Microsoft has a free hypervisor offering called Hyper-V Server 2012 R2. Hyper-V Server 2012 R2 is fully equal to the Hyper-V role in Windows Server 2012. The only item not available in the free edition is the free usage rights for virtual machines running on a host installed with Hyper-V. Each virtual machine instance running on free Hyper-V Server 2012 R2 needs to be licensed.
Hyper-V Server 2012 R2 comes as a core installation. This means there is no graphical userinterface available to perform management. Especially connecting to the console of the virtual machine can be a challenge. Hyper-V Manager does not run on the Hyper-V Server itself. Adminstrators needs access to another Windows Server 2012 or Windows 8 with Remote Server Administration Tools (RSAT) installed to be able to access the console of VM’s.
Veeam to the rescue. The company released a free virtual appliance which is a RDP proxy. The appliance runs CentOS and installs on a Hyper-V host. The appliance can connect to virtual machines using VMconnect. VMconnect is a modified RDP for connection to consoles of virtual machines. VMconnect is able to connect even when the virtual machine does not have an IP-address.
The appliance itself can be connected over RDP. Any client (Windows, Linux, Android, iOS) which has RDP client software installed can be used to connect to virtual machines running on Hyper-V Server.
The installation of the free RDP Appliance is performed by installation of Veeam Backup & Replication. Then a restore is performed of the RDP Appliance virtual machine.
RDP Appliance is open source.
The documentation on RDP Appliance can be found here.
Alternative free solutions for Hyper-V console access are: