Installing and Configuring SCVMM 2008 Self-Service Portal

by Robert Larson [Published on 9 April 2009 / Last Updated on 9 April 2009]

The necessary steps for installing and configuring the Self-Service Portal component.

Introduction

Self-Service Portal is an optional component of SCVMM 2008 that allows users or server administrators to create and manage their own virtual machines using a web interface. The portal utilizes SCVMM 2008 self-service user roles which determine or limit the scope of the users' actions. The following article provides the steps for installing and configuring the Self-Service Portal component.

Installation and configuration of the Self-Service Portal involves four steps.

  1. Install the Self-Service Portal
  2. Determine which Hyper-V hosts should be dedicated Self-Service Portal to host virtual machines
  3. Create a host group and move all the Self-Service candidate Hyper-V hosts to that host group
  4. Create a Self-Service User Role

The details for each section are provided as part of this article.

Installation Requirements

The Self-Service portal can be installed on the VMM server or on a separate machine. The following information details the requirements to install the Self-Service Portal on a dedicated machine.

Software Requirements

In order to install the Self-Service portal you need a base operating system and IIS to host the web console.

  • Windows Server 2008 x64 Standard, Enterprise, or Datacenter edition
  • Windows Server 2003 (or R2) with SP2
  • Internet Information Server (IIS)

Hardware Requirements

The hardware requirements for a dedicated Self-Service Portal are defined by the number of concurrent users that the portal will serve. The following table contains the minimum recommended hardware configuration for dedicated Self-Service Portal servers.

For up to 10 concurrent users of the portal:

Hardware Component

Recommendation

Processor

Single-Processor, Dual-Core, 3.2 GHz (x64)

Memory

4 GB

Hard drive space

20 GB

Network

1 Gb Ethernet

For over 10 concurrent users of the portal:

Hardware Component

Recommendation

Processor

Dual-Processor, Dual-Core, 3.2 GHz (x64)

Memory

8 GB

Hard drive space

40 GB

Network

Dual 1Gb Ethernet

Hyper-V Host Hotfix Requirements

Managing Hyper-V from an SCVMM 2008 server requires at least two updates:

KB956589 – To fix a communication issue between the SCVMM 2008 agent and the SCVMM VMM Server.

KB956774 – To fix a Background Intelligent Transfer Services (BITS) issue that prevents SCVMM Agent installation from failing.

Before you attempt to add a Hyper-V host to the SCVMM console, you must install KB956774 on the Hyper-V host. Once you have added the Hyper-V host to the SCVMM console and the agent has been installed, you will see a status of Needs Attention. At this point you need to install KB956589 on the Hyper-V hosts to update the client to obtain the regular status of OK.

Installing Virtual Machine Manager Server Component

Once you have the VMM Administrative Console component installed, you can proceed to installing the Self-Service Portal. The Self-Service Portal will be the primary interface that administrators or end users will use to manage virtual machines they own running on the Hyper-V server farm.

To install SCVMM 2008 VMM Self-Service Portal component, follow these step-by-step instructions:

  1. Logon to the machine with domain administrator credentials
  2. Insert the SCVMM 2008 media and launch the setup
  3. From the splash screen, click VMM Self-Service Portal. The VMM Setup will copy some temporary files needed for installation and launch the installation wizard.
  4. The installation files are copied to the server and you are prompted with a License Terms screen, select I accept the terms of this agreement and click Next.
  5. On the Prerequisites Check screen, verify that all of the prerequisites have been met and click  Next.
  6. If you need to resolve a prerequisite, make the change and then return to the Prerequisite Check screen and click Check Again.
  7. On the Installation Location screen, verify the path is correct and click Next.
  8. On the Web Server Settings screen, verify the VMM Server fully qualified domain name, modify the default ports for the Administrative console if required, modify the port for the self service console, and then press Next.
  9. On the Summary of Settings Screen, review the settings you chose and press Install to start the installation of SCVMM 2008 Self-Service Portal component.
  10. At the end of the installation, you will receive an indication of a success or failure of the Self-Service Portal installation. When you are done reviewing the installation status screen, press Close.

Determine the Hyper-V Hosts for Self Service

Hyper-V hosts should typically be dedicated for self-service use. Self-Service users can impose a random performance workload for a Hyper-V host. Attempting to combine a production server workload and a self-service workload could result in inconsistent performance.

Select as many Hyper-V hosts as required for the amount of self-service user virtual machines that you will want concurrently running. You can better predict the workload by using some Self-Service advanced features like quotas and VM templates. For example, if you define a VM template that is limited to 1GB RAM and a quota that allows only 2 VMs per self-service user, then you can better predict the potential workload by limiting the number of users in the self-service role.

Building Host Group for Self Service

A Hyper-V host can only be a member of a single host group and a Self-Service Portal defines access by the assigned host group. If you require multiple self-service portals and want them grouped together in the host group hierarchy, it is a good idea to create a host group called Self-Service, and then create the other host groups under Self-Service.

To create the Self-Service host group, follow these step-by-step instructions:

  1. From the SCVMM console, click the Hosts option in the left hand pane.
  2. In the navigation menu on the left hand pane, select the top host group called All Hosts (you could select any node but let’s do it from the top).
  3. From the Actions menu, click Add Host Group.
  4. Enter Self-Service for the new host group name and press Enter. You will now have a new host group called Self-Service.
  5. Now drag and drop the Hyper-V hosts that you want to be Self-Service hosts into the Self-Service host group.

Creating the Self-Service User Role

SCVMM 2008 Self-Service Portal is designed for end users or server administrators to access virtual machine. To access the Self-Service Portal a self-service user role must be created and users added as members of that role.

To create the Self-Service User Role, follow these step-by-step instructions:

  1. Click the Administration button.
  2. Click New User Role in the Actions menu, the new User Role wizard starts.
  3. In the General screen, type a User role name and Description, then select Self Service User in the profile list, press Next.
  4. In the Add Members screen, click Add and then type the names of the users or groups you want to add to this role, press Next.
  5. In the Scope screen, select the host groups on which users will deploy their virtual machines, press Next.
  6. In the Virtual Machine Permissions screen, select the actions that you want to allow the members of this group to perform on virtual machines, press Next.
  7. In the Virtual Machine Creation Settings, Select the options to allow the members of the self-service user group to create virtual machines, assign virtual machine templates for the self-service users to use, and optionally set a virtual machine quota to limit the number of virtual machines the users can deploy at one time, press Next.
  8. In the Library Settings screen, select if you will grant members of the self-service user group access to a library share. If you allow the self-service users to store their virtual machines on a library share, the stored virtual machines do not count against any virtual machine quota that you set when allowing self-service users to create a virtual machine, press Next.
  9. Review your choices and press Create to create the self-service user group.

Once you define all the permissions and the options, for a self-service user role, the members of the role can access the Self-Service Portal. When a self-service user logs on for the first time, they see the following screen:


Figure 1

If there are any virtual machines that the self-service user is assigned the owner, they will show up in the list as virtual machines they can manage. If they have the right to create new virtual machines, the New Computer option will allow them to select from the assigned predefined templates. The actions menu will enable all the actions the user has permissions based on the user role. If a user is a member of multiple user roles, the permissions are cumulative.

Conclusion

The Self-Service Portal is a great solution to provide end users and server administrator’s access to administer their virtual machines. The Self-Service Portal can be installed on the VMM server or on a dedicated server depending on the number of concurrent users that will access the portal. Portal access and rights are controlled by a Self-Service User role. You can limit what actions that the users can perform, if they can create new virtual machines, the type and configuration of the virtual machines. You can even control of the user’s ability to store their virtual machines when not in use.

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