Microsoft offers administrators three free Hyper-V virtualization tools

New virtualization tools help speed up Linux virtual machines, scan for configuration best practices, and patch or update offline virtual machines

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The BPA tool runs from the Server Manager console in Windows Server 2008 R2 or through PowerShell scripts. It provides a list of issues that can be sorted by severity and includes recommendations for fixing issues by providing links to further instructions. Another interesting feature is the ability to remove or exclude certain best practices that may not fit or apply to a specific environment. That way, users don't have to deal with a large number of unnecessary errors or warnings that may not apply. It is important to note, however, the BPA tool is only a scanning and reporting tool -- it does not actually make any configuration changes to the system, administrators are still responsible and in control here. The tool merely provides guidance; what administrators do with it is strictly up to them.

You can download and install the BPA update for Hyper-V on Microsoft's Website.

Finally, Microsoft also announced the beta release of yet another new tool for Hyper-V called the Virtual Machine Servicing Tool (VMST), now at version 3.0. VMST 3.0 is designed to help administrators reduce IT costs by making it easier to update offline virtual machines in a SCVMM library, virtual machine templates, stopped and saved state virtual machines on a host server, and offline virtual hard disks in a SCVMM library with the latest operating system and application patches.

According to Microsoft, customers using VMST 3.0 can also keep users productive during updates and maintenance of physical hosts. The latest version automates the servicing of Windows Server 2008 R2 Hyper-V host clusters, leveraging Microsoft's new live migration feature.

You can download the beta version of the VMST 3.0 tool from Microsoft Connect.

Know of any other free and useful utilities like these for Microsoft Hyper-V? Let us know.

This article, "Microsoft offers administrators three free Hyper-V virtualization tools," was originally published at Follow the latest developments in business technology news and get a digest of the key stories each day in the InfoWorld Daily newsletter and on your mobile device at

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