System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2008 Beta – T2R2’s Thoughts

With Hyper-V now being released, it seems like time to start working with System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2008 (SCVMM). As a background SCVMM 2008 is in beta (available for download at connect.microsoft.com) and now provides support for Hyper-V in addition to Virtual Server 2005 R2. I use a test network to provide virtualization so that I can test out various server products and configurations and such. My test network has two of Hyper-V servers, and had an overflow server which was running Virtual Server 2005 R2. My goal of this installation was to see if I could get it installed and configured and able to manage the various hosts and virtuals in my testing environments.

It is extremely important to note that all of the software discussed here in currently not production released code. These are Beta versions of software at this point in time. Please do NOT do this configuration in a production environment. This is specifically an example of evaluating some of the potential upcoming functionality.

Installation of Virtual Machine Manager Server:

The actual installation was pretty straight-forward once I knew about things like needing a Windows Server 2008 x64 which was in the domain. Installation steps looked like this: (video file follows)

      

Installation of Virtual Machine Manager Admin Console:

Installation steps looked like this: (video file follows)

      

System Center Virtual Machine Manager in action:

SCVMM was able to connect to both of my hyper-v systems (CSFVIRTUAL and CSFVIRTUAL2) and my Virtual Server 2005 R2 server (CSFVIRTUAL3) as shown below.

The various virtual machines can been viewed including their processor utilization, and can be moved between host systems. Attempting to move one of the virtuals resulted in a message that the virtual would be stopped while the virtual was being moved between the host systems.

03

The various virtual machines can been viewed including their processor utilization, and can be moved between host systems. Attempting to move one of the virtuals resulted in a message that the virtual would be stopped while the virtual was being moved between the host systems.

10

SCVMM assessed the available hosts and provided ratings for which would be the best host to move the virtual onto.

11

When hosts were not recommended, details were provided as to why the virtual could not move to the new host system. This example shows multiple reasons why the virtual could not be moved from a Hyper-V host to a Virtual Server 2005 R2 host because of the configuration of the virtual.

13

A sample of the views available which provide a high level of the state of the hosts, virtual machines, jobs, and library resources in SCVMM.

12 

Summary:

So what’s the summary? First off, while this is not yet a released product this has HUGE potential benefits! The user interface is intuitive and provides some real power which will bring together virtual resources in an environment. I’m really excited to get a chance to work with this and especially to see how it’s going to integrate with OpsMgr (I may work on that next!).

Lessons Learned:

What had I wished I knew when I started this process?

  • SCVMM must be installed on a system in the domain. This isn’t a big deal in most environments, but if you aren’t using a domain (such as I wasn’t in my test environment).
  • SCVMM must be installed on Windows Server 2008 x64.
  • Once your install SCVMM, only the account which installs SCVMM has permissions to log into the application! Adding users to the SCVMM local groups do not help, new users have to be created in the administration screen of the SCVMM console.
  • When adding hosts, the SCVMM server needs to be able to do name resolution to the hosts being added. Hosts will not add if they cannot be contacted via DNS. This is extremely logical of course, but it caused me issues in one installation so I thought it was good to remember to test name resolution if a host isn’t deploying correctly.
  • If the installer continually states machine must be rebooted before installation can continue clearing the value at HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager\PendingFileRenameOperations will resolve the issue.
  • If problems occur adding host systems to the VMM console using the windows domain joined host option such as a “Network path not found” error use the windows perimeter network host option by manually installing the agent on the host server and copying the SecurityFile.txt file from C:\Program Files\Microsoft System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2008 on the host system to a location on the SCVMM server and referencing it during the addition process.
  • If SQL 2005 is installed on the same machine as SCVMM it should be configured to have the services run as the same account that is performing the installation of SCVMM. Also, computer cannot be renamed after installation of SQL without needing to completely remove and reinstall SQL and SCVMM.
  • Good links on this:

    Thanks to Mike Thomas for all of this assistance on one of the uglier installations we did, he found and fixed a lot of this stuff!

    Installation of Virtual Machine Manager Admin Console:

    Installation steps looked like this: (video file follows)

          

    System Center Virtual Machine Manager in action:

    SCVMM was able to connect to both of my hyper-v systems (CSFVIRTUAL and CSFVIRTUAL2) and my Virtual Server 2005 R2 server (CSFVIRTUAL3) as shown below.

    The various virtual machines can been viewed including their processor utilization, and can be moved between host systems. Attempting to move one of the virtuals resulted in a message that the virtual would be stopped while the virtual was being moved between the host systems.

    03

    The various virtual machines can been viewed including their processor utilization, and can be moved between host systems. Attempting to move one of the virtuals resulted in a message that the virtual would be stopped while the virtual was being moved between the host systems.

    10

    SCVMM assessed the available hosts and provided ratings for which would be the best host to move the virtual onto.

    11

    When hosts were not recommended, details were provided as to why the virtual could not move to the new host system. This example shows multiple reasons why the virtual could not be moved from a Hyper-V host to a Virtual Server 2005 R2 host because of the configuration of the virtual.

    13

    A sample of the views available which provide a high level of the state of the hosts, virtual machines, jobs, and library resources in SCVMM.

    12 

    Summary:

    So what’s the summary? First off, while this is not yet a released product this has HUGE potential benefits! The user interface is intuitive and provides some real power which will bring together virtual resources in an environment. I’m really excited to get a chance to work with this and especially to see how it’s going to integrate with OpsMgr (I may work on that next!).

    Lessons Learned:

    What had I wished I knew when I started this process?

    • SCVMM must be installed on a system in the domain. This isn’t a big deal in most environments, but if you aren’t using a domain (such as I wasn’t in my test environment).
    • SCVMM must be installed on Windows Server 2008 x64.
    • Once your install SCVMM, only the account which installs SCVMM has permissions to log into the application! Adding users to the SCVMM local groups do not help, new users have to be created in the administration screen of the SCVMM console.
    • When adding hosts, the SCVMM server needs to be able to do name resolution to the hosts being added. Hosts will not add if they cannot be contacted via DNS. This is extremely logical of course, but it caused me issues in one installation so I thought it was good to remember to test name resolution if a host isn’t deploying correctly.
    • If the installer continually states machine must be rebooted before installation can continue clearing the value at HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager\PendingFileRenameOperations will resolve the issue.
    • If problems occur adding host systems to the VMM console using the windows domain joined host option such as a “Network path not found” error use the windows perimeter network host option by manually installing the agent on the host server and copying the SecurityFile.txt file from C:\Program Files\Microsoft System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2008 on the host system to a location on the SCVMM server and referencing it during the addition process.
    • If SQL 2005 is installed on the same machine as SCVMM it should be configured to have the services run as the same account that is performing the installation of SCVMM. Also, computer cannot be renamed after installation of SQL without needing to completely remove and reinstall SQL and SCVMM.
    • Good links on this:

    Thanks to Mike Thomas for all of this assistance on one of the uglier installations we did, he found and fixed a lot of this stuff!

    Installation of Virtual Machine Manager Admin Console:

    Installation steps looked like this: (video file follows)

          

    System Center Virtual Machine Manager in action:

    SCVMM was able to connect to both of my hyper-v systems (CSFVIRTUAL and CSFVIRTUAL2) and my Virtual Server 2005 R2 server (CSFVIRTUAL3) as shown below.

    The various virtual machines can been viewed including their processor utilization, and can be moved between host systems. Attempting to move one of the virtuals resulted in a message that the virtual would be stopped while the virtual was being moved between the host systems.

    03

    The various virtual machines can been viewed including their processor utilization, and can be moved between host systems. Attempting to move one of the virtuals resulted in a message that the virtual would be stopped while the virtual was being moved between the host systems.

    10

    SCVMM assessed the available hosts and provided ratings for which would be the best host to move the virtual onto.

    11

    When hosts were not recommended, details were provided as to why the virtual could not move to the new host system. This example shows multiple reasons why the virtual could not be moved from a Hyper-V host to a Virtual Server 2005 R2 host because of the configuration of the virtual.

    13

    A sample of the views available which provide a high level of the state of the hosts, virtual machines, jobs, and library resources in SCVMM.

    12 

    Summary:

    So what’s the summary? First off, while this is not yet a released product this has HUGE potential benefits! The user interface is intuitive and provides some real power which will bring together virtual resources in an environment. I’m really excited to get a chance to work with this and especially to see how it’s going to integrate with OpsMgr (I may work on that next!).

    Lessons Learned:

    What had I wished I knew when I started this process?

    • SCVMM must be installed on a system in the domain. This isn’t a big deal in most environments, but if you aren’t using a domain (such as I wasn’t in my test environment).
    • SCVMM must be installed on Windows Server 2008 x64.
    • Once your install SCVMM, only the account which installs SCVMM has permissions to log into the application! Adding users to the SCVMM local groups do not help, new users have to be created in the administration screen of the SCVMM console.
    • When adding hosts, the SCVMM server needs to be able to do name resolution to the hosts being added. Hosts will not add if they cannot be contacted via DNS. This is extremely logical of course, but it caused me issues in one installation so I thought it was good to remember to test name resolution if a host isn’t deploying correctly.
    • If the installer continually states machine must be rebooted before installation can continue clearing the value at HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager\PendingFileRenameOperations will resolve the issue.
    • If problems occur adding host systems to the VMM console using the windows domain joined host option such as a “Network path not found” error use the windows perimeter network host option by manually installing the agent on the host server and copying the SecurityFile.txt file from C:\Program Files\Microsoft System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2008 on the host system to a location on the SCVMM server and referencing it during the addition process.
    • If SQL 2005 is installed on the same machine as SCVMM it should be configured to have the services run as the same account that is performing the installation of SCVMM. Also, computer cannot be renamed after installation of SQL without needing to completely remove and reinstall SQL and SCVMM.
    • Good links on this:

    Thanks to Mike Thomas for all of this assistance on one of the uglier installations we did, he found and fixed a lot of this stuff!