VMM Beta 2: What Are You Talking About?

VMM Beta 2 is out, and you may need some of the glossary info below to spin up:

Administrator Console

The console that provides access to the administrative functions of Virtual Machine Manager. Everything you can do on the Console you can also do on the command-line. Console wizards include a “view script” button at the end that allows you to copy the Windows PowerShell commands into your script-editor of choice and reuse.

Self-Service Portal

The Web site that users with the needed permissions and settings can use to manage their own virtual machines within a controlled environment. The Virtual Machine Manager administrator configures self-service policies to determine which users can use the self-service portal and what they can do. For dev and test environments, this allows you a kind of delegation of administration, with the self-service policies and host groups serving as your management boundaries.


Virtual Machine Manager service

Service label (in Admin Tools/Services): Virtual Machine Manager
The software component that runs Virtual Machine Manager.

Virtual Machine Manager library

The catalog of resources that can be used to create virtual machines in Virtual Machine Manager. These resources can include virtual machine templates, virtual hard disks, virtual floppy disks, ISO images, scripts, hardware profiles, and guest operating system profiles, as well as stored virtual machines. The library is managed centrally in Library view of the Virtual Machine Manager Administrator Console. Library resources can be stored on multiple physical servers, known as "library servers." Not all library resources have physical representations on disk. For example, you cannot find your hardware profiles on the library share with Windows Explorer, because they exist in the VMM database. Adding a physical resource (such as  VHD or ISO) to the library share is all that’s needed to make the resource available to VMM.

Windows PowerShell


Windows PowerShell - Virtual Machine Manager command shell

The command shell, based on Windows PowerShell (Powershell.exe), that makes available the cmdlets that perform all functions in Virtual Machine Manager.


Windows PowerShell – Virtual Machine Manager command shell includes all of the standard Windows PowerShell cmdlets and also provides a comprehensive set of cmdlets that are designed specifically for use with Virtual Machine Manager. You can use these cmdlets to manage all functions in a Virtual Machine Manager environment, including the following tasks:

           Working with virtual machine hosts and host groups

           Maintaining the Virtual Machine Manager library

           Working with virtual machines deployed on a host or stored in the library

           Managing the virtual machine environment

           Creating virtual machine checkpoints

           Backing up the Virtual Machine Manager database

           Administering virtual machine self-service

Windows PowerShell and Virtual Machine Manager differentiate between commands and cmdlets as follows:

Cmdlet. A cmdlet is a single-feature command used to interact with any managed application, including Virtual Machine Manager and the operating system. You can use a cmdlet, which is typically formatted as a verb-noun pair separated by a dash (such as New-VM), to act on Windows PowerShell objects. Most cmdlets are simple but designed to work in combination with other cmdlets. For example, the “Get” cmdlets only retrieve data, and the “Set” cmdlets only specify or change data. Example of a Virtual Machine Manager cmdlet: Get-VMCheckPoint

Command. A command is a complete command run at the command-line that might or might not include one or more cmdlets. Examples of commands that do not include cmdlets are 2+2 or the assignment of a value to a variable.  A command can use a pipeline operator (|) to pass the output of one cmdlet to another cmdlet as input. Example of a Virtual Machine Manager command: Get-VMCheckpoint -MostRecent | where { $_.VM -eq "VM01" } | Restore-VMCheckpoint

Both Windows PowerShell and Virtual Machine Manager support a command shell that you can use to:

           Run a command or a series of commands interactively at the command prompt.

           Create simple or complex task-based scripts.

Customers who have installed Virtual Machine Manager can access both standard Windows PowerShell cmdlets and Virtual Machine Manager cmdlets at the Virtual Machine Manager command-line interface. Windows PowerShell command-line help for Windows PowerShell core cmdlets is provided with Windows, and command-line help for Virtual Machine Manager is delivered with the Virtual Machine Manager product.


Virtual Machine Manager database

The SQL Server database that holds all Virtual Machine Manager configuration information. VMM Beta 2 supports Microsoft SQL Server 2005 and Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Express Edition SP1.The SCVMM Server Setup wizard can optionally install SQL Server 2005 Express Edition SP1 on the server. Express Edition cannot be used remotely. SQL Server 2000 is not supported for Beta 2, but it is not blocked, so you may get an error. Some special considerations when using a remote SQL db are documented here: Configuring a Remote Instance of SQL Server for Virtual Machine Manager.


Convert Physical Server wizard/action

The action in the Administrator Console you use when you want to convert a physical serve to a virtual machine (P2V).


Virtual Machine Additions

For Virtual Server and Virtual PC, a set of software drivers that maximize performance and provide a better user interface (UI) experience within a virtual machine. Virtual Machine Additions are only available for supported guest operating systems. The latest version of this software is available at "Microsoft Virtual Server 2005 Updated Additions" at: http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=84271. You can save the updated additions as an ISO in the library, so that you can make it available to all your virtual machines. When you mount the ISO to the virtual machine using a virtual DVD drive, the guest operating system detects the correct additions to install, just like device drvier installation.


Add Hosts (wizard)

The action you click in the Administrator Console to bring an existing Virtual Server host machine under VMM management, or to create a new VS host machine. If you are creating a new VS host machine, VS 2005 R2 and othe necessary software is installed for you. You also use this action to “associate” a host in a permiter network after you have installed the VMM agent on the permeter host locally.


Virtual Machine Manager agent

Software that is installed on either a virtual machine host, library server, or P2V source machine which enables Virtual Machine Manager to monitor and manage hosts, virtual machines, and library resources, and perform P2V conversions. The same agent is installed on hosts and library servers. The agent has two roles (and three names) - Virtual Machine Host and Library Server - which can be removed from the server separately, and Source Machine.  


Virtual Hard Disk file format

Microsoft's Virtual Hard Disk file format stores information on the state of an application and operating system while the program is running. It is used to start or turn off instances of an application running on a virtual machine.


Service names

The following list gives the component name for each software component (from Virtual Server, Virtual Machine Manager, and Windows Server) that is in use in Virtual Machine Manager, along with the service name in the Services component of Windows Server 2003.
Component        "Services" Display Name
vds                    Virtual Disk Service
Virtual Server     Virtual Server
vmh                   Virtual Machine Helper
VMMAgent         Virtual Machine Manager Agent
VMMService      Virtual Machine Manager
VSS                   Volume Shadow Copy


Windows Remote Management (WinRM)

WinRM is The component formerly referred to as "WS-Man"  and "Hardware Management tool" (in Windows Server 2003 R2, Management Tools component).  
"The Windows Remote Management (WinRM) is the Microsoft implementation of WS-Management Protocol, a standard SOAP-based, firewall-friendly protocol that allows hardware and operating systems, from different vendors, to interoperate.
"The WS-Management protocol specification provides a common way for systems to access and exchange management information across an IT infrastructure. WinRM and Intelligent Platform Management Interface (IPMI), along with the Event Collector are components of the Windows Hardware Management features."

VMM Beta 2 uses a specific version of WinRM as a prereq, you must download it from the Beta web site: http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=84599


VMMLibrary share

The default library share, which is created on the Virtual Machine Manager server during Setup to store resources in the Virtual Machine Manager library. The administrator can optionally specify a different default library share on the Virtual Machine Manager server during Setup. The default path is \Documents and Settings\All Users\Documents\Virtual Machine Manager Library Files\. The default library share does not store the configuration files for some resources, such as virtual machine templates, hardware profiles, and guest operating system profiles that are created in Virtual Machine Manager. These resources are database objects not represented by physical configuration files. Thus, if the share were deleted, and then you went to the tape to find those resources to restore them, you wouldn’t – they are in the database.



VMM event log path

The default path for the VMM event log is \Documents and Settings\All Users\VMMLogs

My Jobs window

The Window opened by the My Jobs button on the Virtual Machine Manager toolbar. An administrator can leave the window open to the Details tab to view step-by-step progress of long running jobs. For example, creating a new vm, depending on the size of the HDD(s), may take a while to complete.

Comments (1)

  1. Anonymous says:

    Well, System Centre Virtual Machine Manager (SCVMM) aka Carmine hit Beta 2 this week, so here are a couple

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