Install Windows Server 2016 on Nutanix Acropolis Hypervisor

Windows Server 2016 is just around a corner. Acropolis Hypervisor will be on the list as supported hypervisor for new flagship server operating system from Microsoft. As of today (11’th April 2016), Windows Server 2016 is in Technical Preview version 4 and it is not on the list of supported virtual machine OS by Nutanix. Nutanix Mobility drivers pack does not contain drivers for Windows Server 2016 either. However you can deploy Windows Server 2016 TP4 on Nutanix AHV. You have to have lasted build of Fedora virtIO drivers ISO.

Requirements.

ATTENTION: When you create VM for Windows Server 2016 on AHV, make sure you follow below device order:

  1. IDE:0 – CDROM with VirtIO drivers ISO
  2. SCSI:0 – OS disk drive
  3. IDE:1 – CDROM with Windows server 2016

Step #1 – Create an images in Image service with virtIO drivers and Windows 2016 ISO

Upload Fedora virtIO ISO with driver to Acropolis Image Service. It is needed to load drivers during installation. Of course you have to have image with Windows 2016 media to install OS from 🙂

Step #2 – deploy new VM on Acropolis

Deploy new VM on Acropolis, make sure you create empty disk with SCSI controller and add 2 new CDROMs. One with Windows 2016 ISO and one with virtIO drivers.

Step #3 – Install Windows Server 2016 on Nutanix Acropolis

Start VM and open console. At first in available disks for installation you will see no disks. It is normal as none of the Windows servers ISO contains VirtIO drivers. You have to load drivers for Windows 10 from second CDROM.

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After few seconds installer should “see” SCSI drive available for install

60GB drive available

60GB drive available for Windows Server 2016

Step #4 – load additional drivers

After installation you have to load driver for two unknown devices, Ethernet Controller and PCI device (balloon driver). Use have to use again drivers for Windows 10.

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For Ethernet controller go to NetKVM  folder and for PCI device go to Balloon folder.

Device manager in Windows 2016

Device manager in Windows 2016

Below you can find How-To from Install Windows Server 2016 TP on Nutanix Acropolis Hypervisor
UPDATE:

Change log

11/29/2016 – Added info about official virtIO drivers for Windows 2016

Artur Krzywdzinski

Artur is Consulting Architect at Nutanix. He has been using, designing and deploying VMware based solutions since 2005 and Microsoft since 2012. He specialize in designing and implementing private and hybrid cloud solution based on VMware and Microsoft software stacks, datacenter migrations and transformation, disaster avoidance. Artur holds VMware Certified Design Expert certification (VCDX #077).