Configuration of a Self-Service Portal using System Center VMM 2008 R2 (Part 2)

by [Published on 1 April 2010 / Last Updated on 1 April 2010]

How to use a System Center VMM 2008 R2 Self-Service Portal to create and manage virtual machines.

If you would like to be notified of when Janique Carbone releases the next part in this article series please sign up to our VirtualizationAdmin.com Real Time Article Update newsletter.

If you would like to read the first part in this article series please go to Configuration of a Self-Service Portal using System Center VMM 2008 R2 (Part 1).

Introduction

In Part 1 of this article, you learned how to configure a System Center VMM 2008 R2 Self-Service Portal that enables users to create and manage their own virtual machines. In Part 2, you will learn how to use a System Center VMM 2008 R2 Self-Service Portal to create and manage virtual machines.

VMM 2008 R2 Self-Service Portal Installation Review

In Part I of this article, you learned that the VMM 2008 R2 Self-Service Portal is dependent on the installation of the VMM 2008 R2 Virtual Machine Manager Service and a Virtual Machine Manager Library server. In addition, you should install the Virtual Machine Manager Administrator Console which provides a single console to configure and manage VMM 2008 R2, Hyper-V hosts as well as VMware ESX hosts, and virtual machines.

Furthermore, the four basic steps to implement a Virtual Machine Manager Self-Service Portal were explained:

  1. Installing the VMM 2008 R2 Self-Service Portal component
  2. Creating a self-service host group (for Hyper-V hosts
  3. Creating a virtual machine template
  4. Creating a self-service user and policy

With these steps complete, the VMM 2008 R2 Self-Service Portal is ready for access by the users defined in the self-service policy. Remember that for the purposes of this article, there is a basic assumption that all VMM 2008 R2 components are installed on a single server.

Logging into a VMM 2008 R2 Self-Service Portal

Using the VMM 2008 R2 Self-Service Portal provides users with the ability to create and manage a subset of virtual machines without having to install and grant them access to the VMM 2008 R2 Administrator Console. Follow these steps to log into the server on which the VMM 2008 R2 Self-Service Portal is installed:

  1. Log into the server on which the VMM 2008 R2 Self-Service Portal is installed with an account that has Administrator privileges.
  2. Select Start Menu, then All Programs, and then select Microsoft System Center > Virtual Machine Manager 2008 R2 > Virtual Machine Manager Self-Service Portal.
  3. Because of being logged into the server with Administrator privileges, Internet Explorer prompts to enter the name of a Self-Service user account to access the VMM 2008 R2 Self-Service Portal. Therefore, the credentials for the Self-Service user account must be entered, followed by clicking Log On.


Figure 1

  1. The primary VMM 2008 R2 Self-Service Portal screen appears after a successful login attempt.

Creating a Virtual Machine Using the VMM 2008 R2 Self-Service Portal

After a user logs in the VMM 2008 R2 Self-Service Portal, one or more pre-defined virtual machine templates are available to create new virtual machines, as configured in the self-service policy. After a new virtual machine is created, VMM 2008 R2 automatically places the virtual machine on the most appropriate virtualization server based on the set of hosts defined in the self-service policy. Follow these steps to create a new virtual machine using the VMM 2008 R2 Self-Service Portal:

  1. From the VMM 2008 R2 Self Service Portal, select the Computers tab.
  2. In the Create menu, select New Computer.
  3. Select a virtual machine template.
  4. In the System Configuration section, additional information is provided. Note that on the New Virtual Machine page below most of the fields are not enabled. This is because the template that is being used was built without customizations. With the exception of the virtual machine name, StudentVM in this case, there is no need to specify additional values.


Figure 2

  1. Review the virtual machine details and then click Create.
  2. A dialog will appear with a status for the creation of the virtual machine.


Figure 3

  1. The new virtual machine will be placed on the most suitable virtualization host, and the virtual machine will appear in the Computers view of the VMM 2008 R2 Self-Service Portal.


Figure 4

When you create a virtual machine using the VMM 2008 R2 Self-Service Portal and specify Windows 7, Windows Server 2008 R2, or Windows Vista as the operating system of the virtual machine, the name of the default Administrator account is automatically set to AdminUser and is not configurable. Once the virtual machine is created, you can log on to the virtual machine and change the name of the default Administrator account to something other than AdminUser.

Starting a Virtual Machine Using the VMM 2008 R2 Self-Service Portal

After a virtual machine is created, there are several actions that can be applied to it based on the parameters defined in the self-service policy:

  • Start
  • Stop
  • Pause and Resume
  • Checkpoint
  • Remove
  • Local Administrator (grants local administrator rights on a virtual machine)
  • Remote Connection
  • Shutdown

After creating a virtual machine, follow these steps to start and connect to the virtual machine through the VMM 2008 R2 Self-Service Portal:

  1. On the System Center VMM 2008 R2 page, under the Computers tab, select a virtual machine (e.g., StudentVM). Details of the virtual machine, along with buttons to manage the state of the virtual machine are displayed in the browser window.
  2. Highlight the virtual machine, and then click Start. The virtual machine starts and displays status.


Figure 5

  1. Click Connect to VM.
  2. If the ActiveX control is not installed yet, the self-service user does not have any privileges.
  3. Click Install when the dialog prompts to install the ActiveX control.


Figure 6

  1. A new browser window will launch and display the console for the selected virtual machine.
  2. Close the console once the virtual machine boot screen displays.
  3. From the list of actions, select Shut Down to shut down the virtual machine.
  4. If a dialog appears, click OK to acknowledge the warning concerning the virtual machine shut down.


Figure 7

  1. The shutdown operation may not complete immediately if the virtual machine is installing Integration Services and the setup is not yet complete.
  2. Click Stop to shut down the virtual machine.
  3. Click OK to acknowledge the warning concerning the virtual machine Stop request.


Figure 8

  1. Select Log Off to log off the Self Service Portal.

Conclusion

In Part II of this article, you learned how to create and manage a virtual machine using the Virtual Machine Manager 2008 R2 Self-Service Portal.

If you would like to be notified of when Janique Carbone releases the next part in this article series please sign up to our VirtualizationAdmin.com Real Time Article Update newsletter.

If you would like to read the first part in this article series please go to Configuration of a Self-Service Portal using System Center VMM 2008 R2 (Part 1).

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