Virtual Machine Generations in Windows Server 2012 R2

It’s been a while since my last blog post, sorry for that. Finally I am back 🙂

During the last weeks I read and learned a lot about Windows Server 2012 R2. One thing which was mentioned quite often was Generation 2 Virtual Machines. In this post I will shortly explain the differences in Virtual Machine Generations.

Generation 1: This type of Virtual Machine provides the same hardware and features as  in older versions of Hyper-V.

Generation 2: This type of Virtual Machine is being introduced with Windows Server 2012 R2. The hardware functionalities have slightly changed:

  • Secure Boot (is enabled by default)
  • UEFI Support
  • Boot from SCSI Virtual Hard Drive or DVD Drive
  • PXE boot from a standard network adapter
  • Support for Legacy Network Adapters and IDE Drives has been removed

Operating Systems (Host+Guest):

Generation 1:

  • Host OS: Windows Server 2008 (R2)* and Windows Server 2012 (R2)
  • Guest OS (Windows)¹: Server 2012, Server 2008 (R2)*, Server 2003 (R2)*, Small Business/MultiPoint/Home Server 2011, Windows 7*/8
  • Guest OS (other): CentOS (5.5/6), Red Hat Enterprise Linux (5.5/5.9), SUSE Linux Enterprise Server (10/11)

Generation 2:

  • Host OS: Windows Server 2012 R2
  • Guest OS: Windows Server 2012 (R2), Windows 8 (.1)

¹ I did not mention Windows XP, Vista and Server 2000 here as either support is ending soon or nobody is using it.
* including the various Service Packs


I'm a Systems Engineer working for an IT-Service Provider in Frankfurt am Main, Germany. I am specialized in Virtualization, High Availability, Storage- and Server Administration. In my free time, I like spend time with my lovely wife, to do sports like jogging and biking. I enjoy movies and a good bottle of fermented grape juice.

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Posted in Server, Virtualization, Windows Server 2012 R2

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