Q. How can I create a new, non-clustered virtual machine (VM) using Microsoft System Center Virtual Machine Manager (SCVMM) 2008 on a cluster Hyper-V node?

A. If you’re using native Windows Server 2008 tools and you’ve clustered a number of Hyper-V servers running Windows Server 2008, Enterprise Edition or Datacenter Edition, you have several options when creating a VM. You can make the VM highly available by creating it using the Microsoft Management Console (MMC) Failover Cluster Management snap-in and storing on clustered storage such as a SAN. You can also make a VM that isn’t highly available by creating it using the MMC Hyper-V Manager snap-in.

If you’re using SCVMM, however, when you create a new VM on a virtual server that’s part of a cluster, you can only store the new VM on clustered storage and make the VM highly available. You can’t use any directly attached storage on the VM. These restrictions are part of SCVMM’s design. If you want to create a VM that isn’t highly available on a clustered virtual server, you need to use the Hyper-V Manager snap-in instead of the SCVMM management snap-in.

The SCVMM 2008 documentation says this on the subject:

“It is recommended that you not deploy virtual machines that are not highly available on your host clusters. Although you can do this by using Hyper-V (VMM does not allow it), the non-highly available virtual machines will consume resources that otherwise would be available to the HAVMs.”

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