Deploy Windows 2019 server on Nutanix AHV

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Microsoft Windows Server 2019 is on the market for a few months. Some customers already started deploying Windows Server 2019 on Nutanix AHV. As of today (January 9’th 2019) Nutanix has not released official drivers for Windows Server 2019 (See below NOTE #1). However, you can use Windows Server 2016 (Nutanix recommendation) or Windows 10 instead. I have tested both, Windows Server 2016 and Windows 10 drivers.

NOTE #1:
Nutanix has not released official drivers to support Windows 2019 as a guest operating system in AHV. Until that driver is available, you should use Windows 2016

NOTE #2: Microsoft Windows Server 2019 is officially support guest operating system on Nutanix AHV

Requirements:

  • Nutanix AOS 5.9 or newer
  • Nutanix AHV – compatible with AOS 5.9 or newer
  • Link to Nutanix compatibility matrix on my.nutanix.com
  • Nutanix virtIO drivers 1.1.3 ISO, you can download it from my.nutanix.com
Nutanix compatibility Matrix

Create VM with 1 SCSI disk and 2 CDROM devices. To first CDROM mount Windows 2019 Server ISO. The second CDROM will be used to deliver drivers from Nutanix virtIO ISO. Power VM on. At some point, installation wizard prompts to provide a location for the drivers. Choose virtIO CDROM –> Windows Server 2016 –> amd64

virtIO drivers

On next screen, mark all drivers listed. System will load and install drivers so you do not have to do it later manually. Once the installation is completed. VM is ready to roll.

Windows Serer 2019 on Nutanix AHV

You can check if drivers were loaded and installed successfully by opening hardware manager from Server management console. You should see 3 Nutanix branded devices:

  • Disk drive
  • Nutanix network adapter – 10Gbps
  • Storage controller
Windows Server 2019 hardware device manager

Below short (4 minutes) video showing whole process step by step. Enjoy.

Video – Install Windows Server 2019 on Nutanix AHV

Any questions? Feel free to post below in comment section.

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Artur Krzywdzinski

Artur is Consulting Architect at Nutanix. He has been using, designing and deploying VMware based solutions since 2005 and Microsoft since 2012. He specialize in designing and implementing private and hybrid cloud solution based on VMware and Microsoft software stacks, datacenter migrations and transformation, disaster avoidance. Artur holds VMware Certified Design Expert certification (VCDX #077).

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