Comparing Generation 1 and Generation 2 virtual machines

One of the cool new features in System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2012 R2 was the addition of Generation 1 and Generation 2 virtual machines. Benefits I’ve seen listed for Generation 2 virtual machines include a faster boot time, fewer devices, and boot from SCSI virtual drive. The idea is interesting, but I was curious to see what the impact would be on the user experience so that’s the focus of this blog post. This blog posts the process to create a Generation 2 virtual machine in VMM 2012 R2 and how Generation 2 virtual machines experiences differ with Generation 1 virtual machines.


Creation process in VMM 2012 R2:

The creation process was simple through the standard create virtual machine wizard shown below:


Select a source and then name the virtual machine and choose whether it’s a “Generation 1” or “Generation 2” virtual machine.


My hosts were shown as valid options to place the VM on as specified.


As a cool side note, In VMM 2012 R2 I can now specify my SMB3 file share for the disk storage. In VMM 2012 this would display as an option but would not work in my lab environment.


The rest of the properties show as expected.



How do Generation 2 virtual machines act differently?

Bootup on a Windows 2012 R2 Generation 2 machine looks different…


When compared with the same Windows 2012 R2 machine…

How about the device manager?

Now this is what I was looking for! Device manager on the Generation 2 system is much cleaner than the device manager for a Generation 1 system (running the same Operating System).

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The device manager configuration for a Generation 1 virtual with the same Operating System is shown below.

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Summary: The Generation 2 VM integration works intuitively in VMM and it does appear to cleanup the number of devices in device manager.


Good resources on this topic include:

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