Using Hyper-V to Build a Private Cloud (Part 5)

by [Published on 4 April 2012 / Last Updated on 4 April 2012]

This article continues the discussion of building a private cloud by walking the reader through the deployment of System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2008 R2.

If you would like to read the other parts in this article series please go to:

Introduction

So far this article series has focused primarily on creating deployment images that can be used to generate new virtual machines on the fly. However, these deployment images won’t do much for us unless we have the private cloud infrastructure in place that will allow authorized users to generate new virtual machines on an as needed basis. In this article, I want to shift my focus toward building that infrastructure. Our private cloud is going to be built around Hyper-V, System Center Virtual Machine Manager, and Microsoft’s Self Service Portal.

Deploying System Center Virtual Machine Manager

The next thing that I want to do is to walk you through the process of deploying System Center Virtual Machine Manager. For the purposes of this article series I will be using System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2008 R2 with SP1. I will also be using Microsoft System Center Virtual Machine Manager Self-Service Portal 2.0 SP1, which you can download here.

You can deploy this software directly on a Hyper-V Server, but if you have another server available then it may be better to use that server instead because you really don’t want to be depleting your Hyper-V server of resources that it could be using to host virtual machines. Whatever machine you decide to use, you should make sure that it is joined to your domain.

With that said, you can begin the installation process by inserting your System Center Virtual Machine Manager installation media. When the splash screen appears, click the VMMServer Setup link to get started.

At this point, the installer will decompress a few files and will then display the obligatory license agreement. Choose the option to accept the license agreement and click Next.

The next screen that you will see asks you if you want to use Microsoft Update to check for updates. Since keeping your software up to date is always a good idea, choose the Use Microsoft Update option and click Next.

The following screen will ask you if you want to participate in Microsoft’s Customer Experience Improvement Program. If you choose to participate in this program then System Center Virtual Machine Manager will send configuration and usage data to Microsoft. It is entirely up to you as to whether or not you wish to participate in this program. After making your decision, click Next.

You will now be asked to enter your name and your company name on the registration screen. After doing so, click Next.

A Word About Prerequisites

The installer will now perform a hardware and software prerequisite check. The software prerequisites are:

  • A supported Windows Server operating system (a list of supported operating systems is available here)
  • Windows PowerShell (PowerShell 1.0 is supported for use with Windows Server 2008, but Windows Server 2008 R2 requires PowerShell 2.0)
  • Windows Remote Management (WinRM). This component is included with Windows Server 2008 and Windows Server 2008 R2.
  • Microsoft .NET Framework 3.0 or higher
  • The Windows Automated Installation Kit version 1.1 or higher
  • A supported version of SQL Server.
  • Windows Server Internet Information Services (IIS) 7.0 or higher. The following IIS components are required:
    o   IIS 6 Metabase Compatibility
    o   IIS 6 WMI Compatibility
    o   Static Content
    o   Default Document
    o   Directory Browsing
    o   HTTP Errors
    o   ASP.NET
    o   .NET Extensibility
    o   ISAPI Extensions
    o   ISAPI Filters
    o   Request Filtering

Even though there are a lot of prerequisites, the list is a bit deceptive. If you are installing System Center Virtual Machine Manager on top of Windows Server 2008 R2, then it is unlikely that you will have to install any of these prerequisites. Most of the required prerequisites are operating system components and Setup will install them automatically if they are not already present. While it is true that SQL Server isn’t an operating system component, the installer will give you an option to install the Express Edition of SQL. Therefore, you don’t have to worry about installing SQL ahead of time.

Just for kicks, I didn’t bother installing any of the prerequisites prior to installing Virtual Machine Manager. Even so, Setup passed the prerequisite check and I was able to continue with the installation in spite of the numerous missing prerequisites. Of course I cannot guarantee that the same thing will happen on other operating systems.

Continuing the Deployment

When the prerequisite check has completed, click Next. You will now be prompted for the location to which you want to install System Center Virtual Machine Manager. The default location is fine for most situations.

Click Next and you will be prompted for your SQL Server configuration settings. You have a choice of either attaching to an existing SQL Server or of letting the installer deploy SQL Server 2005 Express Edition SP3.

Setup’s Most Important Screen

The next screen that you will encounter is very important. It asks you to provide a share for the Virtual Machine Manager library. The Virtual Machine Manager library is a catalog of resources that can be used in the creation of new virtual machines. The reason why this screen is so important is because if you want to base a new virtual machine off of such a file, it must be included in the library. By default, Setup attempts to create a new library share, but for our purposes it is better to go ahead and tell Setup to use our existing deployment share that we previously created for the deployment workbench.

One caveat to this is that the share that you use must be local to the server. Therefore, if you are installing Virtual Machine Manager on a different server than where you installed the Deployment Workbench then you will have to use the default share and then manually copy content to the library later on.

Once you have specified the share that you want to use for your virtual machine library, click Next and you will be taken to a screen that asks which communication ports and which service account you want to use. Go ahead and accept the defaults and click Next.

You should now see a summary of the settings that you have specified. Take a moment and read over the summary and make sure that everything looks OK. Assuming that all is well, go ahead and click the Install button. When Setup completes, click Close.

The Administrator Console

Once Setup completes, you might be left wondering what happened. The Setup process creates a Microsoft System Center container on the server’s Start menu, but the only thing beneath it is Virtual Machine Manager Help. The reason why this happens is because the administrative console is not installed by default.

To install the administrative console, insert your System Center Virtual Machine Manager installation media and then choose the VMM Administrator Console option from the splash screen. Doing so launches a very simple deployment wizard. After accepting the license agreement you can just use the default options to install the Administrator console.

The first time that you attempt to use the console it will prompt you for the server name and port name that it should use to connect to your Virtual Machine Manager server, but once again you can go with the defaults.

Conclusion

Now that System Center Virtual Machine Manager is installed, it is time to get the Self Service Portal up and running. I will show you how to do that in Part 6

If you would like to read the other parts in this article series please go to:

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