When installed on a virtual machine that is running a supported Linux operating system, Linux Integration Services for Hyper-V provides the following functionality:
Driver support: Linux Integration Services supports the network controller and the IDE and SCSI storage controllers that were developed specifically for Hyper-V.
Fastpath Boot Support for Hyper-V: Boot devices now take advantage of the block Virtualization Service Client (VSC) to provide enhanced performance.
Time sync: The clock inside the virtual machine will remain synchronized with the clock on the virtualization server with the help of the pluggable time source device.
Integrated Shutdown: Virtual machines running Linux can be shut down from either Hyper-V Manager or System Center Virtual Machine Manager by using the “Shut Down” command.
Symmetric Multi-Processing (SMP) Support: Supported Linux distributions can use up to 4 virtual processors (VP) per virtual machine. SMP support is not available for 32-bit Linux guest operating systems running on Windows Server 2008 Hyper-V or Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2008.
Heartbeat: Allows the virtualization server to detect whether the virtual machine is running and responsive. KVP (Key Value Pair) Exchange: Information about the running Linux virtual machine can be obtained by using the Key Value Pair exchange functionality on the Windows Server 2008 virtualization server.
Integrated Mouse Support: The cursor is no longer bound to the VMConnect window when used with the Linux Graphical User Interface.
These are the changes since version 3.1:
Synthetic Mouse Support: The virtualized mouse device is no longer bound to the VMConnect window, and can now be used with a RDP session.
Merged Device Drivers: We now present a single device driver for both IDE and SCSI devices (hv_storvsc).
Windows 8 Fix: The synthetic network device (hv_netvsc) can now be used with a Windows 8 host, eliminating the hang on boot that was previously seen.
SCVMM Fix: This release fixes the issue as described in KB2586286.
Improved Setup Experience: Users now only need to run install.sh (as root) to automatically detect the correct architecture and install the appropriate drivers.
In a previous post of mine about the importance of Integration Components I’ve explained why it is so important to install Integration Components. So keep in mind that when you update your Hyper-V host you also update the Integration Components. If you would check for a succesful update then you need to check te version of the Integration Components software. This can be done very easily.
In this blog I’ll explain the importance of installing Integration Components in Hyper-V. Recently a customer asked me why virtual machines doesn’t perform well without Integration Components. Well to understand this I first need to explain something about the Hyper-V architecture.
Hyper-V has a so called Microkernelized Hypervisor architecture. This means that as less as possible components are running in the Hypervisor and in the Kernel Mode. The following picture illustrates this architecture:
Ring-1 is the Hypervisor. Only the CPU scheduler and Memory management runs in the Hypervisor. Everything in Ring 0 is running in Kernel Mode while everything in Ring 3 is running in User Mode. So drivers for the parent partition are executed in Ring 0 (Kernel mode).