Microsoft System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2008 R2

Virtual Windows

Libraries and Templates

The library component in SCVMM is simply a shared directory where virtual hard disks (VHD files), ISO images, hardware, and guest operating system profiles are stored. You can use templates for fast and automatic provisioning of Windows client and server systems. A template comprises a virtual hard disk and a predefined hardware and operating system profile.

The hardware profile lets you specify the minimum requirements for the CPU type, or the amount of RAM the virtual machine needs. When a new virtual machine with the specified CPU type is created, SCVMM automatically searches for a host with resources to match the hardware profile requirements. The operating system profile helps automate operating system provisioning. Besides selecting the operating system, you can also configure the administrator password, a license key, the computer name, and the domain membership.

P2V Conversion

SCVMM can also convert physical systems to virtual machines on the fly in a process known as physicaltovirtual (P2V) migration. To allow this to happen, you simply install a small client on the machine; the client checks the system and displays potential issues before using the volume shadow copy service to create an image. Onthefly conversion works with client systems as of Windows XP and for server systems as of Windows Server 2003. For older systems, you have only an offline conversion option. After conversion, you can shut down the physical system and boot the system as a virtual machine.

Higher Availability with Clustering

Host clustering provides a useful approach to guaranteeing system availability. Instead of using expensive SAN memory, the data can be provided by cheaper iSCSI solutions. To create a HyperV cluster, you need two host systems, both of which access the same SAN or iSCSI storage.

The new live migration introduced in HyperV R2 means that you can move a virtual machine from one cluster to another without taking the virtual machine offline. The previous version of SCVMM only supported virtual machine migration if you used the same processor type in both clusters. Although this restriction has not be completely lifted, it only applies to the CPU vendor, thus improving the support for a variety of hardware in the cluster and offering more flexibility.

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