Friday 18 December 2009

Server Core – Remotely Managing Storage Like USB HDDs

We have the need to connect an existing USB hard drives containing our SBS 2008 backups to an existing Hyper-V Server 2008 R2 box using the new USB HDD pass through feature.

To do so requires three things to be done. One on the remotely connecting management machine and two on the Hyper-V box itself.

On the management machine:

  1. Click Start –> Firewall Advanced [Enter]
    • The Windows Firewall with Advanced Security console should come up after a UAC.
  2. Click Inbound Rules.
  3. Enable the following three rules:
    1. Remote Volume Management - Virtual Disk Service (RPC)
    2. Remote Volume Management - Virtual Disk Service Loader (RPC)
    3. Remote Volume Management (RPC-EPMAP)
    4. image
  4. Close the Firewall MMC.

On the Server Core box repeat the above but also make sure of the following:

  1. The Virtual Disk service is set to Automatic.
    • image
  2. If the service is not started, start the service.

Once the three steps above have been completed, we are now able to remotely manage the volumes on the Hyper-V box thus enabling us to place those USB HDDs Offline to allow VM access in the Hyper-V Manager:


Thanks to Sander Berkouwer & Joachim Nässlander:

Slide #9 indicates that _both_ the management and Server Core boxes need the firewall exception which was our initial stumbling point on getting things working.

Philip Elder
Microsoft Small Business Specialists
Co-Author: SBS 2008 Blueprint Book

*Our original iMac was stolen (previous blog post). We now have a new MacBook Pro courtesy of Vlad Mazek, owner of OWN.

Windows Live Writer


Tim Sullivan said...

Have you heard of any way of doing something similar in Hyper-V Server 2008 R2?

Philip Elder Cluster MVP said...


This post covers both Server Core and Hyper-V via the Windows 2008 R2 media and Hyper-V Server 2008 R2.


jgsa said...

Philip, I believe Tim may be referring to the non-gui hyper-v server which doesn't (as far as I could find) have a disk management console where you can put USB drives offline. I did search for a method to put a drive offline via a command line utility and did stumble across several command line commands that supposedly do that but have been unable to attach a USB drive to a hyper-v server (r2) and then utilize that drive in the child machines. Perhaps I am looking in the wrong place and if so could you point me in the right direction.

Philip Elder Cluster MVP said...

Ah, I see.

This post assumes that the Hyper-V box whether Server Core or Hyper-V Server 2008 R2 has been configured to allow remote firewall configuration so that the proper exceptions can be made for managing the Server Core install via Vista/Win7.

While out of date, this post on configuring Server Core and Hyper-V will help to get the box ready for remote management.


jgsa said...

Thanks for the follow-up. So now that I dig deeper, basically just like the hyper-v console to manage machines, you can also remotely manage the drive partitions and take them offline to allow them to be seen in the child machines. If I am thinking incorrectly please let me know. I appreciate your follow-up. Sometimes we don't see what's in front of us!

Philip Elder Cluster MVP said...

With this post in place, it was my intent to follow it up with the instructions on getting that USB HDD connected to a VM.

But, our client demands spiked and I am nowhere near close to having the time to write the post.

Yes, once you have the remote disk management configured, you connect the USB drive to the Hyper-V box, set it offline in Disk Management, then it will show as available to VMs via pass through.