Hyper-V: Must Have Windows Sidebar Gadget

I’ve been doing a lot of work recently that requires me to run virtualized environments.  My laptop is Statesrunning Windows Server 2008 Standard with Hyper-V RTM installed.  It is working out great (now that I understand its networking).  One of the tools that I find myself using all the time is a Windows Sidebar gadget by Tore Lervik that monitors and manages Hyper-V machines.

What’s cool about this is that it handles all of the basic management of your VMs in a gadget that’s always available on the Sidebar. 

It gives you the current run status of your VMs.  It show the VM is Stopped (Shut down), Running,  Suspended (Saved), Starting and Saving. StartResume

Moving the mouse over the status will change the status display to one or more buttons.  From there you can do an appropriate task for that state. If the state is Stopped or Suspended you will see a single icon that will start the VM when clicked. 

If the VM is in a Running state, hovering over the status will give you 3 buttons.  You can Stop the VM (hard shutdown), Shut down the VM (tell the OS to shut down) or Save the VM (save the state).  All of these functions are accomplished through the use of WMI.StopShutdownSave

If you want to connect to the VM with a Virtual Machine Connection windows you only have to click on the VM’s name in the Gadget and the window will open and attempt to connect. 

Here’s the kicker for all those IT Pros out there managing multiple Hyper-V installations, a single gadget will work with multiple Hyper-V servers.  I don’t have multiple Hyper-V servers running to get a screen shot, but Tore did so I’m going to point over to his graphic.

I am putting this on my “highly-recommended” list.  It is simple, elegant and most of all…useful.