I already reported some days ago that a complete installation of VMM is available as VHD file. Just to remind you, System Center Virtual Machine Manager is Microsoft's new management tool for centralized deployment and management for Virtual Server machines. Now, you can also download a 180-day trial version. The compressed setup file has 1.5 GB. I installed and played a little with SCVMM today.
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The hardware requirements are quite huge:
- Processor: Pentium 4 2.8 GHz
- RAM: 2 GB
- Hard disk (if using the default local SQL Server 2005 Express database instance): 7 GB
- Hard disk (if using a remote SQL Server database instance): 1 GB
- Hard disk (if using the VMM server as a library server): 80 GB
Notice that these are the hardware requirements from the SCVMM help file. Usually, one has to double Microsoft's recommendations.
These are the software requirements:
- Windows Server 2003 SP1 or above (for VMM Server)
- .Net 2.0
- .Net 3.0
- SQL Server 2005 SP1 or SQL Server 2005 Express Edition (for VMM Server)
- WinRM (aka WS-Management v1.1)
- Windows PowerShell 1.0 (for VMM Administration Console)
If you want to test VMM under Windows Server 2003 R2 and enabled WinRM, then you have to disable it first and get it from the link above. I wonder why Microsoft didn't include WinRM and PowerShell in the setup file like the other components.
There are three separate components to install: the Virtual Machine Manager Server, the VMM Administrator Console and the VMM Self-Service Portal. The Self-Service Portal is an optional Web-based management tool. Virtual Machine Server and Administrator Console can be installed on the same system. The Administrator Console also works under Windows XP and Windows Vista.
It is also required that the VMM server belongs to a Windows domain and you have to install WinRM on the machine where Virtual Server is running. This system has to be a Windows domain member, too. At least, I didn't figure out how to connect to a standalone Virtual Server from SCVMM.
The Virtual Machine Manager Administration Console made a good impression to me. It is a bit like the one from ISA Server. You can use it to do many things where you would otherwise have to work with the ugly Web-based interface of Virtual Server. For example, you can start virtual machines, access them thru VMRC, save the state, clone VMs, and so on. Even though VMRCplus was already step in the right direction, the VMM Administration Console gets to be the first user interface for Virtual Server that earns this name.
Unfortunately, the Admin Console was quite unstable during my short test. It crashed a couple of times. Perhaps this was due to the fact that I tested it in a virtual environment under VMware Workstation 6. It could be that this was just a little too much virtualization. However, my virtual test server had enough resources available.
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Since we are about to run some tests with Virtual Server anyway, I probably will have a closer look at SCVMM soon, assuming that I manage to get it running more reliably.