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In [[An Overview of the Hyper-V Architecture]], the significance of the relationship between the Hyper-V parent partition (in which the host instance of Windows Server 2008 runs) and the child partitions containing the guest operating systems was covered in detail. Given the importance of this relationship, it is clear that anything
which enhances the level of communication between parent and child partitions will serve to improve the performance and manageability of the Hyper-V environment. This is where the Hyper-V Integration Services come into play.
The goal of this chapter of [[Hyper-V Essentials]] is to provide an overview of the Hyper-V Integration Services, provide a list of guest operating systems for which the services are available and, finally, cover the steps involved in installing the services on a guest operating system.
* '''Virtual drivers and Hypervisor-aware Kernel''' - Allows the guest operating system to communicate directly with the parent partition over the VMBus when accessing devices and making I/O requests, thereby increasing performance of the guest operating system.
* '''Hyper-V Time Synchronization Service''' - The purpose of this
services is to synchronize the system time between Hyper-V child and parent partitions (for a detailed description of child and parent partitions, read the chapter entitled [[An Overview of the Hyper-V Architecture]]). This synchronization is important to avoid potential time drift between the guest operating systems running in a child partitions and the Hyper-V parent partition.
* '''Hyper-V Heartbeat Service''' - The heartbeat service allows the parent partition to detect when a virtual machine has locked up, crashed or otherwise ceased to function. The parent partition sends heartbeat messages to the guest operating system at regular intervals. It is then the job of the Hyper-V Heartbeat Service installed on the guest operating system to send a response to each of these heartbeat messages. When the parent partition fails to receive responses from the child partition, it assumes that the child's Heartbeat Service, and therefore the guest operating system on which it is running, has encountered problems. The administrative services on the parent partition will subsequently log the event accordingly such that it is brought to the attention of a system administrator for corrective action to be taken.
It is important to note that the Hyper-V Integration Services are not available for all guest operating system types. In addition, for some supported guest operating systems only a subset of the full range of integration services is actually provided.
At present the only Integration Services packages supplied by Microsoft are for members of the Windows family of operating systems. It is anticipated that Microsoft will also release Integration Services for SUSE Enterprise Linux in conjunction with Novell. It is also likely that other operating system vendors will eventually develop Integration Services packages for their respective offerings.
The following table lists the platforms for which Hyper-V integration Services are supported, together with details of the individual services provided in each case:
Alternatively, navigate to the device containing the ISO image and double click on it to invoke the setup process. If an earlier version of Hyper-V Integration Services
are detected by the setup process, the option will be provided to install the latest release in place of the old release. Once completed, the guest system will need to be rebooted before the services will be active. The following image shows the successful installation of Hyper-V Integration Services on a Windows XP Professional system: