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This Post is introducing Hyper-V VM to everyone. What’s Hyper-v 2010 VM components and what Hyper-v 2012 can do in vMotion.

Test environment:


Testhyp01, Testhyp02

Windows 2012



Hyper-v VM components


This is best to describe what components a VM would have.



This is main disk file which contains all data, similar to vmdk file. The vhdx is the new format while the old format is called vhd which MS strongly suggests you to upgrade to vhdx due to possible data corruption.

The size of file is depending on what kind of disk you are choosing. If you choose Dynamic disk, then it could be small file like less than 10GB.



AVHDX is the snapshot of that VM which basically increases size every time when you write to your VM. MS strongly suggests DO NOT use snapshot but I found it comes quite handy. Especially, you can always vMotion it or storage vMotion snapshot with VM.

Configuration File


This lovely xml file is using computer GUID as file name. Yes, GUID not the name of your VM. So basically, it makes me very hard to locate configuration since there is no option for me to see what VM GUID is from Hyper-v Manager.

Imaging if you put all vms’ configuration files in the same folder, how can you tell which one is which one? so the best practise here is to put each VM in the separated folder.

P.S: You do can move files around later on.

Here is Powershell which helps you to fetch GUID

Using PowerShell you can find which GUID belongs to which VM.


PS> get-vm | ft -autosize vmname, vmid


VMName                 VMId

——                 —-

… 2012 DC            a1e1ab6b-a595-4089-bd9d-ab2040f3f603

2008 R2 Cluster Node 1 dbee3803-bf07-423d-84b7-3e0f98fafe2c

2012 Cluster Node 1    f3f0f575-1f00-4b4a-a07d-eb674c771bb5

2012 Cluster Node 2    6d10d079-90b4-4366-abc7-8df9ab4b3c60


PS> get-vm -id 6d10d079-90b4-4366-abc7-8df9ab4b3c60 | ft -autosize vmname, vmid


VMName              VMId

——              —-

2012 Cluster Node 2 6d10d079-90b4-4366-abc7-8df9ab4b3c60



BIN File


BIN file is basically VM memory dump file. It is sued to recover your VM from fast turn on and turn off. For example, if you restart your Hyper-v host without shutdown VMs running on it, you will find all VMs are still in last running status after reboot hyper-v host. It’s quite good feature. Again, the size of BIN is the size of memory you assigned to your VM or if you are using dynamic memory, then that’s how much system gives to it.

The funny thing about BIN is you can’t put it into separate folder away from your VM. If you review VM configuration file (XML file) you won’t find setting for BIN.

I think this is very important feature like Vmware swap file. You may want to collect all swap file in one location rather than attaching with VM so you will be able to estimate how big VM folder will be.

Well, you do can turn off BIN file though, by changing following settings to Option 2 and 3.


Once you are done that, you will see the size of BIN is 0, but again, you loss that useful feature of saving VM state.

P.S: If you are using DC as VM, please do choose Option 3. You don’t want to mass up with AD from saving state.

Smart Paging File

Well, this is rarely used or even appear. This file will appear only there is no free memory available and you want to start your VM. The system will use disk as memory (Minimum memory setting of your VM) to start your VM.

vMotion and storage vMotion

There is no doubt that Vmware is first company starting using vMotion and storage vMotion. But MS is the first company using storage vMotion without cluster and share storage. I guess this is dramatically disturb Vmware’s plan and they also announce vSphere 5 can do the same thing.

Anyway, let’s briefly go through what Hyper-V does for vMotion and storage vMotion.

If you go to Hyper-v Manager, right click VM you want to move


You get this interface.


That’s right. There is no other option it’s just move. You can choose to move to different host or same host but different file location.

Let’s say if you choose option 1


Type the other host name here


If you choose Option 3


That’s where you can choose destination location. Now, be aware that the destination folder need to have write permission and also permission to register VM into Hyper-v host.






Please any feedback if you want. More posts are coming.


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