approved are enormous reasons for most businesses to avoid VMware in the SMB space. Any company that has ever had their management decide to "go without support" for their infrastructure (anyone have servers out of warranty, not run the latest OS, etc.) should probably consider just how much risk that adds to the decision here.


  • Service Provider

    @fuznutz04 5Nine has a solution for Windows, but I do not know of any solution for any other OS at this point.


  • Service Provider

    That said, I do not use 5Nine because it is stupidly gimped in the free version. Requiring a user to drop back to Hyper-V manager for basic tasks.

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  • @scottalanmiller said in Hyper-V Management from Mac/Linux:

    @fuznutz04 said in Hyper-V Management from Mac/Linux:

    I haven't tried Xen yet.

    It's incredibly easy, easier than Hyper-V for me in general and definitely easier if you don't have Microsoft's tools in use all over the place. XO is totally free and there is no need whatsoever to use the paid version, that's just advertising and not a factor. Yes, paying for it is great and you can support the project, so totally considering paying for it, but there is zero need to do so. Especially just to get started, pay later when it has saved you lots of money over Hyper-V.

    I'm going to have to give Xen a try on a spare server. I've heard such good about it over the past few months, and if it has easy management tools like VMWare does, that I can manage easily from a non-Windows OS, then it's worth a look. I haven't even started to look into Xen yet...Is it based on a "port" of Linux like VMWare is?



  • @JaredBusch said in Hyper-V Management from Mac/Linux:

    @fuznutz04 5Nine has a solution for Windows, but I do not know of any solution for any other OS at this point.

    Thanks for the suggestion. I've looked at those guys before. They look decent, but the fact is, I don't really need anything else besides the built in Hyper-V Manager tools. I've run a Hyper-V cluster with 5 nodes and 2 SANs in a past job, with nothing more than Hyper-V Manager and Cluster Fail-over Manager. Their free tools are really outstanding IMHO.

    The real shame here is that I wouldn't even consider moving to another HyperVisor, since I am very comfortable with Hyper-V, but the fact that they dont allow for easy administration via another OS is a little frustrating. Actually, I take part one of the previous sentence back....I would still test out Xen because I need to see if the grass is really greener, and obsessively learning new tech is a disease I have. 🙂


  • Service Provider

    @JaredBusch said in Hyper-V Management from Mac/Linux:

    @fuznutz04 5Nine has a solution for Windows, but I do not know of any solution for any other OS at this point.

    I'm pushing XO to branch out into Hyper-V management as well. I think that they could own this space pretty easily.


  • Service Provider

    @fuznutz04 said in Hyper-V Management from Mac/Linux:

    I haven't even started to look into Xen yet...Is it based on a "port" of Linux like VMWare is?

    No, neither Xen nor VMware have any heritage from Linux at all. That's totally a myth in both cases. Both Xen and VMware ESXi are totally independent "no shared code" hypervisors that descend from nothing. They are both totally unique and neither are a UNIX variant

    VMware ESXi has no association with any Linux whatsoever, but it does have a history from quite a long time ago now where Linux was used in a support role, but never as part of ESXi itself.

    Xen is owned by the Linux Foundation, but so are lots of non-Linux things. They are just the non-profit that oversees the development. Xen has a reputation for Linux association because Linux is used de facto in the Dom0 VM role to manage Xen, but this is only by tradition and there is no direct tie. In the past Solaris and NetBSD have both been able to work in that role. Also, the nature of Linux allowed it to be paravirtualized on Xen where Windows could not, causing some people to associate the two, but this was simply caused by the ability to compile for the target platform.



  • @scottalanmiller

    So after i posted that last comment, i did some more research on xen and Vmware and learned what you were just talking about. i couldnt post back fast enough to correct myself. 🙂

    it was the shell that threw me off regarding vmware. i assumed it was a variant of linux. of coure, we know what happens when you assume.



  • also, side bar: i hate typing on a tablet touch screen.


  • Service Provider

    @fuznutz04 said in Hyper-V Management from Mac/Linux:

    it was the shell that threw me off regarding vmware. i assumed it was a variant of linux. of coure, we know what happens when you assume.

    That's why we always talking about people associating shells with operating systems. But Windows has BASH and Linux has PowerShell 🙂