Using Hyper-V to Build a Private Cloud (Part 9)

by [Published on 19 Sept. 2012 / Last Updated on 19 Sept. 2012]

This article continues the discussion of private cloud creation. It explains how to review user’s infrastructure and service requests. It also demonstrates the process that end users will use to create virtual machines once their requests have been approved.

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

Introduction 

In the previous article in this series, I showed you how a user could submit an infrastructure request and a service request. I also mentioned at the beginning of the article that we weren’t quite to the point yet of a user being able to generate virtual machines on the fly. The reason for this is that there is still a little bit of configuration work that needs to be done.

For the sake of this article, let’s assume that a user has submitted an infrastructure request. As you can see in Figure A, infrastructure requests appear on the Requests tab. You will also notice in the figure that the dialog box contains a message telling you that the request needs to be configured before it can be approved.


Figure A: The infrastructure request appears on the Requests tab.

In this particular case, the first thing that needs to be configured is the service. To do so, click on the service name. When you do, you will be taken to the Edit Services screen. The top of this screen will display a message telling you that the fields requiring configuration are highlighted.

As you can see in Figure B, the information that still needs to be configured at this point consists of the template library and the virtual machine location. You can assign a template library by clicking on the Assign Library link. Upon doing so, the Self Service Portal will display a dialog box that allows you to select the library server and the library share that you want to use for the service. After you specify a template library, you should be able to go to the Stored Virtual Machine Location section and pick a server and a share from the drop down lists as shown in Figure C.


Figure B: You must assign a template library and a virtual machine location.


Figure C: Once you have specified a template library you will be able to select a server and a deployment share.

Take a moment to verify that nothing else needs to be configured on the Edit Service page and then click the Save and Close link. Assuming that you have configured everything correctly, you should be returned to the Requests screen. There should be a green check mark icon displayed next to the service indicating that it is configured correctly, as shown in Figure D.


Figure D: The green check mark indicates that the service is configured correctly.

The next step is to click on the name of the service role. Once again, you will see a message telling you that required configuration items are highlighted. In this case, I only had to select the Action XML that should be associated with the service role (I used the default option). If you look at Figure E, you will notice that the Load Balancer section is highlighted, but that I did not configure it. That’s because the load balancer is optional. If I had selected the check box to enable the load balancer then I would have to configure the load balancer settings, but since the load balancer is not enabled configuring it is not required.


Figure E: You must associate an action XML with the service role.

Click Save and Close. You should be taken back to the Requests page where you should see a green check mark next to the Service Role, indicating that it is configured correctly, as shown in Figure F.


Figure F: The Service Role should now be configured correctly.

Now we must configure the virtual machine template. To do so, click on the template. In this particular case, there isn’t really anything that has to be configured. Just click Save and Close. You should be returned to the Requests page and a green check mark should appear next to the virtual machine template, as shown in Figure G.


Figure G: The request can now be approved or rejected.

Now that everything is properly configured, we can approve the request by clicking the Approve link. Regardless of whether you choose to approve or reject the request, you will see a dialog box that allows you to enter some text explaining your decision to the person who made the request.

Creating a Virtual Machine

Now that the request has been approved, the user can begin creating virtual machines. To do so, log in as the user and go to the Virtual Machines tab. As you can see in Figure H, this page is currently blank because the user has not yet created any virtual machines. To create a virtual machine, click the Create Virtual Machine link.


Figure H: You can create a virtual machine by clicking on the Create Virtual Machine link.

The user will now see the Create Virtual Machine page. The first step in the virtual machine creation process is to select a business unit. After doing so, the user will be able to select an infrastructure, a service, and a service role. Only infrastructures, services, and service roles that you have approved will be available to the user.

Next, the user must choose the naming convention that they want to use for the new virtual machine, specify the number of virtual machines that they want to create, and specify a root computer name and index number (although there is an option to individually name virtual machines). You can see what the various configuration options look like in Figure I.


Figure I: This is the beginning of the virtual machine creation process.

When the user scrolls down, they will have the option of selecting a virtual machine template, as shown in Figure J. They are also able to choose which network they want to use and whether or not the new virtual machine should be joined to a domain. It is also possible to configure automatic virtual machine expiration from this screen.


Figure J: The user must select a virtual machine template and a network.

At this point the requested virtual machine (or machines) can be created by clicking on the Create button. Upon doing so, the Self Service Portal will automatically switch to the Jobs tab, where the user can monitor the creation process, as shown in Figure K.


Figure K: The Jobs tab is used for monitoring the virtual machine creation process.

Conclusion

We have now given users the ability to create their own virtual machines within the limits that we have set. Hopefully the virtual machine creation process worked just as it was supposed to. If not, don’t panic. Diagnosing problems with virtual machine creation is usually a relatively painless and straightforward process.

In the next part of this article series, my plan is to begin wrapping things up by offering you some pointers for troubleshooting failed virtual machine creations. I also plan to eventually talk a bit about some security considerations related to user requests.

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

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