This is part of a continuing series on Virtual Machine Manager. This part will focus on the Library node of the console. Included here are templates, profiles, and the VMM storage library.
A template in VMM allows you to quickly create a VM. It is almost like creating an image. You install an OS and configure it, and then convert it to a template. From there, you create further VMs from this template. When you create a template, it destroys the current VM. This can be overcome by simply creating a clone of the VM. To do this, select the VM from the “VMs and Services” node, then click “Create” in the ribbon and select “Clone”. Follow the wizard to clone the VM.
After your clone is created, go back to the Library node. Expand Templates and select VM templates. Click “Create VM Template”. Follow the wizard to create your template. You can modify the hardware settings for the template, the installed operating system information, and set the library information.
Creating the template takes time, as the system must boot the VM, run sysprep, and copy the template to your library. The progress can monitored by looking at your running jobs. After the template is created, look at the properties of the template. There are quite a few options that you can set, including an administrator password, computer name, and product key to name a few. There is also the option for using an answer file if you need an option set that isn’t available, and to run commands the first time a user logs in ([GUIRunOnce] option). Next, if the OS is Server 2003 and above, you can set options for applications and for SQL server.
To deploy a VM from a template, go to the “VMs and Services” node and select “Create Virtual Machine”. On the first screen of the wizard, you have the “Use an existing virtual machine, VM template, or virtual hard disk” option. Click Browse, and select your template. Complete the remainder of the wizard.
Profiles are basically setting templates. Here you can set different profiles for different types of servers. You can have a profile for application servers, SQL servers, or profiles based on different operating systems. This allows administrators to have a uniform hardware configuration for their VMs. We will look at “Guest OS Profiles” and “Hardware Profiles”.
Guest OS Profiles allow you to set different options for the guest OS. These are similar to some of the settings we looked at when we created our template. When we create a new OS profile, we have the option to select the Compatibility for this profile. You can select Windows or Linux. For Windows, you are presented the standard information in the “Guest OS Profile” node. First, you can set the operating system this profile applies too. This is especially important if you specify a product key. Other settings you can set are roles and features (also pay attention to the OS setting for this) and to join a domain.
The options are much more limited when creating a Linux profile. Administrators can only set root credentials, the time zone, and run once commands. Again, pay attention when selecting the OS.
Hardware profiles have the same options as the hardware settings for templates. You can set number of processors, memory, hard drives, etc. using these profiles. Set these up per your organization’s requirements.
Remember that these are initial settings. You can use these to build a VM, and then modify the individual VM as needed.
This node allows you to add resources to your library, which will make them accessible to your VMs. One of the main items to add here is ISOs for operating systems, SQL, recovery tools, etc. To add a resource, select your library server, and click “Import Physical Resource” from the ribbon. Click the “Add Resource” button and select the file. Next, select the library server to add the resource too, and click “Import”. The system will copy the resource from your computer to the library share.
I encourage you to look more at the types of files you can import as resources. Anything that you may be using a lot on VMs, you may want to consider importing. It’s also worth noting that with ISOs in particular, you cannot mount one straight from your computer to the VM. The ISO must in the library. You can mount physical drives, but not ISOs.
Join us next week for more on VMM.
All content provided on this blog is for information purposes only. Windows Management Experts, Inc makes no representation as to accuracy or completeness of any information on this site. Windows Management Experts, Inc will not be liable for any errors or omission in this information nor for the availability of this information. It is highly recommended that you consult one of our technical consultants, should you need any further assistant.