VMRC Client (Virtual Machine Remote Control Client) under Virtual Server 2005 – Great scenario

AKA Another great reason to consider using Virtual Server 2005 for test/dev scenarios....

I was asked a question a couple of days ago, and I hadn't thought of using the VMRC client in this particular circumstance. I haven't tested it, but there's no reason I can think of which should cause it to fail. Once I return from the USA, I'll try it out.....

Current Scenario:
- User is at home, connected to work network over VPN
- At work, there is an XP machine running Virtual PC
- From home machine, user uses RDP (remote desktop) to connect to the XP host
- Once logged onto the XP host, user starts Virtual Machine
- User at home optionally disconnects RDP session to host machine at work
- From home machine, user uses RDP to connect to the guest virtual machine

New Scenario:
- Upgrade to Virtual Server 2005 on the XP host which is physically at work. (Note this is test/dev only)
- User is at home again, connected to work network over VPN
- Install VMRC on users home machine
- Run up VMRC and get full BIOS space operations on the guest VM running on work machine.

Previously, to get BIOS space operations from the users home to a virtual machine, it was necessary to operate the virtual machine through the remote desktop connection to the host machine at work. If you've ever tried this, it's very confusing. Trust me. Through VMRC, you wouldn't actually need to get to the host machine atall, you can go straight to the virtual machine and its pre/post BIOS. Kind of neat.

Hope this is useful!

Comments (4)

  1. Ray Dixon says:

    This is a great scenario for those of us who move around a lot, but still need to get to the same machines/codebase. 🙂

  2. I have slight variation on this. We use virtual server to host development environments. This allows us to maintain a clean dev image at all times.

    The problem I have is that when I work from home with Virtual Server install on my laptop I can not see the work network via VRMC (I need this for VSS integration with VS). I expect the reason for this is that I am using VPN to access the work network and that VMRC does not recognise this as a network adapter.

    Any thoughts appreciated.


  3. John Howard [MSFT] says:

    Hi David

    I wouldn’t expect the VPN to be an issue. I’ve just setup an environment to try and repro this at home, but it works for me….

    I have two ADSL connections. One laptop (which happens to also be running Virtual Server and hence has VMRC installed) is connected to one ADSL connection only, and establishes a PPTP VPN connection back through to my home network where I have a server running ISA 2004 sitting on the other ADSL pipe.

    Also on the home network is another laptop, also running Virtual Server, with, in this case, and single VM Guest machine.

    I can access the console of the VM Guest using VMRC from both the home network _and_ the VPN client without any problems.

    VMRC is just a protocol as such – it will tunnel across whatever pipe is available to it, VPN or not. There’s no network adapter binding as is the case for the Virtual Machine Network Service on the VS Host. Could it be that there is a firewall blocking port 5900 (default) on the VS Host machine, or something else between the VPN end-point and the VS Host?

    Hope this helps.


  4. Stephen Adams says:

    I have another slightly different but related scenario.

    I too am running Virtual Sewrver 2005 on my laptop and from home I connect to the network at the office via a VPN connection.

    What I need to do is to be able to see the office network via the VPN in one of my Virtual Servers.

    I can create a VPN connection in the server but tht only allows me to establish the connection after I have logged in.

    I need the connection to be available before login. You see, I need to login as various users. These users may or may not have logged in on the Virtual Server before and if they haven’t, the credential info has to be sought from the domain for the first login. Previously logged in users are no issue, only domain users that have not had an initial login.

    Any ideas would be very much appreciated.


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