Home > Cloud > Upgrading to Windows 2016 Hyper-V. What about the Virtual Machine Configuration?

Upgrading to Windows 2016 Hyper-V. What about the Virtual Machine Configuration?

Well, at some point we will all upgrade to Windows 2016 Server. Server aside, what happens with the virtual machines itself?

One of the good advantages of the upgrade process is that it will not automatically upgrade the Virtual Machine configuration file. The virtual machine configuration version represents what version of Hyper-V the virtual machine’s configuration, saved state, and snapshot files it is compatible with.

get-vm

After installing Windows Server 2016 and then importing or migrating (moving) a Virtual Machine from Windows Server 2012R2 the configuration version will remain the same: in Windows Server 2012R2 the VM configuration version is 5 and my advice for you is that you keep it as version 5 it the workload is important for you and you don’t want any risk. It is not clear yet if it will be possible to upgrade the virtual machine from Technical Preview to RTM.

On the positive side, by not upgrading the VM configuration version, the VM can be moved back to a server running Windows Server 2012 R2, if required. On the negative side, you will not have access to new VM features until you manually upgrade the virtual machine configuration version.

  • Version 5 VM’s can run on both Windows Server 2012 R2 and Windows Server 2016.
  • Version 6 VM’s can run ONLY on Windows Server 2016.

Also, in Windows 2016 Server the configuration changed from file (XML) and BIN + VSV extensions to VMCX (Virtual Machine Configuration) and VMRS (Virtual Machine Runtime State). The new format are also more resistant to storage corruption and more effective in r/w changes to VM configuration.

Summary of the VM configuration version

  • Server 2012 R2 has VM configurations version 5
  • Server 2016 TP1 – version 6.0
  • Server 2016 TP2 – version 6.2
If you decide to upgrade:
update-vmversion
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