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Is Virtual Server using hardware virtualization on your computer?

Another great tip for your Microsoft Virtual Server environment coming from the mind and web pages of Ben Armstrong.  On his blog, Ben explains that under Virtual Server 2005 R2 SP1 Beta 2, there is no easy way to tell whether or not your physical computer really supports hardware virtualization, or whether Virtual Server is actually using it.  He explains how to determine this information in the following way:

  1. Enable hardware virtualization on a virtual machine (under General properties).
  2. Start the virtual machine. 
  3. Open PerfMon
  4. Select to look at the ‘HVM-VP is in HVM mode’ counter under the ‘Virtual Processors’ object. 

If this is reporting 0 – then Virtual Server is not able to use hardware virtualization on your computer.  If this is reporting 1 – then Virtual Server is able to use hardware virtualization on your computer.  If you believe that your system should support hardware virtualization, but PerfMon is reporting otherwise some things to check are:

  1. Make sure that hardware virtualization support is enabled in your BIOS (you may even need a BIOS update for this).
  2. Make sure that your CPU really does support hardware virtualization - there are a number of CPUs out there where there are editions that do and do not support hardware virtualization.

Note – that on most computers the ‘Virtual Processors’ performance object will not appear the first time that you try to add a counter under Perfmon.  If you try to add a counter and do not see this option – just close the ‘Add counters’ dialog and try to add a counter again – it should appear the second time.

Thank you Ben, for another incredible piece of information!

To read the original posting, along with updates and comments, check it out, here.

Published Saturday, September 09, 2006 9:15 AM by David Marshall
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