Wednesday, 3 February 2016

System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2012 R2 - Overview - Part 1

Hello Everyone,

This post will explain about other component of System Center Suite known as System Center Virtual Machine Manager.

This tool helps You managing Your Physical servers, network and storage through single console. Using this tool, You can deploy  Virtual machines to physical servers using templates and can manage all virtual servers as well in same console. This tool helps in managing Private Cloud VMs deployment.

There are many benefits of using this tool and I will try to explain mostly all features in this post.

After brief explanation about this tool, I will show some practical steps in next posts for below points:

  • Prerequisites and Installation Steps.
  • Post-Installation Configurations like configuring network, cloud, storage etc
  • Library Server configuration ways.
  • Configuration of Templates and VMs deployment using templates.
  • Creation of Service Templates using VM Templates.
  • Deployment Process for Service Template and showcase for Scale-out feature.
  • And many more features.

Let's start with SCVMM overview with more details... :)

SCVMM Overview:

SCVMM is the tool for managing physical servers, storage and network which helps in creating virtual machines in private cloud or in Your environment through single console only using VM Templates.

VM Templates are pre-defined Virtual Disks (Virtual Hard Disk - VHDs) in which we configure required settings and save then in SCVMM Library. Using those VHD files, we create VM templates and then further using them for VM Templates.

Using single VM Templates, You can deploy as many VMs as You want at same time (I have tested for 50 VMs provisioning at same time). 

Features:

  • Management of Server, Network and Storage from single console.
  • Support for Network Virtualization using Generic Routing Encapsulation (NV-GRE) gateway.
  • Support integration for IP Address management and Top of rack switch integration.
  • Support for Generation 2 Virtual Machine. (See below about Genration 1 and Generation 2 VMs).
  • Support for differencing disks (Both formats .vhd and .vhdx).
  • You can increase disk size while VM is running and also You can add disk while VM is running.
  • VM Memory can be increased while VM is running but only if You have assigned dynamic RAM.
  • Live Cloning for VM is possible.
  • Support for creating both windows based and linux based VMs.
  • Support for faster Live migration of VMs from one Server to other.
  • Support for faster Live storage migration from one storage to another.

There are many other features like You can monitor status for Servers or VMs if running or any error. You can see resources utilisation in Overview Dashboard of Server. You can configure PRO-Tips with SCOM to see Host Utilization, Virtual Machine Utilization and Capacity Utilization reports for all Servers and VMs.

You can also use power-shell scripts to automate many tasks in templates.

Using SCVMM 2012 and SCVMM 2012 SP1, You can also convert Physical Server to Virtual Server (P2V) but only condition is physical server must have disk formatted as NTFS. (FAT Formatted conversion is not supported).

In SCVMM 2012 R2, P2V is removed. Now, Microsoft has given separate tool for P2V know as MVMC 3.1, This tool can be used to convert Physical Server to Virtual Server.

This is just brief overview to start about SCVMM. In my next posts, I will try to explain about it's features with practical screens with more details.

Happy Reading!!!

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