In the beginning, there was the Virtual Machine Remote Control (VMRC) client. The IT Pro, running Windows XP, used this to manage VMs running on Virtual Server 2005. Or not, sometimes he used Terminal Services direct to the VM, sometimes the tools native in Virtual Server,  but I digress.

In November 2007 TechNet Magazine highlighted VMRC+. Then System Central Virtual Machine Manager provided a self-service web page that allowed IT Pros to let bunches of other VM admins access their VMs.

32-bit, 64-bit, domain-joined, not domain-joined - things get complicated.

Today - to administer Windows Server 2008 from a Windows Vista SP1 machine (including the hyper-V role) you get:

Microsoft Remote Server Administration Tools for Windows Vista SP1 32-bit Edition (KB941314)

Microsoft Remote Server Administration Tools for Windows Vista SP1 64-bit Edition (KB941314)

Plus the Hyper-V management tools (MMC snap-in and associated UI)

x86: Update for Windows Vista (KB949758)
x64: Update for Windows Vista x64 Edition (KB949758)

and of course there are lots of pre-reqs and gotchas* involving WMI, firewalls, certificates and UAC settings.

*After installation, Hyper-V Manager is available under Administrative Tools on the control panel. There is no direct shortcut created for Virtual Machine Connection.

*In Windows Vista, Administrative Tools are not, by default available on the Start menu. To fix this:

  • Right-click the Start button, click Properties and then click Customize next to the Start menu option
  • Click "Display on the All Programs menu and the Start menu".